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405 comments

When your market is so small (4, Interesting)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350466)

You only have to sell a couple albums more than usual to claim huge percentage increases.

Re:When your market is so small (5, Insightful)

JohnBailey (1092697) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350656)

You only have to sell a couple albums more than usual to claim huge percentage increases.

But a small part of a big market is still worth having. Any idea what 1% of the entire recorded music market is worth?

Re:When your market is so small (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350818)

I wouldn’t exactly call the DJing market small.

Then again, there are things like Stanton Final Scratch, where you need turntables, but not Vinyls (other than the ones containing the time codes).

Pfft... (5, Funny)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350468)

Kids these days and their newfangled "vinyl" cheap rubbish. Give me my Bach on a wax cylinder, and then get off my long-dead lawn.

Re:Pfft... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30350914)

No song storage medium is as effective as a troupe of trained monkeys.

HA! (3, Funny)

munehiro (63206) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350470)

and now try put disk copy protection on that!

oh wait...

Re:HA! (1)

Kohlrabi82 (1672654) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350524)

that's right, now combine that with proper mastering (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudness_War [wikipedia.org] ) of vinyl compared to CD (for jazz, pop and rock at least).

Re:HA! (1)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350688)

Possible, but in reality most vinyl discs are a direct transfer from the digital master used for the CD, including the brick-wall mix.

Re:HA! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30350738)

Possible, but in reality most vinyl discs are a direct transfer from the digital master used for the CD, including the brick-wall mix.

Incorrect. You have to carefully master a recording before you can press it onto vinyl. Particularly bad masters sometimes won't even press, the material won't take it and it'll collapse. Not quite as bad but still worse masters will produce a groove that is unplayable. Bass-heavy records have a shorter running time due to the required groove size modifications. Certain stereo panning tricks can cause turntables to skip, so they have to be removed or reduced on vinyl masters.

There's probably some vinyl discs mastered that are just a DAT shoved through to a presser, but they're not common.

Re:HA! (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 4 years ago | (#30351080)

>in reality most vinyl discs are a direct transfer from the digital master used for the CD
Do you have any stats/details on that because my experience is the opposite. Pretty much every vinyl album I've bought in recent years is significantly differently mastered to the CD.

Going 'Retro', Best copy protection ever (1)

Ivan Stepaniuk (1569563) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350748)

Besides the joke, I always thought that this vinyl resurrection is being promoted by the bad guys, it is of course not impossible, but far more difficult to copy than a CD. And even if you make a digital copy of it, you will never have the same (vinyl) thing.

Looks like the music execs aren't that dumb... (2, Interesting)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350490)

FTFA:

Interest from younger listeners is what convinced music industry executives that vinyl had staying power this time around.

Taking this at face value, it seems like the music industry execs aren't that stupid: the market wants something, let's give it to them.

Don't they worry about piracy, though?

Some are traditional analog record players; others are designed to connect to computers for converting music to digital files.

Hmm...

In any case...

At a glance, the far corner of the main floor of J&R Music looks familiar to anybody old enough to have scratched a record by accident.

I will not buy thees myoosic store. Eet is skrratshed.

Cue the... (1)

s1lverl0rd (1382241) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350494)

Year of the Linux Desktop jokes in 3... 2... 1...

Re:Cue the... (5, Funny)

JackDW (904211) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350922)

Not until we have Vinyl ROMs.

You'll be able to get Linux distributions on them, of course. Side 1: Kernel. Side 2: Root file system. The system takes 45 minutes to boot, but the quality of the operating system and associated tools is much, much better than what you get on CD or via download. Don't ask me for evidence, because the improved quality is imperceptible unless your computer is connected up with gold Ethernet cables and your PSU is a vacuum-tube model.

Random fluctuation (3, Insightful)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350508)

Sales can't drop below zero, at some point sales bottom out and then increase slightly (which may represent a massive % increase even though sales are still modest).

Is this supposed to be surprising? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30350530)

Every few months the media spits out a story or five about vinyl being more popular than ever. And they conveniently forget about it so they can do it again in another few months!

CDs are naturally dying, because broadband is ubiquitous and digital files are good enough to make the format an annoyance.

If you want to listen to music and have the physical media experience to go along with it, vinyl's a lot better than CDs IMO (and apparently in the opinions of quite a few others, too). Bigger art, more to play with, sounds better, etc.

That's not even taking dance music culture into account. I just didn't like CDJs' and Traktor's downsides, audio quality, and quirks enough to trade the convenience they gain over vinyl turntables. Also, Technics are cooler, and they haven't made a little wind-up truck that plays CDs yet.

No surprises.. (1)

Archon-X (264195) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350532)

No surprises. Vinyl sounds better.

