College Students Discuss Why They Love Vinyl
As lovers of all things vinyl, we're not surprised in the least that records experienced their best sales in years in 2014. The resurgence of vinyl is no doubt largely contributed to young listeners who may have thousands of MP3s on their iTunes, but are also investing in serious physical collections.
USA Today went to the source of millennials' newfound fondness for vinyl, drawing upon input from college students around the country on why they love vinyl -- from the superior sound quality to the thought required to curate a collection to suit your preferences.
“It’s so easy to hit shuffle on your iPod or put your phone on your favorite Pandora station as you walk around,” wrote Justin Stafford, a student at Louisiana State University. “With vinyl, playing music takes time and focus. The act of picking an album to listen to takes thought.”
“You have to analyze your mood and emotions to select the appropriate one,” he continues. “Carefully putting the needle onto the record takes patience and precision, two things we all must learn. It’s like meditation.”
However, not all students are so sentimental about vinyl.
“[Collecting vinyl is] stupid the way collecting stamps is stupid, or the way that dumpster diving for antiques is stupid,” Boston University’s Ross Hsu wrote for the university’s student newspaper, the Daily Free Press. “It’s just a hobby. It’s worse than a hobby. It is a sick addiction and a sad, pathetic money-suck with little reward -- but oh, how truly sweet that reward is.”
“I can tell you with full confidence that vinyl isn’t in any way better than digital music,” he adds. “It isn’t better than CDs. It doesn’t sound ‘fuller’ or ‘warmer.’”
“But I don’t want to hear the best version. I want to hear my vague and mysterious early-'80s European reprint of ‘Zeppelin IV,’” Hsu explains. “I want to accidentally drop the needle too quickly, ruining the entry grooves and adding to the LP’s battle scars. I want to wonder about previous owners and why they would ever let go of such neat records. I want to enter a record store looking for nothing at all and leaving with a bag of mystery music.”
However, Occidental College’s Soraya Sebghati disagrees with Hsu's initial statement, saying there is something to the warmth and fullness of vinyl.
“There’s nothing that really compares to the sound of a record,” Sebghati wrote. “When listening to an MP3 recording, you don’t get the full spectrum of sound, and you don’t hear the music as it was intended to be heard.”
For others, it’s simply about connecting with their favorite artists.
“Just as the digital age realizes our wish to constantly access our favorite artists, we hanker still for the tangible connection to artists,” wrote a University of Stratclyde student under the pen name Calvin Hobbes. “We attend concerts, still, to connect. Many among us, too, still enjoy the presence on our shelves of records.”
What do you think of these students' assessments of vinyl? Do you agree? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!