Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Monday, January 07, 2019

Albums sold on vinyl and cassette both saw a growth in sales according to BuzzAngle Music's End-Year Report profiling U.S. music industry consumption for 2018.




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Ds on the other hand have declined

wow, copy and paste error on my part. Should be...

CDs on the other hand have declined

#1 | Posted by LampLighter at 2019-01-06 11:28 PM | Reply

OK, I can understand the increase in vinyl sales of the older product. The physical media (e.g., album art of the album covers) is way cool.

But this part is a puzzler for me... "...Cassettes saw popularity in newer releases. ..."

Who has a cassette player nowadays?

Are those pesky millennials turning things upside down yet again?

#2 | Posted by LampLighter at 2019-01-06 11:32 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

Never saw myself as a vinyl guy until I heard it again. We were relaxing my friends put on some old favorites and it sounded amazing. I'm sure the speakers were part of it but wow it sounded better than my digital downloads. I will have to See if I can find a technics if they still make them.

#3 | Posted by byrdman at 2019-01-07 12:15 AM | Reply

"I'm sure the speakers were part of it but wow it sounded better than my digital downloads."

Vinyl has a wider sound spectrum than digital. Zatoichi taught us as much.

#4 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-01-07 12:17 AM | Reply

@#3 ... it but wow it sounded better than my digital downloads. ...

Well, yeah.

The digital downloads are typically highly compressed.

Let me give you an example (an be a bit provocative in the process)....

I've been digitizing my vinyl albums. I digitize them at a sample rate of 96k samples per second and 24 bits per sample. 96/24 for short.

If you do the math, that comes to about 4,000,000 bits per second.

Now when you talk of digital downloads, they are typically 256kps, or 256,000 bits per second.

So the questions that needs to be asked is... what amount of the music needs to be tossed away in order to bring a 4,000.000 per second data stream down to a 256,000 data stream? An approximately 16 -to-1 reduction.

How much of the music is tossed aside?

There is also a corollary question.... what is the bit rate needed for good music reproduction?

My answer to that questions is 96/24. Others have differing opinions.


#5 | Posted by LampLighter at 2019-01-07 12:44 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

@#4 ... wider sound spectrum ...

I do not understand the meaning of those words.

Can you express the thought in more precise terms?

#6 | Posted by LampLighter at 2019-01-07 12:46 AM | Reply

wider sound spectrum ...
I do not understand the meaning of those words.
Can you express the thought in more precise terms?

It is an awkward but correct terminology in this case. Digital needs to map sounds to a limited range of finite options, not the unlimited range of an analog sound. But, the real difference is in the sampling as you state above.

That said, people that say they can hear a difference are the same ones that tend to say they taste hints of lavender and honeysuckle when drinking wine in an attempt to impress their friends.

#7 | Posted by nobiasposter101 at 2019-01-07 01:05 AM | Reply


I do not disagree with what you say.

I've been in the professional audio field at one point in my career (even been a member of the Audio Engineering Society), And I admit that this is a discussion point that is prone to diverse opinions, which is a reason why I asked the question of the danforth alias. That alias has been, imo, quite rational in its posting. So I was genuinely curious of its comment to my question.

To your point, here's something I did...

I digitized a vinyl album at 96/24. I downgragraded that digital file to 44.1/16 (Sony's Sound Forge). Then I ripped a CD of the album.

Then I presented the two digital files to a friend who is, I'll call, audio-quality aware. He always preferred the vinyl version, even though it was downgraded to 44.1/16.

Now I know there are extra effects in the CD I ripped. But I was amazed at how significant the preference was for the 44.1/16 files from vinyl.

There had to be something else involved.

My guess - and it is only that - I've seen a very significant out-of-phase very low frequency (i.e., below 20Hz) signal on the vinyl digital files. That is a a tell-tale signature of the digital files I've ripped from vinyl.

Here's the curious part --- when I filter out those signals, digitalized vinyl sounds quite like CDs.

So, as a result of this, I poise the question, is it an artifact of vinyl reproduction, i.e., the very low frequency out of phase signals, that gives vinyl its spaciousness?

Or is it the finite vs infinite that you mention?

I wish I knew.

But for now I believe my ears, vinyl adds a spaciousness to the sound that digital cannot do.

#8 | Posted by LampLighter at 2019-01-07 01:27 AM | Reply

Vinyl has far less dynamic range than a CD, but the full dynamic range oF CD is not utilized in most modern recordings. They just make everything louder.

The human ear is very forgiving or even enjoys analog distortion but finds digital distortion garish.

#9 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-01-07 01:47 AM | Reply

"I've been in the professional audio field at one point in my career"

Very cool. I have nothing but respect for you guys.

I've done over 1,000 VOs in my career. Most fun I ever had. One of my specialties was timing: these were the days of rust, where a 30 second spot was all you, no compressing at all, without sounding like the Chipmunks. But if I brought something in at 30.1, and they needed it at 29.8, I knew exactly what to do, and exactly where to speed up the cadence.