Audiophiles (3, Interesting)

Nithendil (1637041) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350584)

Before the anti-audiophile crowd comes in screaming about how digital is a more accurate reproduction vinyls are typically mastered for their audience so they often are not compressed to maximum loudness that you hear in modern CDs so you actually have some dynamic range.

Re:Audiophiles (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350768)

The first record player I owned was a valve system from the early 50's with one giant 20inch speaker. Someone had thrown it out simply because one valve had blown (yes I was a geek even when I was 8yrs old). However I spent my teenage years listening to vinyl with a "top of the range system" using those giant headphones that were popular in the 70's. Perhaps it's the modern speakers or the electronics, but for whatever reason my old vinyl system would not hold a candle to the Bose stereo that came with the last car I bought.

PS: Not anti-audiophile, people like what they like, simple as that.

Buy DVD-A and SACD then (5, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#30351006)

The compression on CDs is not manditory, and indeed you find some CDs without it. However if high quality sound is your goal, well then DVD-A and SACD are the places to look. Like records, they are not produced for everything, but they tend to be extremely well mastered for what they are done with. Nice wide dynamic range. They also have the advantage of being all digital, and extremely high resolution: 96-192kHz 24-bit for DVD-A, 2.8MHz 1-bit for SACD (equivalent to about 20-bit 100kHz). You are also usually going to spend less on hardware (a cheap SACD/DVD-A player can be had for less than $200) and your recordings don't degrade every time they are played.

That's the problem I have with the audiophile record crowd: There ARE digital technologies better than CD, much better, and measurably so. Thus, if your goal is highest fidelity sound, then that is probalby what you should be getting. Goes double since most recordings these days are produced digitally, so you are getting "digital sound" like it or not.

I'm fine with people who like records for nostalgic reasons, but I don't get the "Oh records sound so much better crowd." No, not so much really. Sure, compare a $5000 turntable to a $10 CD player where the CD is limited all to hell, the record player sounds better (unless the record is scratched). However compares that same record player to a $200 DVD-A player and the DVD-A will be better.

It's been growing for a while... (4, Interesting)

FauxReal (653820) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350534)

Me and my friends have been talking about the resurgence of vinyl DJs for years. A friend who visits Japan every year to sell vintage jazz, soul and funk music (they love it out there) was telling me that DJ shops seemed to be catching up to guitar stores back in 1998. I almost think it's just about peaked myself. Then again maybe DJ Hero will cause a nice spike in sales.

Personally, I prefer to buy my music on vinyl, I like the huge cover art and the tactile interaction of playing a record. The nature of vinyl also doesn't lend itself to the Loudness War [wikipedia.org] . The only things I don't like about vinyl is it weighs a ton when you're trying to get to a gig and when listening at home you gotta get up and flip the record.

I kinda think digital DJing has been gaining a lot of ground lately... there are so many Serato [scratchlive.net] copycats) out there now (some are purely digital while Serto allows the use of timecoded vinyl for control. I've been a hardcore vinyl head and I'm finally considering going the digital route because of the convenience of weight saving and you can make your own remixes. Though it still pisses me off that I spent so much time and money collecting rare tracks when these days laptop DJs can just download them off the net. It's made it a lot harder to have an exclusive track.

Re:It's been growing for a while... (1)

Jarnin (925269) | more than 4 years ago | (#30351076)

If you want exclusive tracks, make your own. I was doing that 15 years ago with computer multi-track software and a CD burner that cost me $350 at the time. The new DJing software was designed with mash-ups and remixing in mind, that's why it's loaded with beat-syncing and a tons of effects to play with.

If that doesn't strike your fancy because it's not wax, check out the Vestax VRX-2000. You can cut your own records from any source with that.

Wait a second.... (4, Funny)

NoPantsJim (1149003) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350546)

Consider this sentence from TFS:

"With the curious resurgence of vinyl, a parallel revival has emerged: The turntable"

What did you expect would happen, people would start buying vinyl records, but just look at them instead of playing them? Is there some iPhone vinyl add-on I'm not aware of?

Tomorrow on Slashdot: A sudden increase in the sale of left shoes curiously correlates to a parallel increase in the sale of right shoes.

Re:Wait a second.... (1)

martas (1439879) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350586)

Is there some iPhone vinyl add-on I'm not aware of?

hmm, interesting... *rubs chin*

Re:Wait a second.... (1)

NoPantsJim (1149003) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350610)

As impractical as that would be, the existence of that credit card scanner attachment makes me think it could be done.

Re:Wait a second.... (1)

salmonmoose (1147735) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350676)

As a "modern" vinyl collector, it's not as stupid as you suggest - my vinyl is purchased purely as a collection, the convenience of digital can't be beat but it's nice to own something that isn't cheap and nasty like a CD. Yes there's a digital add-on - most records these days come with download vouchers for digital versions of the music - although notably, I've never encountered one from iTunes (thank teapot).

