The LP sales surge continues year after year, and Amazon's turntable numbers are ramping up, so I was taken aback by stories of new LP buyers not listening to their new tunes. According to the BBC, nearly half of LPs sold aren't listened to! That number seems absurdly high, but even if the actual percentage is lower, it's still disconcerting. I've heard some new-to-vinyl buyers don't even own a turntable, but I'm hoping one might be in their future.
Vinyl is cool, much hipper than streaming or even a high-res download, and the tactile experience of holding album cover art in your hands is a very different experience than looking at the art on a screen.
Non-listening LP buyers aren't a new phenomenon; a lot of older record collectors fetishize LP jackets more than the LPs inside the sleeves. I also know a lot of collectors who buy so many records they never have time to listen to all of them!
My Facebook friends had plenty to say on the subject. One said "I sometimes buy two LP's. One to play and one to keep sealed for down the road as an investment." Another said, "I like going to garage sales where I can often find records for incredibly cheap prices. Sometimes they then wait to be played for a day, a week, or 20 years."
Best quote: "I put them in the freezer and cryogenically freeze them for 30 years, then I play them." Another quipped "Young people leave them sitting around to reaffirm their hipness, both to others and themselves."
Some buy used LPs with the intention to later sell at a profit, and never listen to them! Some folks immediately transfer vinyl to digital, and never play the LP again. One guy covered his roof with LPs instead of shingles!
Yes, it's all true -- but the fact is turntable sales are up, and Amazon sales numbers are booming. I doubt too many folks are just buying turntables as decorations!
What about you? Do you buy LPs you never listen to? I'd love to hear from readers about that. And vinyl collectors, what are you interested in? To be fair, I have to ask: do you buy CDs or downloads and never play them either? Tell us why.
I'd love to see your audio system or home theater.
If you have a state-of-the-art high-end system, or a lovable cobbled-together hi-fi, portable music player and headphones, desktop or nifty home theater system we'd love to see it. Grab a couple of shots, and I'll pick a bunch of the best ones and run them on an Audiophiliac blog in later this month.
Send JPEGs (no larger than (900 by 1,200 pixels) to Audiophiliac at GMX dot com, and list the gear in the system. Of course, anyone submitting should be comfortable with having their photos publicly posted online "forever after." Please include your name (first name and first initial of your last name).