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Future of Radio- How long can Analog hang on?

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Interesting graph, Rich. Is there a digital radio relevance I'm not seeing?
 
I do see Analog(Vinyl) displacement by Digital (CD), but it never disappears. That is an interesting artifact.
 
I also notice the absence of the second displacing element- Virtual media music is killing CD's. I'd like to see the representation of those sales on this graph. 

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Why is vinyl making a comeback?  Its not nostalgia its because the sound is better.  (or can be if done correctly)
 

 
I still haven't wrapped my head around exactly why vinyl has made something of a come-back. Yeah, I'm familiar with the various theories I just haven't taken any one in particular on board. Maybe it's a combination of factors. I don't subscribe fully to the notion that younger people are responding to vinyl because it sounds better, since many are spinning the stuff on cheap-shite TT's hooked into average rigs. Some are even encoding the analog back to digital.
 
So I buy more into the allure coming from the tactile nature of the product, the collectability, the superior album art and younger people generally finding niche products cool....etc.
 
I've also toyed with the notion that we all of us at some sub-conscious level want to go back to a time when things were better....not just nostalgia taking a hold and messing with us, but taking real/tangible steps to reconnect us with better days from a time gone by....I know......out.gif
 
Maybe something will emerge in a similar way to keep radio alive? Who knows. Stranger things have happened. Perhaps underground radio clubs where people gather round an old set by candlelight and listen to broadcasts of old 'Archers' programming from the UK whilst mother bangs out the laundry on an old washboard before running it through the hand-wound mangle...
 
I do know that there's something about a live wireless broadcast in FM that has the capacity to surpass the audio quality of anything on disc medium, be it digital or analog. I'll never forget Genesis doing a simulcast via BBC many years ago - the sound was extraordinarily good.
 
[All this discussion makes Neil Peart's 'Red Barchetta' lyrics seem almost prophetic, as with those from 2112 and other of his and Ayn Rand's works...]

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Why is vinyl making a comeback?  Its not nostalgia its because the sound is better.  (or can be if done correctly)
 

 
I still haven't wrapped my head around exactly why vinyl has made something of a come-back. Yeah, I'm familiar with the various theories I just haven't taken any one in particular on board. Maybe it's a combination of factors. I don't subscribe fully to the notion that younger people are responding to vinyl because it sounds better, since many are spinning the stuff on cheap-5hi7e TT's hooked into average rigs. Some are even encoding the analog back to digital.
 
So I buy more into the allure coming from the tactile nature of the product, the collectability, the superior album art and younger people generally finding niche products cool....etc.
 
I've also toyed with the notion that we all of us at some sub-conscious level want to go back to a time when things were better....not just nostalgia taking a hold and messing with us, but taking real/tangible steps to reconnect us with better days from a time gone by....I know......out.gif
 
Maybe something will emerge in a similar way to keep radio alive? Who knows. Stranger things have happened. Perhaps underground radio clubs where people gather round an old set by candlelight and listen to broadcasts of old 'Archers' programming from the UK whilst mother bangs out the laundry on an old washboard before running it through the hand-wound mangle...
 
I do know that there's something about a live wireless broadcast in FM that has the capacity to surpass the audio quality of anything on disc medium, be it digital or analog. I'll never forget Genesis doing a simulcast via BBC many years ago - the sound was extraordinarily good.
 
[All this discussion makes Neil Peart's 'Red Barchetta' lyrics seem almost prophetic, as do those from 2112 and other of his and Ayn Rand's works...]
One of the problems with the vinyl resurgence is very little is new, used items are selling like crazy, that's a problem for manufacturing, advertising and tax collectors. It is a sign of a troubled economy. In a strong economy, used items are less valuable as everyone can afford new. Antiques and collectables excepted. Looking at RichP's graph, vinyl sales have been stagnant for 20 years. No where near enough volume to induce TT research, development or production on a large scale, like in the 70's.

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One of the problems with the vinyl resurgence is very little is new, used items are selling like crazy, that's a problem for manufacturing, advertising and tax collectors. It is a sign of a troubled economy. In a strong economy, used items are less valuable as everyone can afford new. Antiques and collectables excepted. Looking at RichP's graph, vinyl sales have been stagnant for 20 years. No where near enough volume to induce TT research, development or production on a large scale, like in the 70's.

 
That's a good point, and might explain the actions of older people dusting off old turntables and returning to vinyl. I imagine turntables are much simpler and far more robust than cassette decks or CD players. The engineering and manufacturing was probably geared towards a longer service life as well. It may be that turntables and vinyl physically out-survived the other media.
 