Re:Wait a second.... (1)

NoPantsJim (1149003) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350700)

It was definitely meant as a joke, but I get what you mean. My dad has cases and cases of vinyl records from his youth just rotting away in the attic.

Re:Wait a second.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30350726)

As a "modern" vinyl collector

You misspelt "massive poseur".

it's not as stupid as you suggest

It's stupid, and you're stupid.

As a "modern" vinyl collector, it's not as stupid as you suggest - my vinyl is purchased purely as a collection

What a tragic waste of absolutely everything - vinyl, skin and oxygen.

Re:Wait a second.... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30350682)

What did you expect would happen, people would start buying vinyl records, but just look at them instead of playing them?

Considering the pretentiousness of the people who buy vinyl, that is a possibility.

Re:Wait a second.... (1)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350692)

I don't think the news is that people are buying turntables to go along with their records. The news is that so many people are buying records that stores are beginning to stock record players again. And that IS surprising!

People are rediscovering quality. They are rediscovering the "old way" where dynamic range matters, where music isn't all dynamically depressed so that everything "plays loud". Really, it's sad, because a CD has the dynamic range to go from a barely audible whisper to something rivaling a jet engine at full power from 30 feet!

But because CDs are universally NOT mixed to take advantage of this, the quiet as well as the loud, records are often given more latitude for musical expression. They are cheap to make, and much of what's available on LP was mixed according to the demands of the song. And there's a mental equation that makes CDs, MP3s, and even cassettes all comparable "digital" tech, the record is obviously not that way. (Yes, I know about cassettes being analong, but I'm talking about market perception)

Sound aficionados then use records to say "I care about sound quality" because of the obvious difference it has to other media. And sadly, despite the technical inferiority, they actually get better sounding music from this much older medium.

Re:Wait a second.... (2, Interesting)

NoPantsJim (1149003) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350750)

I find it has everything to do with the artistic integrity of the musician, and almost nothing to do with money. Pickup a cd from a band like Mastodon [youtube.com] and you'll find it's exquisitely mixed and a real experience to listen to. The 10 minute song "The Czar" from their most recent cd is nothing short of amazing. Conversely, buy something from most big name bands with huge label contracts and it sounds like it's being played through a tin wall on guitars made out of a sponge.

Re:Wait a second.... (4, Funny)

Barny (103770) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350734)

Correlation does not imply causation....

Re:Wait a second.... (1)

NoPantsJim (1149003) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350764)

You're absolutely right. I'm a shithead for implying that most people have one left foot and one right foot.

Re:Wait a second.... (3, Funny)

Barny (103770) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350912)

Thank you, you left out the minorities...

People with only a left foot
People with only a right foot
People with 2 left feet
People named Jake with three legs

Re:Wait a second.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30351208)

> People named Jake with three legs

That's what she said.

-Jake

Re:Wait a second.... (1)

imakemusic (1164993) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350756)

Tomorrow on Slashdot: A sudden increase in the sale of left shoes curiously correlates to a parallel increase in the sale of right shoes.

Don't forget though: correlation does not equal causation. Although in this case I think you might be on to something.

Re:Wait a second.... (0, Flamebait)

AA Wulf (1657459) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350854)

How is this funny? The entire pretense this troll uses for his "funny" post is based on poor reading comprehension. "Consider this sentence..." The summary stated the resurgence of vinyl was curious, not the parallel revival of turntables. What you go on to say after the fact implies the opposite.

Quite obviously it would take a fool to think that this parallel revival was "news," however TFA has little to do with discussing just turntables, but the widespread increase in vinyl records, new turntable models, and so on in popular retailers like Best Buy. TFA is about the spread of this phenomenon from confinement to the corner record store out into the mainstream. The summary is weak, but you'd have realized that had you read TFA rather than skimming the summary, misreading it, and deciding to troll for karma. This is a clear case of EMPF (Epic Mod Point Fail).

Re:Wait a second.... (5, Funny)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350962)

What did you expect would happen, people would start buying vinyl records, but just look at them instead of playing them?

But if you play them you might scratch them, or get dust on them !

Any serious audiophile knows you must never get a disc out of its sleeve. It must remain in timeless perfection to be admired by like minded individuals (wearing gloves), possibly drooling a bit, while extolling the virtues of gold plated power cables.

Re:Wait a second.... (1)

billius (1188143) | more than 4 years ago | (#30351210)

Tomorrow on Slashdot: A sudden increase in the sale of left shoes curiously correlates to a parallel increase in the sale of right shoes.

And as we all know, since correlation != causation, these two events can't possibly have anything to do with one another.

Yearly Dupe? (1)

Dr_Terminus (1222504) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350560)

Seems like there is an article like this posted at least once a year by someone marveling at the "resurgence" of vinyl.

