Posted on Thu, 14 May, 2015
Posted by Peter


A recent post on the news website Salon caught our eye this week…

When does a record collection become a burden?

WEDNESDAY, MAY 13, 2015, Sell your records, sell your soul?: How I learned to stop hoarding and embrace the cloud

The article raises some very good points about the fine line between hoarding and collecting, the grey area between a hobby and an obsession.

At Audio Affair, we love our vinyl, and it has it’s place… but streaming, online storage and the cloud has changed the musical landscape.

“More disturbing, after all this time in boxes, I haven’t missed many of these records. When I have them in front of me, I’m more likely to give them a spin; otherwise, it’s often out of sight, out of mind.”

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Now that streaming and digital storage has arrived, how many neglected records or CDs sit in your collection unplayed, untouched for years…?

“This mind-set is why I get frustrated by the lack of deep discovery options on many streaming services. I like finding buried treasure, as it were, rediscovering dusty gems that catapult a record back into my listening rotation. That’s the advantage of brick-and-mortar record stores, and of having such a huge collection–you never know what you’re going to find.”

But equally, with streaming, are there limitations on what new music a service can present to you?

Will there ever be a replacement for the recocmendations made by record store staff on lazy Saturday mornings?

There are some albums that every collection should feature, whether it's vinyl, CD, digital... Or just in your head

There are some albums that every collection should feature, whether it’s vinyl, CD, digital… Or just in your head

We love Vinyl, but we also love the simplicity and accessibility of streaming. With so much music available at the click of the button, this presents another problem:

When playing vinyl in the Audio Affair store, it takes a certain amount of concentration to choose the right record, to debate back and forth the merits of the artist…

Then someone has to get up and put the record on. Then it’ll finish and someone will have to leave a desk to turn the record over, or repeat the process with another LP.

There’s a real involvement from all parties in choosing vinyl in the shop, it’s a bit of a ritual…

Mike and Richard (and pretty much every other Audio Affair employee) hate it when Joe reaches for ‘We Can’t Dance’ for the umpteenth time, but Joe loves that record and even the staff can appreciate the musicality of the album. Likewise when Mike reaches for Stevie Ray Vaughn and and tells the famous ‘helicopter crash’ story for the millionth time, even if we know the details in and out we still go through the motions and pay attention to the music.

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On the flip side, when we stream music from Spotify it can be hours before a track comes on that makes us sit up and pay attention… Swathes of music pass through the store almost unnoticed.

Streaming is great; in that it opens up a whole host of music that we’d never have had access to in an analog only world… But that’s also it’s downfall. There’s just so much music out there.

As a hi-fi retailer, we’re never going to tell you to ditch your record collection. But we’ll also never claim that vinyl is the only way to listen to music.

If you want to get started in vinyl, we can help, and likewise if you want to rip your whole collection to a portable hard drive, we support that too!

Having a music collection is important, but you’ve also got to consider what’s right for you… Because everyone is different.

So keep dusting off those LPs, or downloading those FLACs… Because as far as we’re concerned, it’s all good.

What’s your thoughts? Will you be digitising your collection? Are you ditching your record player, or just starting out with vinyl? Let us know in the comments below