Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Vinyl LP Records

I have a few thousand LP's. For you younger folks that would be "vinyl." For you older folks, "records." The correct term is LP for Long Playing records. Vinyl LP records came out in the mid 1950's and were replaced with CD's in the mid 1980's. That means that all of the music recorded in the classical era of rock and country was originally released on vinyl records.

The advantage of CD's was that they were cheaper to make and could be sold at a premium price, so the profit was much higher. A side benefit was that the manufacturing process was more consistent, so on the average, the sound quality was better. They were also easier to handle and store than LP's and CD players could be made smaller and shake resistant so they could be installed in automobiles. The down side for us visual artist types was that the cover art of a 5 inch CD was less than a fourth the size of a 12 inch LP.
So now I have thousands of vinyl records, all of which I have owned for over 30 years, that I am trying to decide if I should digitize. When people call for a quote to digitize all of their old slides or negatives, I ask them why they want to do that. If it is to preserve them, I usually talk them out of it because they already have a permanent original. If it is for easy access, great. Digital is much easier to share, print, or use in a publication.

It is the same decision I need to make with my old records. The original vinyl records are valuable artifacts, but if I want an easier way to access, share, or listen to music, having the whole collection cataloged on a hard drive would be amazing. Having all that music on a USB drive to play in my car would also be very cool.

Just need a few hundred spare hours to get this completed. Wonder when that will be?