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"I Swapped Spotify for Vinyl and It Changed My Life"

watchnerd

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"I listen to music every single day—it’s one of my favorite things in life. I also bought my first turntable a few months ago and have wondered what it’d be like to only listen to vinyl for an entire week. So recently, I did just that and I have a lot of thoughts about the experience.

My history with music is lifelong. As far back as I can remember, I’ve always had some means of listening to it within arm’s reach. I even shamelessly toted around one of those ridiculous binders full of CDs. I was thrilled when I could finally upgrade to an iPod, and I’m pretty sure I actually cried tears of joy when streaming music services were first announced.

But as I’ve spent more and more time with Spotify (and eventually, SiriusXM, Tidal, and YouTube Premium), I think I slowly started to take music for granted. It eventually became background noise to me, like an accessory I had to have yet never paid much attention to anymore. I was thinking about all of this recently, and it hit me how desperate I was to do something about it and reconnect with music."

 

Cbdb2

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If vinyl changes your life you need to get one. Probably just me but I don't understand how the delivery system (other than SQ) changes how one reacts to the music, for me its just about the music. Touching stuff, cleaning a record, looking at glowing leds and tubes or music videos, more distraction than anything else. Guess I'm just used to listening to music with my ears and I don't need incentive to concentrate on the music.
 

MattHooper

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If vinyl changes your life you need to get one. Probably just me but I don't understand how the delivery system (other than SQ) changes how one reacts to the music, for me its just about the music. Touching stuff, cleaning a record, looking at glowing leds and tubes or music videos, more distraction than anything else. Guess I'm just used to listening to music with my ears and I don't need incentive to concentrate on the music.

Human perception is complex, as anyone on this site should know, hence there are all sorts of influences in how one person may experience something vs another. I enjoy looking at a nice garden. But I hate gardening. I have a friend who is in to gardening. For him all the work enhances his appreciation of his garden. For me, if I had to devote that amount of work to my garden I'd never want to look at a flower again.
Different strokes and all that.

I had an experience just like that author's, where the ubiquitous nature of digital music (it's on my phone, my desktop computer, in my car, coming from our kitchen smart speaker...) made it start to feel disposable, background, like wallpaper. And the endless choice via my music server had me "surfing" music, looking for the next track rather than really getting to know artists and albums.

Getting back in to vinyl cured my "music ADD" just like that author experienced. It really did help transform, or at least, re-envigorate my "critical" music listening and raised the fun I got from my system. Now my son likes to accompany me to record stores - he loves the whole scene, people mingling in record stores, all those cool physical objects - a scene he'd never grown up with, but it had natural appeal once he experienced it. He can listen to any music he wants on his laptop or phone, but he was jumping with glee when I gave him a physical copy of a Thundercat album he wanted. It was a gorgeous package and he couldn't wait to spin it on the hi fi system.

Just as in the gardening example, to you this may all be distraction and detriment; for me the deliberation and dedication it takes to track down, "care for" and play LPs means the LPs I own are ones I love, rather than endlessly building up "favorites" on my streaming service that I rarely go back to or even remember. And it enhances my focus when listening when I can't just flick through endless songs.

I almost find it strange when people don't understand these type of psychological factors.

You can find plenty of interviews with new artists and bands putting out vinyl, how much it means to them to have their music end in a physical product that they (and their fans) can hold in their hands, something concrete, rather than the music just sort of being released in to the digital ether. My brother's music is on all the streaming platforms, but he was never as excited as when his LPs were pressed.
 
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Triliza

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I understand what you mean, the other day I wrote this on the trying to understand vinyl thread (I'll quote myself because it's morning in here).

"Never had anything to do with turntables and vinyls, but I can think of three things that I'd probably like about that. The artwork of some records, physically going through your collection and choosing something you'd like to listen to, and given the hassle to change to something else, the imposed necessity to listen to the whole record without getting the itch to skip and mix and match tracks."

