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Why You Should Collect Vinyl Records

Before music was portable due to iPods and smartphones, people were listening to music on their stereo in the comfort of their homes. All they had to do was simply drop the needle on their favorite album and suddenly they would have a warm full sound to enjoy. As technology progressed, collecting vinyl declined, but these days it is becoming trendy again, and you can find many artists releasing their music on vinyl formats and even stores carrying vinyl.  If you’re quite hesitant to follow the movement, don’t be. Here are some reasons why you should start collecting.


1.     Music sounds better on vinyl



You may not be able to tell a difference, but there is a slight contrast between music you hear on vinyl compared to music streamed on your phone. The music on your phone is compressed small enough to be stored on your device as a lossy format, which strips away many details from the music. Vinyl on the other hand is a lossless format which means the music is at the best quality intended and no details are being compressed and stripped away. If you’re not an audiophile this may not matter much, but to get the fullest experience out of the albums you love, vinyl is the best listening format.


2.     You gain a new hobby



If you love music (who doesn’t?), this is the hobby for you. No matter what type of music you listen to, you will find rows and rows of that particular genre alphabetized at your local record store. I guarantee if you choose to collect vinyl it will become an addiction where you’ll constantly want to build your collection. There’s just something about searching for vinyl that will always keep you invested and never bored. Once you finally track down that 1966 original press of ‘Pet Sounds’ it will all be worth it.


3.     Collect music and art at the same time



Not only will you be able to collect some groovy music, but some really beautiful and exclusive artwork to display as well. Vinyl record sleeves are the perfect way to add some color to your space or showcase your taste in music. Most artists usually use the same cover art across all platforms, but on vinyl some artists will offer limited editions of an album that may include different cover art, colored vinyl, or extra posters and stickers. Also check for liner notes to learn more about the artist!


4.     It’s an investment



I’ll admit collecting vinyl can be expensive at times, but it is definitely the investment. Once you get your collection going the albums you’ve gathered will collect value over time and you’ll eventually see the worth of your vinyl. You also always have the option to sell an album you’re not interested in anymore. Instead of letting it sit in storage and collect dust, you can resell it and make yourself some money and let someone else enjoy the music. Local record stores are a great place to take albums you neglect and find new fresh ones!


5. Support the arts



These days when streaming and playlists are the predominant way young people consume music, it’s becoming increasingly harder for artists to makes a living off their talents. Services like Spotify and Apple Music pay hundredths of a penny per stream to labels who then pass that on to the artist. When you invest in physical media from an artist, you help feed them so they can keep making music you love. The best way to help support an artist is to go to their show, and buy their albums direct from their site or a local record store. (Don’t go shopping for vinyl at Urban Outfitters either, support local business!)


Writer for HerCampus at SLU.
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