One day, I did a spot for Wal-Mart. They had just begun selling It's a Wonderful Life, and the engineer had banked all the snippets, and left room for the VO lines in-between. We'd worked together hundreds of times before, and his work was always flawless. I cut the spot in one take. The producers were all falling over themselves being complimentary, and I passed it off to my good training, and long career.

It wasn't until I got home I realized who deserved the REAL commendation---the engineer. I called him immediately to apologize, and he--ever gracious--tried to convince me he wasn't the real hero.

Flash forward to today, and he's a current tax client of mine. I remind him every year it was HIM, not me.

#10 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-01-07 01:51 AM | Reply



On my cassette copy of "The Wild, The Innocent and the E Street Shuffle" one can listen to "Kitty's back" then hit 'reverse' and listen to "Rosalita", or vice versa. That alone is worth the price paid for that Rock gem...

#11 | Posted by catdog at 2019-01-07 12:59 PM | Reply

I had Animals, Draw The Line and Axis Bold as Love on 8 track. I win.

#12 | Posted by AuntieSocial at 2019-01-07 01:11 PM | Reply


I'm with you. Vinyl I sort of understand. But why on earth would anyone want to resurrect the tape hiss from cassettes?

#13 | Posted by Whatsleft at 2019-01-07 01:16 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

A few years ago, I got my wife a little suitcase style turntable with built-in speakers. Since then, we've been slowly building a vinyl collection through new and used acquisitions. When we finish our basement and are able to move our TV downstairs, we're planning to also get a quality turntable and associated speakers, equipment, etc. I know that THAT'S when the vinyl will really pay off. We like it now, but currently it's as much about the ritual as it is about the sound. There's definitely not a lot of depth to the sound through those tiny speakers.

Danforth - cool story. As a theatre ed major with a number of classmates and professors in the business in WI, I love hearing those types of stories. Thanks for sharing!

#14 | Posted by dylanfan at 2019-01-07 01:17 PM | Reply

I had my first 8 track player and tapes stolen out of my '67 Firebird when they were new items and that had become a popular thieving opportunity. I was so mad I called the cops and two of them came out and took a statement.

When I was giving them the names of the tapes, one of the cops was trying to write down the name of the Iron Butterfly tape and he said. "In a God Damn... what?"

#15 | Posted by Corky at 2019-01-07 01:21 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

"on 8 track."

I knew those would never last the first time I heard a song interrupted, and then continued on the next track. Ugh.

#16 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-01-07 01:33 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

About 10 years ago I inherited my uncle's vinyl lp and singles collection- exactly 692 lps and 883 7" and 12" singles of all sorts of types of music, but mostly pop/rock. It's taken me a while, not only to listen to everything, but to find out just what I was given. He pretty much had every top 10 album from 1967-1984 and every top 20 single as a 45 RPM from 1966-1982.

My late uncle kept all sorts of info on a yellow legal sized notepad. He put the date he bought it, the place he bought it, the price, the serial number, and his rating (1-10 stars) and little notes such as if the record had a scratch or there was something missing from its contents. Sadly, after around 1985 his interest in music seemed to have become sporadic and he started to collect mostly cassettes and all those are pretty much junk-- most of them got ruined during parties during my college years.

I want to insure the collection after an appraiser from Germany recently valued it at around $40,000-- he suggested that I create a spreadsheet through Discogs to make things much easier to track, but I think I might grow old and die before I get it all input. I have gotten offers to sell the collection but I find the idea of letting it go into another's hands rather repellent.

#17 | Posted by NerfHerder at 2019-01-07 02:17 PM | Reply

Hell I am Lazy, Down loads take time and I can get the music I like at bargain bins for less than the cost of a album of down loads. Last trip to California I bought 10 good used ones for 10 bucks.

#18 | Posted by docnjo at 2019-01-07 02:23 PM | Reply

"...he suggested that I create a spreadsheet through Discogs to make things much easier to track..." - #17 | Posted by NerfHerder at 2019-01-07 02:17 PM

I use CollectorZ.com to catalog my movie collection. As I enter a title it goes out to IMDB to get the details (release date, director, genre, actors, synopsis, even the album art). There's a feature to publish the list to the Cloud.

CollectorZ.com has a module for cataloging a music collection, CDs and vinyl (here). I suspect it has the same features as the movie module I own.

#19 | Posted by Hans at 2019-01-07 02:27 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

- Hell I am Lazy, Downloads take time

Who needs downloads? I just go to youtube and fire up a list like this that lasts all day.


#20 | Posted by nullifidian at 2019-01-07 02:37 PM | Reply

Vinyl is fine, but cassettes are so impermanent it seems plain foolish to be a cassette hipster.

#21 | Posted by IndianaJones at 2019-01-07 02:56 PM | Reply

Vinyl I sort of understand. But why on earth would anyone want to resurrect the tape hiss from cassettes?

One of my friends said he likes to buy cassettes at shows because they are cheaper than vinyl + CD, and he can put them in his pocket.

#22 | Posted by JOE at 2019-01-07 03:02 PM | Reply

"One of my friends said he likes to buy cassettes at shows because they are cheaper than vinyl + CD, and he can put them in his pocket."

