Enlighten me, audiophiles: why is vinyl better?
Stacks of albums in peach crates...or every song you every owned on a wafer-thin machine?
Pure, crisp audio...or scratches, clicks and whirs?
Push a button and spin your thumb to change an album...or physically get off the couch and do it yourself?
For many the choices are obvious: digital music makes our life easier, our tunes more accessible. And, for the life of many of us who traded our turntables for IPods, we don't get the passion for vinyl.
Not for a second.
Having lived through the Kenner Close-'n-Play, the early years of Hi-FI and the birth of stereo as well as the switch to digital technology, I can honestly say there isn't a day that passes that I long for times gone by. I don't miss speakers the size of garages. I don't miss towers of components taking up half the living room or basement. And how hard was it, as your music collection grew, to find space for those crates and crates of albums?
There are those, both old and young, who pine for the old days. They say vinyl is "warmer". They say albums just plain sound better.
I say "ca-ca".
I'm all for anything that makes the musical experience easier, better, clearer and more convenient. The industry did it's best to thwart the spread of digital (as it did when tape, cassettes and other prior new technologies came along). It was THEN that you knew we were on to something.
And, the tweaks apparently are still coming. Neil Young (yes, THAT Neil Young) says Steve Jobs preferred vinyl to his own digital creation, but was still working on a way to hone his creations and amplify the sound.
Mr. Jobs was entitled to take in his tunes in any way he saw fit. Lots of the rest of us, though, thank him for turning our turntables into museum pieces.
And, let's hope others pick up his digital banner and keep making a good thing even better.