From LP to mp3

Music storage. “I think music is meant to evolve and grow with the times, and although I love the old stuff, there’s new music being produced that’s good too and there always will be newer things coming out. And the stuff that’s really good will always survive the changing times”, says record collector sophomore Savannah Lipinski.

After more than 100 years trapping music in objects like wax rolls, long plays, tapes, CD’s, and, finally, mp3 devices, many people still appeal to music formats and devices that actually have never gone away. For some it is a great hobby to have collect the old industry material, and for others it is just a matter of better sound quality.

The music industry started running in the 40’s, when the first LP was released. Even though it’s popularity dropped since CD’s were create, records survived and the noise of the needle on the vinyl still gives some people the goose bumps.

“I like how records are really personal, like there is artwork, how you can really get the feeling of a whole album. You don’t get that by buying one or two songs on iTunes” says senior James Stortz, who has been collecting records since last summer.

Like Stortz says, sound quality is not the only thing that people appreciate in LP’s. The big cases gave enough room to allow the artists to come up with creative, artistic covers, different from the compact CD cases.

Senior Will Boelts has the same hobby. He has been collecting records for two years. Like Stortz, he likes the art work and also to have a physical copy of music. “It feels more concrete,” he says. His brother used to collect them too, and Boelts thought it was pretty cool, so he started his own collection. “It kind of makes it [listening to records] more special once you are not allowed to listen to it all the time,” he said about listening to records. Lipinski disagrees about not being able to listen to the music she likes all the time. “It is a let down because I don’t spend very much time at home where I’m able to listen to records,” she says.

Lipinsky enjoys dealing with people whenever she wants to get a new album. “A lot of it [of how special collecting records is] is just being able to pick up a record, feel it and see it go, but also when you go into a store to buy records you get a chance to talk to people about what’s good and get suggestions. You get exposed to so much more music whereas you don’t get that experience downloading it”, she says.

John Rohlf owns a business in Cedar Falls and part of it is dedicated to music. He has been selling records and other formats of music for about 19 years. When asked about why he chose to work with music, he can’t even say when his passion for it started. He had the influence of his three older sisters and a brother. They used to buy lots of records and he started to listen their music, so he started purchasing them too.

John Rohlf owns a business in Cedar Falls and part of it is dedicated to music. He has been selling records and other formats of music for about 19 years. When asked about why he chose to work with music, he can’t even say when his passion for it started. He had the influence of his three older sisters and a brother. They used to buy lots of records and he started to listen their music, so he started purchasing them too.

“I feel like [selling music] it is helping to spread art and culture,” he said about having part of his business dedicated to music.

Another surprise is that the fact that people downloading music doesn’t interfere that much in his business. “Most of the stuff is older and a lot of young people have told me that they don’t really like new music.  I’m sure it has some effect on my business, but they also like how it sounds better as opposed to listening to it through a headphone. A lot of kids are finding out what quality sound is and how having stereo speakers make the difference,” he said.

The record market dropped until the point that, according to Rohlf, there are only or four pressing plants left in the United States. But good news is that the production has doubled since last year, with 4 million records produced. Although he doesn’t get lots of new music, Rohlf said that he has been noticing that lots of new bands have been putting up vinyl too.

Different from most music stores, Rohlf doesn’t deal as much with distributors. He gets most of the material he sells from collector friends or people that want to get rid of their records. Most of those records are from bands from the 60s like Pink Floyd, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, The Who and many others. “I get them everywhere. I’m starting to have more people bringing them in, or they call me and I go to their house, their basement, and their attic to get the records. I also buy sealed albums that are not on the internet. I like that.”

“The cassettes still go. A lot of people still have them in their vehicles. I do,” he also says.

Records may be coming back, after all. “I definitely would bring records back. I think they are already coming back,” Stortz said.

Music seems to carry a much longer story and bigger passion that we might realise. Next time you get your music, you will maybe consider to try new formats and find out a totally new experience.

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