Whats surprising is how close this story follows the announcement by Technics that they're ceasing manufacture of their 1200 and 1210 turntables citing low global analog turntable sales. http://www.slashgear.com/technics-axe-1200-and-1210-turntables-2764581/ [slashgear.com]

Re:Yearly Dupe? (2, Interesting)

u38cg (607297) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350598)

Technics are in the mass market business, and although vinyl is doing things it hasn't done for years, it's always going to be a niche. My uncle builds ridiculously high end record players [recordplayer.com] for a living and he's never been busier, recession or not.

Re:Yearly Dupe? (1)

shaka (13165) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350716)

Whats surprising is how close this story follows the announcement by Technics that they're ceasing manufacture of their 1200 and 1210 turntables citing low global analog turntable sales. http://www.slashgear.com/technics-axe-1200-and-1210-turntables-2764581/ [slashgear.com]

No quite. That was a rumor, the truth is that they're only axing the 1210-MK5, their newest, most luxurious and expensive one, which failed to gain a market.

http://www.skratchworx.com/news3/comments.php?id=1374 [skratchworx.com]

Technics is leaving the market? (3, Funny)

jcr (53032) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350958)

Excellent! That leaves an opening for my half-million dollar turntables with the moonrock platter, musk-ox felt platter isolation pad, maglev suspension, hand-wound drive motor made from .999 fine gold windings and magnets made from civil-war cannonballs, turning a belt made from whale foreskin.

Installation by factory representatives is mandatory. $500/hour per man, minimum crew of 16, travel time included. To ensure that they do the best possible job (you know you can hear the difference), I'll send my crew to you on a private jet.

  And of course, that doesn't include the tonearm or cartridge.

-jcr

Vinyl... (4, Funny)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350564)

for people who think it's not high-quality unless you can hear the artifacts of how low-quality the recording is.

Re:Vinyl... (4, Funny)

jimboindeutchland (1125659) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350590)

back when I was young (early 2k's) I used to listen to a lot of dance music and go to the occasional rave. When I first started going to these gigs, I asked one of my friends why the DJ's used vinyl instead of CD's. She told me that, because the records are analog, you get much better quality sound. I asked a few other people and they all seemed to agree.

I was always a bit skeptical. How can you create electronic music, digitally, on computers etc and then claim that putting them on vinyl somehow magically improves the quality?

I've always thought that people buy vinyl because it's just a bit more romantic. Or they're fucking idiots.

Re:Vinyl... (5, Informative)

hazem (472289) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350662)

back when I was young (early 2k's) I used to listen to a lot of dance music and go to the occasional rave. When I first started going to these gigs, I asked one of my friends why the DJ's used vinyl instead of CD's.

Many years ago I worked at a radio station with mostly records and "carts" (like 8-track tapes); digital music was just becoming available. One thing I noticed was that it was much easier to mix songs and get the beats to mix using the record players. Being able to touch the media as it turned and subtly slow or speed up the records made it really easy to sync the beats. It was really fun to watch the DJs who were particularly good at it.

And there was no good digital interface (4, Interesting)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350978)

At least for a long while. There now is in the form of Final Scratch. What it does is encode a timecode signal on a record, which you then feed to a soundcard. Final Scratch then interprets that timecode to tell what you are doing with the player and can control the speed and seeking of the digital files associated with it. Works great, I've seen it in action a number of times.

Another factor was the processing power for good resampling. These days that is trivial but it wasn't when digital first came about. If you are going to stretch the sound a lot by slowing it down, you need to properly resample the data to make it sound smooth. You'll get nasty artifacts otherwise.

Net result is non-degraded digital sound, with turntable controls. You can reuse the same timecode record quite a few times before ti becomes damaged to the point of having to get a new one.

These days, however, if you aren't scratching and such, software can beat match way better than you can. Songs can be tagged with BPM (or measured) and you can visually set cut points. Not as much fun though.

Re:And there was no good digital interface (4, Informative)

uglyduckling (103926) | more than 4 years ago | (#30351070)

Final Scratch is still missing something. When DJing with Vinyl records, you can get an instant impression of where the breakdowns and build-ups are on the track, just by looking at the density of the grooves. It's possible to do that on a computer screen, but it's _much_ quicker generally to just look at the track, and quicker to pull the needle on and off the record and listen through the headphones to find the right spot. Scratch DJs even put stickers on the record surface to indicate where interesting sounds are.

Re:Vinyl... (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 4 years ago | (#30351074)

>was much easier to mix songs and get the beats to mix using the record players
At the time, yes but now you can buy 'DJ CD Players' which allow scratching (shudder> and can have the speed adjusted just as you could with vinyl.
TBH, most DJ's I know just carry a laptop with all their stuff on it and mixing software and use a combination of pre-programmed sets and the software to blend tracks/adjust bpm etc.

