Vinyl Records were once the most fashionable kind of listening to music. The practice of vinyl records for music was highly common from the late 1880’s, and lasted for around a century before compact disc (CD) technology came to prominence causing a heavy decline in mainstream record figures. Vinyls are still brought by music lovers, but it is now in more of a ‘collectors item’ sense.
The standard vinyl record was made from a plastic derivited material of the above name, and were created with channels in the discs, with the sound occurring when an electric needle comes into contact with the specifically formatted channels. This meant that there would need to be a special piece of equipment used to play such discs, and for records this would to be the record player, which executes the purposes described previously. With the evolving concept of record discs, there would inevitably be discs in several sizings and materials, with the most widely known sizes being 7, 10, and 12-inch, with materials being shellac (original material) and vinyl. The most popular combination was a 12-inch vinyl, and had enough space for 45 minutes of music.
When you think about vinyl discs, the picture that more often than not forms in your mind is a plain black one. With the type of technology being applied (grooves), though, it was a rather simple procedure to have discs made in different colours, and this progressed to the picture disc, meaning that the record was created with a picture instead of one colour. The picture applied would almost always be that of the featured band or artist (i.e. The Beatles) or their logo. Related patterns were also used to separate that disc from the others.
Despite vinyl being the most standard material for these record discs, there were still some issues with its enduringness. Although it was harder to break, the material is very easily scratched, which causes playback problems later on due to the reliance on grooves. Such discs can also be ‘warped’ by factors like heating and tight packaging, also affecting quality. Other known matters include pulling in dust (through static electricity), and compressed grooves in the center of the disc, also having the likelihood to affect the listening sensation.
During the latter part of the 1980’s CD’s started to substitute records as the best way of listening to music. The smaller size, better quality, and convenience of this technology was obvious, and was the beginning of the decline for the vinyl record in modern society.
Even with this drop in popularity, vinyl records continue to retain many fans as collectable items, with numerous people willing to pay a great cost for something that they may not ever play, due to its rarity and potential value. Vinyl discs are still used now in a commercial application, and it is seen as a great way for upcoming artists to promote themselves. Young adults also listen to them for a ‘retro’ feel, but are commonly seen being played by DJ’s on the turntables due to the format of the discs. All this proves that vinyl discs are making a comeback, and are still regarded as a high-quality format by those that use the records.
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