A day of vinyl -- a reminder of inferior technology 2017-11-27 02:26:39 Today I felt a bit nostalgic and washed some 20 vinyl records that I had bought at various thrift stores. [Also, I somewhat wanted to see what the vinyl mania is all about.] When I was a kid we listened to vinyl because there was nothing else and I remember not liking the experience. I just resigned myself to the popping and noise and other auditory imperfections of vinyl. But hey, maybe I missed something in my youth. Hipsters and audiophiles might be onto something after all.So, I started listening to a recording of Rachmaninoff 2 by Entremont and could not finish because of all the popping and noise. (And I like Entremont and the way he does Rachmaninoff.) Then I listened to another LP -- Symphony No. 5 by Shostakovitch. There was less popping and noise and it was passable. I managed to listen to the whole piece.But, still, after that experience I was perplexed. What is the frigging point of vinyl in 2017? It is so obviously inferior. (For those of you who know some physics, it should suffice to calculate the RMS voltage of thermal noise in the phono coil to see that vinyl is inferior to 16 it CD in the best case.) When I was a kid there was nothing else, so we kind of had to do it. But today's experience was a stark reminder of the inferiority of vinyl. Its only advantage might be visual -- it is nice to see the spinning disc. But that "novelty" wears off quickly, a bit like looking at the glow of tubes. Newly issued LPs might have less popping and noise than vintage ones, but they cost between $30 and $40. So, what is the frigging point of vinyl in 2017?