Re:Vinyl... (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350680)

They're both wrong and right simultaneously.

From a pure "how close does this sound to the original" perspective, vinyl isn't that good because the fidelity isn't fantastic compared with CD.

From a "how nice does this sound to my ears" perspective (which is what most people mean when they discuss sound quality) - sound quality on vinyl tends to degrade much more gracefully to the human ear.

What would be particularly interesting would be to compare the soundwave that comes out of the speakers when playing a vinyl album with the equivalent CD - many CDs today are mastered to be very loud, and when the soundwave hits the extremes of its range on a digital medium such as a CD it squares off. The net result sounds absolutely atrocious - but it's also very common.

Re:Vinyl... (4, Informative)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350704)

I've always thought that people buy vinyl because it's just a bit more romantic. Or they're fucking idiots.

DJs buy vinyl because it's a better user interface for mixing. "Scratching" on a CD player is just not the same. Also, many rare tracks come out on vinyl that don't come out on CD (well, this used to be the case).

Re:Vinyl... (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350774)

Well, its all in the sample size/dynamic range.

If you have a cd that has been edited so badly that it only uses at best a quater of its sample size, and compare that to a high quallity analog recording, well I know what will sound better.

Re:Vinyl... (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350796)

"I've always thought that people buy vinyl because it's just a bit more romantic. Or they're fucking idiots."

I'm an old fart, I thought dance DJ's used vinyl so they could put their finger on the record and make it go wuka-wuka-wuka.

Re:Vinyl... (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 4 years ago | (#30351086)

>and make it go wuka-wuka-wuka.
Because usually, wuka-wuka-wuka sounds a hell of a lot better than the track left to its own devices.

Re:Vinyl... (1)

slyn (1111419) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350820)

I was always a bit skeptical. How can you create electronic music, digitally, on computers etc and then claim that putting them on vinyl somehow magically improves the quality?

I've always thought that people buy vinyl because it's just a bit more romantic. Or they're fucking idiots.

Vinyl tends to be mastered better, where 95% of "better" simply means that it is not digitally manipulated to be louder.

You would need a good sound system, a good ear, and some specific songs/soundbytes to be able to get any statistical significance of perceived quality in a double blind vinyl vs 128 kbps AAC test, and 99% of what doesn't sound the same could probably be fixed by upping that number to 160-192 kbps (LAME and the like are overkill for listening, might be appropriate for a digital backup, but I've never read of any legit scientific test showing any sort of statistical significance in favor of lossless to justify using it for everything).

You would be better off spending money on better speakers rather than on vinyls and a player anyday, unless you are into that whole cover art romantic aspect of them.

Re:Vinyl... (1)

MrPloppy (1117689) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350996)

As a regular clubber I can tell you that vinyl sounds much better than mp3 on a club system. Flac or wavs are essential for digital djing. Nothing worse than a DJ playing "thin" mp3s.

Re:Vinyl... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30351052)

How can you create electronic music, digitally, on computers etc and then claim that putting them on vinyl somehow magically improves the quality?

When I first got into the dance music scene about the same period, I had the same question as well. Then I got involved in the industry, and learned this:

1. They're mastered at uncompressed sample depths and bitrates *way* beyond what CDs are at.

2. Analog synth gear is often used as well, and it's not uncommon for masters to get bounced onto 2" tape, which allows for degrees of low-end saturation and loudness compression that isn't easily achievable in straight digital form.

3. The master vinyl cutting process itself, due to the physical dynamics of the cutting head and the material (and likewise with the needle cartridge on playback) introduce subtle distortion characteristics and harmonics which color the audio. These colorations help to fill in the sound when the music is getting blasted at high dB levels out of large cab's in big rooms and make the early reflections and reverb fuller.

Skeptics might claim this is BS, though they've most likely never gone through the experience of having to mix between a vinyl and CD when DJing on a big system. At that scale of loudness, there's an appreciable difference between the two, and typically it requires close attention to EQing on the mixer so that the transition between tracks isn't so glaringly obvious.

Vinyl DRM (0, Troll)

V50 (248015) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350572)

Somewhere, there's a recording executive reading this article and planning on dispatching a team to try to retrofit DRM onto vinyl records somehow.

Which I imagine would be quite a feat for a purely analog medium.

Either that, or said executive is now more paranoid about the "analog hole" than ever before, and now believes that people are turning to vinyl to pirate music somehow.

Re:Vinyl DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30350938)

They did manage it with the analog VHS tapes - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macrovision#Analog_copy_protection

Re:Vinyl DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30351184)

Actually they don't need to bother. Vinyl wears out after a bit so it will need replaced after a a number of plays. Converting vinyl to digital loses so much sound quality on most equipment that the resulting quality is about 128k mp3.