My uncle had 4 dozen or so decent quality, 90 minute Maxell cassettes of bootleg Grateful Dead shows from 1969-1980. Other than the one he called "Binghamton College 5/70", I never much cared for them-- before my time, I suppose. In college I traded them to a friend for his used zr440 snowmobile. A fair trade, IMHO. I loved that Cat.

#23 | Posted by NerfHerder at 2019-01-07 03:20 PM | Reply

#23 In high school i had a similar collection of phish and grateful dead tapes. 5/8/77 is the only one i still listen to, and it's excellent.


#24 | Posted by JOE at 2019-01-07 03:39 PM | Reply

Well for those folks that are not audiophiles, if you want a unit to digitize your collection of LPs and cassettes, I found a 4 in 1 unit called a TEAC R550 USB that I've been using converting my audio collection to CDs and MP3s. Simple to use and gives pretty good quality when transferring. Price is right and certainly beats all the old equipment that I was using just to get music to a computer.
I do buy a lot of cassettes these days when I can find them. New LPs are way overpriced IMO, and the used version are certainly beat up after being in circulation for so many years. Cassettes tend to hold together better and as Joe said you can usually get them cheaper than a used LP or CD.

#25 | Posted by Badcat at 2019-01-07 07:38 PM | Reply

MP3 is a pretty awful format that nobody who claims to be an audiophile should listen to.

But if if you're a normal person who listens to music, not how music sounds, then you aren't even reading this thread in the first place.

#26 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-01-07 08:09 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

Anybody know what the sampling rate is on Sirius/XM? Its been a long time since I played vinyls. I do remember anything made by RCA or recorded by James Taylor had a superior sound quality. The rules to playing albums was no more than one mediocre song because it was too much trouble to skip a song. Getting out of bed every twenty minutes could be very inconvenient. What equipment allows you to surpass CD quality??? I love having a SD card in the car. So much music in such a tiny thing, so easy to navigate.

#27 | Posted by bayviking at 2019-01-07 09:54 PM | Reply

I've heard this exact same discussion about a lot of times in the last 40 years. always the same. lots of figures and graphs, etc. I've purchased new stereo setups 3 different times. talk to a salesperson and let them suggest a combo they think should suit me...definitely a price cap in place. i'd listen to their pick and then i'd mix and match until i found what i thought sounded the best to me. and i'd always compare against something i wouldn't/couldn't afford. it always surprised me how bad some of the really high end stuff sounded..to me. it's all about what sounds good to you, 'cause if your ears can't hear it...then listen to your wallet

#28 | Posted by 1947steamer at 2019-01-08 08:53 AM | Reply

Aw, this thread is great. I still have at least 700 LPs, 500 45s, 200 cassettes and 500 CDs -- as well as high-quality playback equipment to bring it all to life. I've sold or otherwise parted with at least that many recordings.

Nothing beats the vinyl format, from audio fidelity to the tactile sensation of putting the record on the turntable, to the full-album listening experience with liner notes and cover art. And you can't clean your stash on an MP3, but a gatefold double album is premo.

#29 | Posted by cbob at 2019-01-08 09:36 AM | Reply

@#15 ... 8 track player ...

8-track cartridges were designed to wear out after about 100 plays. That is why you saw so many of them on the side of the roads.

#30 | Posted by LampLighter at 2019-01-08 11:27 AM | Reply

@#28 ... it's all about what sounds good to you, 'cause if your ears can't hear it...then listen to your wallet ...


Whenever I've helped a friend pick out stereo equipment, the first thing I always did was figure out what level of sound capability was needed.

For example, one friend wound up with a good quality clock radio (Proton), because that is all he needed.

#31 | Posted by LampLighter at 2019-01-08 11:31 AM | Reply

@#27 ... I do remember anything made by RCA or recorded by James Taylor had a superior sound quality. ...

RCA records (especially RCA Red Label) had a good quality, until they went to the super-thin vinyl.

James Taylor's good sound was probably due more to the recording engineers and the person who mastered the album.

#32 | Posted by LampLighter at 2019-01-08 11:33 AM | Reply

@#13 ... But why on earth would anyone want to resurrect the tape hiss from cassettes? ...

Pre-recorded cassettes had a pretty poor sound quality. They were all about convenience and, as a step up from 8-tracks, not having track switches in the middle of a song.

It was possible to get quite good sound from cassettes. First you needed Dolby C (which varied the bias level according to the amount of treble being recorded, so the tape would not be saturated). Then you needed constant-current drive of the recording head, instead of constant-voltage drive.

Pop in a good cassette, and I have measured response from 19Hz to 18kHz +/- 1dB, and 17Hz to 21kHz +/- 3dB. Signal to noise was, for all intents and purposes, as good as the album. (Harmon-Kardon CD-491 cassette deck)

#33 | Posted by LampLighter at 2019-01-08 11:42 AM | Reply

ummm... also Bad people are not likely to steal a $10 or $15 Walkman versus a very expensive Ipod, Ipad or Iphone... or Zune...

OK maybe they wouldn't steal a ZUNE

PLUS you can replace a dead battery with 2 AA's you can get from anywhere.

Plus RETRO is sooooo in...

#34 | Posted by Pegasus at 2019-01-08 12:26 PM | Reply

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