Remembering: Vinyl

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January 10, 2011 by DJ Elroy

Last month Panasonic officially pulled the plug on Technics turntable production. But it’s been a long time coming, right? I’d shed a tear for old times sake, but really, who spins vinyl anymore? The turntablists are the only ones that still ride these dinosaurs, and even they are starting to see the light of the digital revolution. You just can’t deny it anymore.

I’ve been jockin’ the CDJs since about 2005 and have been piecing together a digital setup over the past few months. I don’t miss paying $10 for a song or two. I don’t miss carrying a box of records like a shirpa across a sweaty dancefloor. I don’t miss the bumped decks, hairy needles, or scratched records.

But I do miss vinyl. Sure, the sound was better, no arguing that. But now that almost everyone has gone digital, who even notices the difference?

And the ability to pick up and drop in on the fly? It’s not the same with digital. But I’ve learned to cope. And it’s not so bad, right? Hot queues are fun.

The one thing that digital will never replace is the collectible aspect. The sense of owning. Really, how much is your 10,000 track digital library worth to somebody else? Nothing!

I miss the hunt. Digging at the record shops, the goodwill, garage sales, friends’ basements. Sure, you’ve got to search around for some digital cuts online. But you do it all from your bedroom. You aren’t able to go “out in the field” and search for treasure. You don’t get that face-to-face interaction with other music lovers. Remember the satisfaction of finding that rare gem in the back bin of the record shop? When was the last time you got that feeling with a digital track?

To me, collecting vinyl was like baseball cards. They weren’t infinite. There were rare ones, promos, limited editions, white labels, etc. You could trade them with friends or keep them wrapped and covered. Remember when you’d get that giddy feeling of being the only one in town to have a copy? Remember when getting a promo copy actually meant something? Now the only original tunes you’ve got are the ones you’ve made yourself.

Vinyl, you will be missed.

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