But it doesn't explain why younger people would go through the trouble when they can access anything through their phones. Why spend even 25 cents on a record from a thrift store, when you have so much music available for free? I don't know of *anybody* in my local social group who plays vinyl. Maybe a couple of folks who have a turntable buried in dust on top of an integrated system (and the one it replaced) that they never use. 
 
Likewise, I don't know of anybody who sets up a portable radio (or CD player), or uses the tuner on a stereo system when they want background music. They don't park their vehicle nearby, roll down the window, and blast. 
 
What does *everybody* do? THEY USE THEIR PHONE. They use a website (Pandora) or a playlist. Maybe, just maybe, they'll dock the phone (or iPod) for a little better sound or quality. Occasionally they'll prop the phone up in front of a Solo cup for some volume and directivity (grama-phone?). But most of the time, they just lay the damn thing flat on a table. House parties, pool parties, it doesn't matter. For house parties with 100 people, they'll get a DJ with a laptop and some monitors on stands. 
 
Home theater is the speakers in the TV. I know just one family with surround sound, and it was the cheapest wireless setup available at Best Buy. 
 
My point is, for 99% of folks, everything audio is driven by price and convenience. In the past year, I've been to not only see rock bands play, but ballet, musicals, and concerts. I didn't see anyone I knew there. Too much an inconvenient luxury, I suppose. I think convenience has become more of a bragging right than fidelity. How is analog radio going to compete with playlists when it has commercials, or has to be *tuned*?
 
WRT pirate radio, I believe it depends entirely on the receivers. I don't think most pirate stations go through the trouble just for bragging rights that they vigorously vibrated some electrons in an antenna. Like any other station, they want to pass information to as many listeners in their demographic as possible. The number of listeners and the quality of the transmission depends on what receivers the listeners have available. It wouldn't surprise me if in the future, digital receivers were programmed to only accept licensed stations. The receivers would have to be hacked to listen to a pirate station. Who is going to go through the trouble, when they can just share files instead?
 
Analog AM is the simplest technology, the hardest to regulate, and with the longest range, so I'm glad it appears to be getting official support. 
 
 

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Why is vinyl making a comeback?  Its not nostalgia its because the sound is better.  (or can be if done correctly)
 

 
I still haven't wrapped my head around exactly why vinyl has made something of a come-back.

If the chart in post 29* is accurate, there IS NO "vinyl comeback".  It's more of a residual, vinyl-never-really-left-but-it's-barely-hanging-on.  It's not that vinyl is becoming more popular, it's that the "other" medium--CDs--are becoming relatively much less popular.
 
What's "happening" in vinyl is long-stored albums are being played again; by the original owners or by "recent" owners when items are sold or given away by the original owners.  Therefore, there's some sales of new, quality turntables, some sales of new, junk turntables expressly for re-recording to a digital medium via USB or some-such, and sales of used turntables and parts similar to the sales of used vinyl.
 
 
 
*Is it just me, or are the post numbers very inaccurate?

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*Is it just me, or are the post numbers very inaccurate?

 
In what way?
 
I looked around a little. Even if the absolute values are off, the trends are identical, no matter who draws the charts. Unless everybody is using the same raw data and presenting it the same way, there appears to be a consensus.
 

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I'm too dense to understand the chart posted by Rich so I found my own whatever_dude.gif
 
20140609103920137.png 
 
 
The 'resurgence' is less impressive in the UK, it seems.
 
But the above looks like a veritable boom in sales, if the numbers can be trusted...
 
Which looks good, until you compare it to the long-term history:
 
20140609105034689.jpg 
From THIS PAGE , which is a nice read on trends in formats.

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*Is it just me, or are the post numbers very inaccurate?

 
In what way?
 
I looked around a little. Even if the absolute values are off, the trends are identical, no matter who draws the charts. Unless everybody is using the same raw data and presenting it the same way, there appears to be a consensus.
 
No, not the content of each post, or the content of the charts in some of the posts.  I mean, each post is numbered, the first post in this thread should be, and is post number 1.  The second post is # 2, etc.
 
On my computer, the posts are almost numbered randomly.
On the first page of this thread, the posts are numbered 1, 2, 7--14.  The second page has #3, 4, 15, 16, 5, 17, 6, 18, 19, 25.  The remaining pages are similar.  This post, on my computer, is number 23, immediately following #36.  I never noticed this until I went to reference post #29, and discovered it wasn't where I thought it would be.

