LPs have been obsolete for such a long time

I Googled the term and, yes, it is. Vinyl is very much like the color of black licorice, and an LP is about the size of a pizza. I’ve never heard the term in reference to a pizza. That may be because LPs have been obsolete for such a long time.

No, they aren’t:

That 17 million vinyl records were sold in the first six months of last year doesn’t mean the format isn’t obsolete; it’s still a tiny fraction of overall music sales.

Vinyl vs Digital: Which Sounds Better?

> ## Hi-Fidelity
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> Jason Corey, recording engineer and professor of performing arts technology at the University of Michigan says that by almost every objective measure, given an acceptable bitrate (the amount of data per second the audio file contains), digital is going to be superior to vinyl. What are those objective measures? Corey lists four:
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> Distortion: A measure of how well the recording represents the original source.
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> Noise: Any sound you don’t want to hear in a recording, caused by dust on the album or small scratches in the vinyl, for example.
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> Frequency response: How well and how evenly the recording reproduces the very lowest and very highest frequencies of the original source.

The most damning criticism of vinyl is that, as soon as the needle begins to traverse the grooves, friction produces wear, and wear produces a degradation of sound.

Sometimes, because of our feelings, we confuse nostalgia with relevance. Vinyl sound reproduction is obsolete for several compelling reasons, and wear and tear is only one of them.

Oh here we go! Round snd round and round. Any discussion of recorded music is practically guaranteed to slip off the rails into “your favorite medium sucks!” “Yours does!”

And now it

(Part 2)
And now it’s my turn. I own a lot of records, was never tempted to replace them with CDs, they haven’t worn out because I’m good to them, as anyone should be. I see no advantage to “perfect sound forever”, nobody is forever. I don’t compare different media because I’m not a square. I understand that listening to music (or recorded comedy, or records of old steam locomotives) is about your connection to the material, not what the s/n ratio or how many hertz your rig is capable of. I even started looking for old 8-tracks after someone gave me a bunch. Some of them aren’t that bad, and who knew that Victor Buono had a recording career and beside being a charming fellow he was, if not a GOOD singer, he at least tried as hard to sound good as anyone who only did songs about being a fat guy would ever be expected to (Allan Sherman and who else?) Point being, this 8-track fell out of the sky that I guarantee you’d pass up, I certainly would have but somehow I didn’t and my life has been enhanced measurably, a very small measure to be sure but not nothing. And that’s why CDs suck.

I didn’t say vinyl “sucks”. It is, in fact, quite charming in its own way. I said it is obsolete. Enjoying something that is generally obsolete isn’t a character flaw, so my statement was not meant in any way as an attack or even a criticism. Books are obsolete, yet I enjoy beautiful mornings on my balcony reading books. Yes, I have all the digital stuff, but I still enjoy having a book in my hands and turning its pages.

What definition of “obsolete” are you using? The most common definitions I could find involve being “no longer used,” which is demonstrably not the case with vinyl and even less so with books.

I’d be interested in seeing a cite for that.

It’s not that I suspect lots and lots of people are buying vinyl; it’s that I wonder what “overall music sales” looks like nowadays, and whether “kids these days” are even buying music as opposed to listening to it through streaming services.

Here you go.

This seems to be specific to U.S. sales. It cites vinyl as accounting for 6.6% of music sales in 2021, compared to digital subscription/streaming at 83.8%, downloaded digital music at 4.2%, and CDs at 2.4%.

Ah, so they’re counting paid digital subscription/streaming services as music “sales.”

That doesn’t seem right to me. You’re not buying music, just access to it.

Obsolete things are often still in use, although supplanted by newer technology. But I don’t think the term is usually used for something that is still in active production. Which, as you say, is certainly still the case for vinyl & books.

I suppose you might make an argument that all current production is for nostalgic rather than functional reasons?

This is how artists make money for their music these days. If it doesn’t count as “sales” then the sales numbers don’t mean much.

Yes, and some of them also make money from concert tickets and merch sales, so why isn’t that a part of “music sales”?

The numbers from that article are about how much is being spent by consumers for access to different forms of recorded music. One of those forms (the one accounting for 5/6 of the spending today) doesn’t give the owner actual “ownership” of a physical item, or even a digital file. But, that’s how the industry is calculating it. shrug

If streaming doesn’t feel like “buying music” to you, I get it; I, myself, still prefer to actually buy the digital files for an album I want, or even, sometimes, still a CD. If you want to look only at sales share for formats in which the buyer winds up “owning” something, then as it turns out, vinyl is actually the single biggest format now.

Vinyl (LP’s) were better in the old days. Then there was an oil crisis during the 70’s and as a result quality of LP’s began to suck. They became much thinner, scratched easily, and wore out more quickly. The vinyl was full of impurities and became more susceptible. to pops & scratches.

Result; enter the CD. Still an excellent music source. And it will provide you with a jacket that as a rule notes contributing musicians etc.

Vinyl is still available and has made somewhat of a comeback in recent years. The problem is that due to supply chain issues the cost of buying vinyl makes it prohibitive for most.

A lot of people stream music. For me personally, I have no interest in that. As mentioned, I like the jacket that contains pertinent information about the artist, supporting musicians, production & engineering . . . Many people don’t care about this. They just aren’t into music to that extent—they just want sound into their ears. That’s fine. I’ve never understood cricket. To each . . .

The thing to remember about all of this is that whatever your choice to receive music; none of it matters if your music system is crap. You can have the highest quality vinyl or non-lossy file and it will still sound like shit if you aren’t listening to it with a decent sound system.
Getting back to streaming for a second, it’s only been within the past couple years that most streaming services switched over to streaming non lossy formats. In other words, streamers weren’t getting all the music. A bit like reading a document with parts of it redacted. Last I heard, Spotify was still streaming lossy format. But at the moment they seem to have other problems to spend their energy on.
And again, listening to a lossy format or not makes no difference depending on your sound system (read, cost of it). I will grant that even on good systems very few will discern the difference provided they’re using a good quality MP3 such as 320-360 Kbs.

As for me. With the cost of vinyl being so high I’m looking for a resurgence of the CD and to hopefully see them installed in cars once more. Probably a dream. Trouble is, the infotainment system screen takes up so much damn room.

I would say horse-drawn carts are an obsolete transportation technology, despite their continued production and use by the Amish. Similarly, black powder rifles are obsolete weapons, but are still actively produced for a niche market. Ditto plate armour.

I think just because something is still produced for and consumed by a niche group, doesn’t stop it from being obsolete. I favour a “No longer in general use” definition.

I don’t think “nostalgia” captures groups like the Amish, but in general I’d agree with you, and it would cover the cases of Civil War and Mediaeval re-enactment I hinted at above.

The physical jacket, or the information? Because you can still get all that info for streaming music.

Speaking of “Licorice Pizza” (which I’ve never heard anyone say, and I suspect they made up for the movie)… there was (is?) a CD/DVD store in Seattle called Silver Platters. Another clever name that I bet no one ever used in real life.

“Silver Platters” would apply even moreso to LaserDiscs… talk about your obsolete technology.

It was, in fact, the name of a record store chain in southern California.