Would vinyl even be invented today?


Records, cartridges and tonearms seem like such an unlikely method to play music--a bit of Rube Goldberg. Would anyone even dream of this today? It's like the typewriter keyboard--the version we have may not be the best, but it stays due to the path dependence effect. If vinyl evolved from some crude wax cylinder to a piece of rock careening off walls of vinyl, hasn't it reached the limits of the approach? Not trying to be critical--just trying to get my head around it.
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Showing 3 responses by wolf_garcia

That was a weird explanation of old Rube...but I like it. I also think the turntable thing is "weird science"...recently read about a French dude in the 1840s or so who "recorded" a voice on paper using some sort of dust and a megaphone device that was for a "visual" representation of sound for deaf people (!). There was no audio playback for this thing, but a restoration lab recently was able to "play" the dust pattern and actually heard the guy singing. Man...this was in an article from the New Yorker (I think) about using laser/digital tech to see what old, unplayable wax cylinders contain because you can't use a needle on them as they will be destroyed, or they're already cracked to shit...all cool stuff. Love LPs...my old faves are so damn interesting and engaging. How often do you stick an LP on to hear a little bit and wind up listening to the whole damn thing?
I like my digital rig...it sounds friggin' great maybe due to the re-clocking or the DAC's power supply or amp tubes or something, but I'll say it again: LPs won't play on anything but a turntable (making digital copies of them will not be done by me...life is too short, and that seems like a lame idea anyway) so when I want to play my LPs I've owned forever on my table the sound (and the music) blows me away every damn time...pops, clicks, bite me, and just shut the hell up. 1969 "The Band"...1968 "Jeff Beck Group"...Jethro Tull "Stand Up"...Steely Dan "Gaucho"...some greasy Yo Yo Ma solo Bach...uh huh...oh yeah...yo MAMA!
What about flannel shirts and irony?...I had no idea how useful the hipsters are.