O Vinyl, Where Art Thou?

I just missed out on a lot of things that I would have considered cool since I came of age in the 1980’s. For example, I would have loved to gone to a friends house just to listen to a record. I was also envious of people who owned stereo systems with turntables, equalizers and dual cassette players. I always was saddled with portable or personal cd/cassette players due to lack of space and money. Now that vinyl has made a “comeback” (i.e. it still exists) my desire to put together a high fidelity system has returned even though I still have no money or space. My dream has already met with some resistance, not on the homefront but at the record store where new vinyl releases are quite expensive, especially for the major bands. 25 bucks  a record is quite a steep price, I know it’s supply and demand and there are very few manufacturers pressing discs but that is a high price for nostalgia. It wasn’t too long ago that consumers were complaining about the high price of CDs and they usually were under 20 dollars. Now CDs are sitting in bargain bins as digital creeps up on its status as preferred media for tune lovers and vinyl just seems like an attractive alternative for people who still value music.

The other detriment is the fact that vinyl is a commitment. It’s heavy and takes up a lot of space and turntables and records need maintenance. I don’t have the storage space for the CDs much less than LPs so I’ve had to condense a lot of my albums into those flimsy binders that hold multiple CDs which works okay as long as you don’t flip through the pages a whole lot. I kept the booklet that comes with the disc in the front sleeve so I save a lot of space and stay semi-organized so I can’t imagine how much more complicated a good vinyl collection would be to manage without renting a storage unit. I appreciate the larger artwork and all the details and treasures hidden in the grooves of vinyl LPs but with family and space considerations in mind, I’m glad I grew up in a compact world. Audiophiles hate the format and blame the constant move to more convenience as part of the reason the music industry is in such a dismal state but it has been great for someone like me who listens to most of his music in the car. I still hope to pursue my dream of a personal music room with high fidelity stereo with albums both on the walls and on the turntables but it will probably have to wait until I’m retired. When I’m out trying to design my perfect room of sonic paradise I’ll probably spend more time in thrift stores than in record stores.

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