I guess I am feeling that need you describe. Fidelity wise it's a downgrade imo, but we adapt pretty quickly to that. And to build a good collection of music must be expensive and need the space to house it. So while personally I don't see myself going that way, I feel for you and it's great it had such positive impact on your relation with music.
 

MattHooper

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Cool.

It's like how a lot of people like to bring "real" books to read on vacations, or to just curl up on the sofa with a real book, rather than reading on an iPad or whatever. It just makes reading books more appealing. It's one reason physical books never went away like some assumed they might when the kindle showed up. Plus, and this is a big thing, spinning vinyl, like reading a paperback book, is a wonderful way to unplug from digital life for a while. Working on screens all day, with screens tugging for my attention all the time (my phone, my car's wretched dashboard "infotainment system" screen etc), it's just nice to take a break, listen to music and not have to interact with yet another g*d d*amned computer system or screen.
 

DanielT

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Yes yes, BUT she seems to be young. I ignore what she imagines about the sound quality but state she has grown up during a time when turntables are part of the HiFi / sound mythology. A relic from the past, apparently loaded with magical powers.:)

How is it that most people who had turntables at the time BEFORE CD players now use streaming?

Having said that. I like vinyl, turntables to play with the record albums. The feeling. But then in the same way as if I had a vintage car. A veteran car I would drive for fun, for the feeling. Now and then. But for everyday driving I would have a modern car.:)
(I have a turntable but no vintage car)

Edit:
I listen to music in a different way if I listen to physics media (CDs, Vinyl) compared to streaming. Do not know what is the "best" way to listen. But on the other hand, it does not really matter.:)
 

Vict0r

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I enjoy reading the song lyrics in a cd booklet or vinyl sleeve while listening to an album front to back. I sit in my lazy chair and do nothing else. No other distractions. When I'm working behind my PC I fire up Spotify. There's room for both. :)
 

EJ3

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"I listen to music every single day—it’s one of my favorite things in life. \
I don't know about it all being vinyl (the vast majority of mine is, second would be CD/DVD/Blu Ray/Ultra HD disks, third would be cassette/R2R. All of what I listen to is physical media unless it is just for background noise, then it is the FM on the tuner in my system. I still refuse to pay for things I don't physically own and cannot take with me. Perhaps it's a tactic to how I keep myself debt free.
 

DanielT

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For the feeling. Of course. There are even those who use vinyl as art.:)

Also, if you are going to go the turntable road then go ALL the way .... Bothu from the thread, #25:


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FrantzM

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Hi.

Hope this is not construed as crapping on a thread but rather of a , very , contrarian view:

Interesting experiences. Very , very personal. I understand the singing paeans to Vinyl and the ritual associated with playing it ... These however don't, can't reflect the view of the majority, I would guess 99.999999%, of the world population. This is not because of the lack of fidelity of the medium. No! It is because it no longer accomplishes itself as well of its primary function, as the now commonly available digital alternatives: Music is an art form enjoyed by the world population, for so many societal and human functions. Vinyl was an intermediary step into bringing Music to the people. We are past it/them/LP... just like we are past mechanical watches... I for one, love my mechanical, inaccurate watches and have a few, whose value for me, is certainly not into what should have been their primary function, which is to tell the time. Same with Vinyl.
If it floats someone's boat.. then fine, but it doesn't do much for music reproduction or in bringing it to most.
Since making of Spotify my primary music source, I have never enjoyed so much music (and enjoyed music so much) in my 5 decades of very passionate music listening .
Sorry.

peace.
 
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DanielT

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... We are past it/them/LP... just like we are past mechanical watches... I for one, love my mechanical, inaccurate watches and have a few, whose value for me, is certainly not into what should have been their primary function, which is to tell the time. Same with Vinyl...