However, I'm sure someone will find a way to try to DRM-ize it on top of the additional limitations of LPs.

My Reason - Loudness War (3, Informative)

merauder (518514) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350578)

I recently ordered a copy of 'Them Crooked Vultures' on Vinyl, sounds fantastic! With the Loudness Wars [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudness_wars [wikipedia.org] ] going on for the last while, music is becoming harder to listen to with all the compression, you lose the dynamics of the recording. I've recently gotten back into vinyl because of this. My ears have been thanking me ever since!

Re:My Reason - Loudness War (1)

dargaud (518470) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350926)

Well, I don't care much about the compression war, but what always drove me crazy about vinyl is the regular 'tick', 'tick' of the scrape that goes round and round every 2 or 3 seconds. I couldn't stand the sound of vinyl even when it was the only thing around (I would only buy tapes at the time). To each his own.

Re:My Reason - Loudness War (1)

uglyduckling (103926) | more than 4 years ago | (#30351078)

What's 'the scrape' that you're talking about? I think you had a broken turntable or damaged records.

Re:My Reason - Loudness War (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30350954)

I wonder if its deliberate that CDs are getting compressed so they are always "hot" and being aimed for amateurs, while LPs are mixed with the full dynamic range. It would make sense because the true audiophiles will need to replace LPs every so often (records only last a few plays before wearing out), keeping a continual money stream, with no DRM needed.

Re:My Reason - Loudness War (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 4 years ago | (#30351100)

>audiophiles will need to replace LPs every so often
Maybe. A lot of audiophiles use DVD-A (or whatever it is called) though as these are generally far better mastered than bog standard CDs. Certainly, most of the more vocal audiophiles I talk to all listen this way and often say much as they like vinyl, DVD-A sounds better.

Re:My Reason - Loudness War (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30351122)

Unfortunately, as much as people (like myself) would like to think record companies give their vinyl releases the proper treatment, but more often than not they attempt to save money (that's the only logical reason I can come up with), and just get the mastering engineer to cut the CD master to vinyl... which, in my mind, truly defies the purpose of buying a record... You expect it to sound different, and you also expect it to be much less clipped or compressed than the CD.
Some surprising examples include:
* Most of The White Stripes' albums except Elephant and Icky Thump (those are the only two with confirmed cutting straight from analog tape, I contacted the UK mastering guys who did White Blood Cells and it was done straight from the CD master)
* The first Raconteurs album
* The Dead Weather - Horehound
* Foo Fighters - Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace (Their debut album is also CD master sourced, on vinyl)

You may wish to ask how I figured it out, for those particular releases... I won't bother explaining, just trust me.

TL;DR: Vinyl isn't always perfect guize!11!one!

A resurgence rather than rebirth (0, Redundant)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350602)

I really don't think that a 1% market share can be counted as a rebirth. What did it get down to at the lowest point? 0.5%? I wonder how long 8 track tapes still sold after the compact cassette became popular.

The format must be helped by the DJs who still use records. Having such a high profile usage of the format must have kept it in the minds of the buying public in a greater way than records, cassettes, reel to reel tapes, 78s, cylinders, and pianola rolls ever had.

And there are some advantages to the format. With a proper pickup (not some cheap crap), the sound is wonderful. 16 bit audio was only ever a feeble approximation of original sound. Also, there is a physical sense to getting a record that CDs never quite had.

But more importantly to the crowd here, record covers were the pre-Internet soft porn for kids. There were some damn fine covers [vinylrecords.ch] (NSFW) back in the day!

Have seen it coming (4, Interesting)

RichLooker (556121) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350630)

Living in Oslo, Norway, I have been watching this trend for some years. The number of shops selling physical CD's is steadily decreasing - either they close or they are converted to DVD- and/or game-shops. At the same time, the number of shops selling vinyl is increasing. Every self-respecting hifi-shop has turntables on display in their windows. And who even buys CD players anymore ? Some years ago, only niche-titles got a vinyl release. Now even chart-topping big names release on vinyl. This ain't a fad. We will all live to see the death of the music CD. The vinyl will live on, as the sole medium for physical distribution. It will serve a distinct market - people with a keen interest in music, sound/hifi and/or collecting records. For these customers, portability and convenience is not high priority. Cover art and lyric booklets are. The music industry will embrace the trend, as piracy / copying will not be an issue. Vinyl rips are too inconvenient to ever threaten digitally distributed music. The vinyl record has outlived the CD in all respects. Some of my oldest CD's - 20-25 years old - are being refused by my CD player. While I have vinyl records from '65 that sound just as fresh today. I buy 30-40 records a year, around 4 out of 5 on vinyl; I select the titles purely based on musical merit, and buy vinyl if available. Luckily bands within the genres I prefer almost always release on vinyl.