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*Is it just me, or are the post numbers very inaccurate?

 
In what way?
 
I looked around a little. Even if the absolute values are off, the trends are identical, no matter who draws the charts. Unless everybody is using the same raw data and presenting it the same way, there appears to be a consensus.
 
No, not the content of each post, or the content of the charts in some of the posts.  I mean, each post is numbered, the first post in this thread should be, and is post number 1.  The second post is # 2, etc.
 
On my computer, the posts are almost numbered randomly.
On the first page of this thread, the posts are numbered 1, 2, 7--14.  The second page has #3, 4, 15, 16, 5, 17, 6, 18, 19, 25.  The remaining pages are similar.  This post, on my computer, is number 23, immediately following #36.  I never noticed this until I went to reference post #29, and discovered it wasn't where I thought it would be.
All posts are numbered in Universal Chronological Order, but because of the Time/Space Distortion due to gravity of planet Earth and our moon, with a little bit of Sun thrown in, they look out of order. Nothing to worry about unless you are leavint the Solar System.emwink.gif
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Wow. A lot of stuff being discussed here - not that it's a bad thing!
 
What say we start a separate thread on the 'vinyl resurgence' ? I think it is deserving of it's own and I have some thoughts...emteeth.gif
 
Back to the original post - there are many things pushing radio to digital. The drop in sales of physical media is a clear indication that digital downloaded/streamed music is taking over.
 

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Well, I'm not convinced vinyl is making a comeback, maybe people are buying more of it now than lets say ten years ago but that is a far cry from a comeback and it is far from having the sonic characteristics of a well mastered CD or Digital file
It is true I like the "packaging" that LP's come in better but the median "Digital" has far superior sonic details and characteristics, that's my thought on it and I have been around thru the years and have heard vinyl and digital

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Can't speak for anyone else, but at the music stores I frequent there are definitely more young people plus the hipsters searching though and buying vinyl than I have seen in 25 years. Used turntables were almost free a couple years ago - now they are selling for their original MSRP and more.
 
Lots of new TT's out there and carts too.
 
Is it a fad? maybe. 

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I'm too dense to understand the chart posted by Rich so I found my own whatever_dude.gif
 
20140609103920137.png 
 
 
The 'resurgence' is less impressive in the UK, it seems.
 
But the above looks like a veritable boom in sales, if the numbers can be trusted...
 
 
 
Look at the scale in the two graphs; the one I posted includes CD sales and the vertical scale is in 200 million increments. the one above is scaled by 500 thousand increments
 
Sure, the chart above looks like a boom, but considering the scale it's one of those 'liars figure' things where, to prove a point, the graph is manipulated to look drastic
 
So sure, an increase in sales from 1 million to 5 million seems drastic, but it's nothing compared to other media
 
IOW, a five-fold increase is meaningless in context 
 
140516-vinyl-riaa.jpg 

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Can't speak for anyone else, but at the music stores I frequent there are definitely more young people plus the hipsters searching though and buying vinyl than I have seen in 25 years. Used turntables were almost free a couple years ago - now they are selling for their original MSRP and more.
 
Lots of new TT's out there and carts too.
 
Is it a fad? maybe. 
 
You know I see the same thing here. There is a store here in Winter Park that caters to the College crowd. And the store is crowded all the time. It looks like every indie artist out there is putting out vinyl. Even at the used markets I go to lots of folks there to old and young picking through the old vinyl.
 
As far as radio goes . Couldn't care less have not listened since 1999 after I got hooked on Sirius/Xm.  

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Funny. Sirius/XM turned me off streamed music. I was an early adopter, had the Polk 'reference' home unit and 2 car units.
It kept getting more expensive (we didn't get the lifetime subscription plans in Canada), the SQ was so-so IMHO and the playlists repeated every 12 hours for a month.
 
Then the "No advertising" got turned into plugging ourselves and our other channels all the time.
 
At least what I got from them in any case. It's the reason I was slow to check out online streaming. Wow what a difference.
 
Since I bothered how to figure out properly setting up my Marantz NA7004 I stopped using my analog tuners and eventually sold them all.
 

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When my 17 yr old daughter brings 17 yr old boys to the house, the first thing they want
to do is check out my system, they all want to see "The Record Player" they're mesmerized by it.
They dont get it.....its like new technology to them.
 
The second thing 17 yr old boys want to do......is the reason 53 yr old me hangs around too much, according
to my daughter. 

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