Could vinyl’s resurgence be the death of the CD?

My friend Ben insists that vinyl will never die. He’s so convinced of this that his wife bought him an old turntable on eBay for his birthday a few years back. He was elated! I mocked him.

Since then, I’ve taken to buying him records every time I spot a rare jewel in a thrift store. I sift through the discarded LPs to dig up the one album that to me is quintessential “vinyl.” My retro scavenger hunt has added records to Ben’s collection like the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, STYX’s “Mr. Roboto” single and the Village People. Then there was that one Jackson’s record that is my favorite find to date. It wasn’t the Jackson 5, because there were six of them on the cover. And I’m still trying to figure out why Michael’s hands and feet were glowing.

More mocking of course.

But maybe Ben should be mocking me?

According to this article on Wired magazine’s website, vinyl may be making a comeback. As digital downloads continue to become the prevalent method of acquiring music, the CDs main advantage over vinyl – its portability – is becoming more of a non-factor for music fans. As a result, many are opting for the more “interactive” experience of listening to music on turntables at home. Audiophiles are opting for the more dynamic sound and rich tones of music on the traditional analog format versus the compressed digital sound of CDs.

There has been such a resurgence in popularity for vinyl that Amazon has launched a vinyl only section to their online marketplace. To give added value to consumers, some record labels are including free digital downloads of the music with the purchase of a release on vinyl – thus virtually eliminating the need for CDs altogether.

Could vinyl’s resurgence be the death of the CD?


15 thoughts on “Could vinyl’s resurgence be the death of the CD?

  1. No. This “resurgence” is only a fad. I will not buy vinyl because I really don’t have that many warm fuzzy feelings about the format. CD’s are digital and work well together with computers. I think nothing will replace CD’s – the next step is to have no physical medium at all and for us to download all of our music. For those who don’t have internet and computers, I’m sure there will still be CD’s – even if they are custom burnt when they go buy them.

  2. do you have netflix? if so, check out “scratch”. it’s amaaaaaaazing. shows that in at least the hip hop world vinyl is not only not going away, it’s an absolute staple of it. and, in the indie rock and hardcore scenes there’s nothing like a nice limited edition colored vinyl 7″ to make the girls swoon 🙂

  3. Vinyl does that every ten years or so, then returns to the shelves to collect dust. The death of the CD may be imminent, but vinyl will have nothing to do with it.

    Record companies won’t be making extended orders for vinyl, unless the band’s name is Pearl Jam.


  4. Wow. Honest to goodness input from an “insider” to the radio biz! Thanks for commenting Dan!

    Speaking of Pearl Jam and vinyl. I’ll never forget when Vitalogy came out. They released it on vinyl like two weeks before the CD release. I was at the height of my Pearl Jam fandom at the time and had to buy the thing, despite having no record player. You have no idea how much it pained me to have the product in hand with no ability to listen to the record for days.

    I eventually got one of the guys at the campus radio station to convert it to cassette for me. Only to buy (a second time) on CD a few days later.

  5. Oops – I misread the previous two comments. I thought we were talking about scratched records and DVD.

    So white… 😆

    Naw, vinyl has issues JUMP
    Naw, vinyl has issues JUMP
    Naw, vinyl has issues JUMP
    Naw, vinyl has issues JUMP…

    Yeah, but the same could be said about compact di di di di di di di i di di di di di di di di di di di d id id id id idi d id id id i did id ididi… sc ssc sc sc sc sc sc sc sc sc scs….

  6. there is something special about holding an album in your hand. now i’ll make tim brown throw up with my ode to classic and prog rock:
    i remember the first time i saw dark side of the moon and yes’ close to the edge on vinyl. it was like, “holy crap, this is both a visual and an audio experience.”
    and to add to the other comments, there is something reassuring about only losing an album/cd worth of music when it goes bad as opposed to my whole ipod going up in smoke and losing everything in one shot.

  7. I will admit to pouring over the Vitalogy artwork for hours. It made for a great companion to the album once I finally had the music to listen to.

    Why would anyone lose their entire music colleciton if anything happened to their iPod? Wouldn’t the tunes still be on their computer?

    I don’t even have an iPod and I have an entirely seperate hard drive for my media files.

  8. backup your purchased music…frequently

    I think it’s a crying shame that iTunes doesn’t let you re-download tracks you have previously bought. I’m sure there is some stupid legal reason. I would pay an extra few dollars a cd to ensure that it would always be available to re-download if I needed to.

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