Re:Have seen it coming (3, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350966)

The number of shops selling physical CD's is steadily decreasing

It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to buy bits pressed into a plastic disk, when you can get the same bits through your internet connection.

In a few more years, people might realize that they have potable water available in their homes, and quit buying it in pretentious little bottles.

-jcr

Turntables are not reborn (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350632)

People are just starting to realize that digital DJ equipment tends to suck compared to a set of real turntables and a mixer board with crossfader.

Bye-bye analog, bye-bye optical... (1)

Jarnin (925269) | more than 4 years ago | (#30351012)

If you're still spinning records like it's 1989, you're carrying around a flight case containing 2 turntables and 1 multichannel mixing board with cross-fader. You've also got at least 1 amp, two speakers and a box full of various cables, jacks and plugs in case shit breaks. In addition to all that you've got several crates full of records; any self-respecting DJ wouldn't travel with less that 3 crates of the hits, unless they're playing a preselected playlist with no requests.
In order to carry all of this equipment around, you'll be required to have a large car, or van, which means you can't drive a cool sports car to work; you gotta show up in your crappy perv van, complete with the shag carpet interior - or worse - You have to borrow your moms mini van, complete with audio books with Fabio on the cover. And you have to load and unload that equipment not once, not twice, not three times, but FOUR TIMES! Why? Because if you're a mobile DJ your music and equipment isn't insured unless you're doing really well. You haul it to the van, drive to work, haul it into the club, do the gig, haul it back to the van, drive home, then haul it back in the house. I did exactly that from 1993 to 1997, and I swore I'd never do that again.
By 1997 I got my first dual CD player with pitch controls, so I was able to fit all my music and equipment in the trunk and back seat of my car without too many problems. That lasted until 2000, when I quit DJing to get a job as a computer technician.

6 months ago I decided to check into what was new and cool these days. I found a subscription to a CD/MP3 music pool that has all the current songs and remixes for a lot lower price than what I was paying 10 or 15 years ago. I also got a "complete" DJ package in a Numark Omni MIDI Control and a copy of Traktor Pro. Sure, not top-line stuff, but I was amazed at how simple mixing is today.
With beat-grids you don't have to worry about fighting the pitch during a mix; the computer syncs everything. If you need to nudge it a little, there are marked buttons on the controller that work like a charm. In fact, while I'd say the controllers are still early in their design, I can manipulate my music in ways I couldn't even try with CDs or Turntables. Mixing with 4 turntables is exercise. Mixing with 4 audio players was so easy that I wanted to get another 4 players going, but the software is limited to 4.

That said, when I walk into a club now I'm only carrying my backpack (laptop, midi controller, back-up HDD). I drive a MINI Cooper so I had to stop taking jobs at clubs with no sound systems of their own, but I think it's much more enjoyable being a DJ now than it ever was before.

Fad. (5, Interesting)

dreamer.redeemer (1600257) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350636)

A few years ago I worked in a record store where we actually sold more records more than cds. I own a relatively large number of records, contemporary and otherwise. Despite all this, It's my opinion that this is just a fad, one strangely ambling along at a lazy pace. I think the only reason it has been able to gain traction is because people don't realize all the pitfalls of records. To start, yes, records can theoretically sound better, but there are Many things that can get in the way of that: virgin vs. recycled vinyl, cold pressings, warping, dirty or worn stylus, imbalanced tonearm, etc. Even under optimum conditions the quality advantage of a record is gone after 5-8 plays, as friction heat from the stylus literally melts the signal irreparably; from then on, the sound quality will continue to deteriorate with each play. Most people start out saying that they like records because analog sounds better. Then, after I tell them this, their reasoning changes--they like records because the hiss and pops are warm and soothing. The question of quality aside, records are a pain to deal with! You have to handle them carefully, clean them often with specific supplies. After a couple of songs have played, you have to stop what you're doing and flip the record over (don't try putting on a Barry White record, it may set the mood, but only for a few minutes... and hopefully that's regarded as a problem). Some people say they enjoy the whole process involved with records, that by having to do all that work they are able to appreciate the music more. Fine, but personally, having to constantly fidget with the record player interrupts the pleasure I get from listening. Also, consider the weight and space records take up: I estimate about 50 records occupy a cubic foot and weigh at least 25 lbs. On the other hand, you can fit thousands of digital albums in your pocket. Records do have a certain sense of novelty to them, but it wears off fast; digital music is and will remain an incredible thing.

Re:Fad. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30350878)

You touched on the actual reason why vinyl has a market, and that reason is here to stay: Vinyl is complicated. You can't just waltz into a store and buy the perfect turntable. A turntable is never perfect. You can always one-up "the competition". Then you have to add all sorts of fancy dampening widgets to your setup and let's not forget the rituals that surround playing a vinyl record: What you consider an annoying hassle is an audiophile's fetish and an opportunity to distinguish himself from his lesser peers.

