Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Long-Playing (LP) Vinyl Record: Everything Old is New Again

The Music Collection includes over 20,000 CDs, and the Ball State Libraries' online subscriptions include Naxos Music Library, which streams over a million tracks.  So why did we just add a USB turntable to one of the Mac computers in the Music Collection?  Why is there a portable USB turntable available for check-out in the Educational Technology and Resources Collection?

First, both the Music Collection and Educational Technology and Resources Collection own some LPs that have never been reissued as a CD or online.  We have carefully preserved these records for their historical and academic interest, but fewer and fewer borrowers have home audio LP players for listening.  The USB turntable allows listeners to study the LPs via quality equipment.

Using the Advanced Search features in CardCat, you can specify "Phonodiscs (LP)" to see over 1,000 LPs owned by University Libraries:

For many years, the LP format was relegated to professional DJs, but it is experiencing something of a Renaissance.  Though still a niche market, at 3.6% of album sales,  according to Digital Trends, LP sales in 2015 are strong and getting stronger.  Having grown up on the sound of .mp3 digital audio compression, younger buyers have discovered the richer sound quality of analog recordings.

According to Billboard, sales of LPs were up 38.4% for the first half of 2015, and Taylor Swift's 1989 led the list.  cduniverse.com, which allows users to select from a variety of formats to purchase, has begun making 12" vinyl records a general selection from their main page:

And for some genres, you can specify top selling LPs within a genre, for example this screen capture of Alternative Music "CDs" on vinyl:

So whether you listen to historical, experimental, or modern records, you can now listen to them in the Music Collection.

No comments:

Post a Comment