Spot on. Most active here at ASR know Vinyl and the sound quality, compared to streamed. Of course everyone knows what a huge range of music for hardly any money at all, a few kicks away, that one can now enjoy nowadays. Having said that. Just check here how many people use turntables:

Replies:234
Views:19K

That says a lot.:)


Most of the music I listen to is via Spotify and, or internet radio.:)
 

FrantzM

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Trying hard not to derail the thread. Could be my last post in it:

I have more than 1500 LPs and two Turntables, both in excellent shape: my late father's Yamaha YP-D8, and a Technics SP-10 MK-II with a Technics EPA something arm, various cartridge's from Grado, Denon, Pioneer, even a Koetsu... somehwere in the house. I thought at one point I would listen to vinyl... I haven't and probably never will. I am at the point where I am very conscious of our lifetime being finite and the time of its end, random and so unknowable. I loooooove music... I , thus listen to music , to a lot of it with the utmost objective accuracy I have access to and with a budget I define (such budget is not the outrageous nonsense spewed by High End Audio and its ecosystem/magazine/blogs...). I stream music, Spotify in particular, I also have Apple Music., these provide me a never-ending stream,:) pun intended, of discovery and joy... I am not sure Vinyl, or actually any physical media could provide that to me. It might, to others.

Enjoy the music and the experience any way you see fit..
I am out.

Peace
 
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TBone

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Interesting experiences. Very , very personal. I understand the singing paeans to Vinyl and the ritual associated with playing it ... These however don't, can't reflect the view of the majority, I would guess 99.999999%, of the world population. This is not because of the lack of fidelity of the medium. No! It is because it no longer accomplishes itself as well of its primary function ...

The primary function of streaming, to the masses, is simply convenience, certainly not sound quality. Just like radio, 99.999999% of worlds population dont give a rats behind about SQ, or this hobby in general, never mind vinyl. LP sales in this area has been growing for years, new local pressing plants built to meet increased demand (while employing many) ... while cd sales have long been dead.
 

FrantzM

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The primary function of streaming, to the masses, is simply convenience, certainly not sound quality. Just like radio, 99.999999% of worlds population dont give a rats behind about SQ, or this hobby in general, never mind vinyl. LP sales in this area has been growing for years, new local pressing plants built to meet increased demand (while employing many) ... while cd sales have long been dead.
Did promise but you had to pull me back...
Not being pedantic but...
Convenience is not a function, it is an attribute. Streaming' function is to deliver music (and some other media), and it acquits itself of such, with a level of convenience unmatched in human history.

Really out this time...

Peace.
 

pjn

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Cool.

It's like how a lot of people like to bring "real" books to read on vacations, or to just curl up on the sofa with a real book, rather than reading on an iPad or whatever. It just makes reading books more appealing. It's one reason physical books never went away like some assumed they might when the kindle showed up. Plus, and this is a big thing, spinning vinyl, like reading a paperback book, is a wonderful way to unplug from digital life for a while. Working on screens all day, with screens tugging for my attention all the time (my phone, my car's wretched dashboard "infotainment system" screen etc), it's just nice to take a break, listen to music and not have to interact with yet another g*d d*amned computer system or screen.
There is the nostalgia factor too - regardless of convenience or fidelity, the process of listening to vinyl transports me back a long time to living in a single room with a decentish (for me) audio system where listening to a record was a luxury and generated calm. In my memory, I was always blissfully happy (I'm sure I wasn't ) and its nice to go back there. Having said, that, I hardly ever go to the effort of pulling out a record and stream music from qobuz or ripped CDs.
 

Sgt. Ear Ache

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I completely understand the fetishistic appeal of the artifact. I'm still that way with books. I also understand the nostalgia factor, even to a younger person who didn't experience vinyl in it's heyday. Things have a tendency to "come back around" for a while. Nothing wrong with it at all...have fun. But there's nothing intrinsic to any specific format that makes it more "musical" and any suggestion that vinyl is a better way to enjoy music than any other way would be pretty silly...in fact, the only thing vinyl really has in it's favor is the artifact appeal and nostalgia. It certainly isn't convenient or portable and the sound quality is demonstrably not better than any other format except maybe cassettes.
 
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