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Why vinyl records survive in the digital age

The Heebie-Jeebies
the Ars Orbital Transmission
CNMN Collection WIRED Media Group
Condé Nast

Steven Brykman -
Marshall McLuhan
Steven Beeber
Ars Technica Addendum



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The New York Times
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As media analyst Marshall McLuhan famously wrote, "The medium is the message." In other words, "the form of a medium embeds itself in any message it would transmit or convey, creating a symbiotic relationship by which the medium influences how the message is perceived." Nowhere does this hold truer than in the world of recorded sound.The entire experience of vinyl helps to create its appeal. Everything about the process has a tactile physicality to it that differs in feel from digital services.Steven Beeber, the vinyl aficionado and author of The Heebie-Jeebies at CBGB's: A Secret History of Jewish Punk, summed up the appeal of records this way: "As with so many things, the Luddites were right. The cumbersome process of putting on a record is akin to a ritual, an experience that mirrors the care that artists took in creating the work. So you pull out the album in its sleeve.) Then you place the record gently on the turntable spindle: the hole so accurately punched that you need to push the album firmly down to get it to sit right.The album and the turntable needle are both objects that demand your respect. Then you place the wood-handled brush on the record, careful to orient the nap in the right direction. When these tasks are complete, then—and only then—do you set the platter in motion and lower the needle—slowly, ever so slowly—onto the spinning vinyl disk.And the music begins to play.The record experience suggests a few possible lessons for user-interface designers:1) Designing for multiple senses can be more powerful than designing for just one.

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