Re:Fad. (2, Insightful)

uglyduckling (103926) | more than 4 years ago | (#30351088)

Yes! That's exactly what this is about. You can always upgrade your turntable, get a better cleaning cloth, better speakers. It's about having something that's deliberately mysterious.

Vinyl is more desirable. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30350674)

It makes sense. Vinyl is not seen as distribution anymore but as artwork. The vinyl is going to get more and more popular because it is a presentable form of artwork that has far more class than the CD and a more tangible experience than a digital file. It's also way more fun than a CD to operate and creates a much more interactive environment, especially in a social setting. If every band released their albums in vinyl format, I would purchase everything that I could, simply because I would rather own a vinyl album as a piece of artwork over a CD any day.

That doesn't mean that the CD should go away. I really hope that artists and labels alike see the value in both the CD and the digital file for what they are. Vinyl's resurgence is a guarantee, but the CD's value is not lost on the public if it can be sold as something that's more than just music on a piece of a plastic. Consumers value choice over all else and a CD can be a very inexpensive alternative to those looking for the experience of owning something similar to vinyl without the cost and space expenses of vinyl. Though I think the CD will probably go away after time, but hopefully only because something more appealing has taken its place.

Re:Vinyl is more desirable. (1)

auric_dude (610172) | more than 4 years ago | (#30351116)

Almost a year ago the NYT wrote about the joys of vinyl, is this a seasonal thing? The article (half hidden behind a registration) extolles the virtues of vinyl and how it can be used to better your social life by following the story of Melissa Walker of Brooklyn after discovering vinyl records in crates, and she has made playing them part of her life. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/02/technology/techspecial2/02table.html?_r=1 [nytimes.com]

Our demands for fidelity has been lowered. (1)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350786)

Compared to your average mp3, wma or other lossy compression algorithms coupled with very bad mixing in studios vinyl sounds better in many cases. Vinyl vs CD is more a matter of taste but all in all we dont really care if whats comes out of the speakers sounds like nails on a blackboard.

Its no coincidence that hifi has been declining lately. You have to search like a mad to find a recording worthy of a good hifi setup. I often find myself cringe when i put a pop CD into my rig because its obvious its been compressed and processed for crappy systems. Everything seems tailored for iPods, mobiles and micro systems. Sadly that makes it sound like crap on a good system.

Re:Our demands for fidelity has been lowered. (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30351196)

ok lets compare your vinyl record after you've played it 1000 times. oic not so hot now is it.

it's a touch-screen of the music man (4, Interesting)

Gopal.V (532678) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350842)

It's not really becoming popular because it is better to hear music off one. The vinyl turntable is a performance instrument all of its own.

About a year back I ran into someone who had a vinyl turntable hooked into Ubuntu studio. He'd essentially use the turntable [flic.kr] hooked into the MIDI port(?) which lets him control any soundtrack with a touch of his finger.

The guy was explaining how the user interface of a turntable supersedes anything else out there for what he's doing. That in some sense, it's the touch screen of the music man.

Re:it's a touch-screen of the music man (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30351098)

There's a number of apps (and gear) nowdays that use special vinyl records with an audio time-code cut into it. The audio signal (which is the time code) goes into a computer or hardware which then converts the time-code so that it controls wavs and MP3 via software. It started back in the late 90's with Final Scratch released by Stanton, and since then Serato Scratch and Traktor Scratch were released by competitors. There's also an open source app, Mixx, which is able to use the time-code vinyl of these products. I've never heard of anyone converting the audio-time code to straight midi, if that's what this guy was doing, but it sounds entirely feasible if that was what one wanted to do.

I need turntable to digitize by old vinyl (1)

johnsonlam (912562) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350920)

I listen my vinyl music on my iPhone. Main reason for vinyl -- before recording the audio to CD, the CDDA audio was "pre-processed", usually a simple +10db gain, to make the sound almost clip, the worsen sound was not revers-able. I have 70% of my own song digitize by myself, with proper encoding in 48KHz, CD just let me down.

BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE STUPID THAT'S WHY !! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30350928)

People are stupid. Nothing to see or hear here, except fingerprints and scratches and ticks and pops.

Vinyl?! How absurd! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30351022)

I prefer to the warm, dulcet buzzes and clicks of wax cylinders played on a phonograph. I have refined and sophisticated sensibilities that preclude me from listening to music on an inferior medium such as vinyl.

It's because of the ALBUMS! (1)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 4 years ago | (#30351114)

Haven't you ever called a collection of songs by the same artist an album? What is an album? When I think of album, I think of the really good ones, you know, the ones that sell like a million copies. Don't they call that, "having a gold album"?

You can't call an album anything else, or else it's something different. Yet that's what everyone calls them... well... other than records.
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