Vinyl

Gift Card & Vinyl Discounts

Select Rexall Pharmaplus stores are offering 10% discounts on iTunes Gift Card multipacks of $30 or individual gift cards valued at $50 or $100. This offer ends November 27th, 2014. Consult your local flyer for details.

Participating Target stores are also offering 10% off iTunes gift cards from November 28th, 2014 to November 30th, 2014. But they are also offering 25% Off vinyl records until November 30th, 2014.

Yes, I am also surprised to hear some Target stores have begun to sell vinyl records. And although I suspect their selection will be limited I guess I will need to take a look.

Goodbye CD Warehouse

My favourite independent music retailer has announced that they will be closing their doors permanently next spring after 25 years of operation.

CD Warehouse had at one time been a major source for compact discs and DVDs in Ottawa with three stores in the Ottawa area and another in Kingston, Ontario. But sales of compact discs have of course dropped significantly since the commercialization of music downloads on the internet and although the retailer has started selling vinyl and renting DVDs/Blurays, the reduction in stores and the closing of the chain was an eventuality.

The chain’s online counterpart, MyMusic.ca, also faltered and failed to gain traction against the major music retailers online. And unfortunately the industry has not provided enough new releases or re-releases to keep customers like me going to the store.

This closure will unfortunately result in the loss of yet another source for vinyl in my city. And now residents of the city will need to either go downtown for their used and new LPs or order these albums online.

It’s Record Store Day 2014 !

A great day to go out and visit your local independent record stores to nab either a great deal or the latest albums from one of your local indie artists. Maybe both ?

Click here for additional information.

An App For Vinyl Hunters

Have you ever been to a new city and wondered where you could find vinyl records ? Do you have a mobile device that uses GPS ? Then try “The Vinyl District” app :

Click here to download the iOS version from iTunes
Click here to download the Android version from Google

Universal Records & The Resurgence of Vinyl

Universal Records has decided to start a new crowd funding campaign to address the resurgence of vinyl.

UVinyl, a.k.a The Vinyl Project, is proposing limited re-releases on vinyl from the Universal Music catalog. But few details have been made available yet and the official web site, which will be at uvinyl.com, has yet to have gone online.

All that is known is that donations may result in bonus content, like free music and/or video downloads and personalized art prints. But personally I’d like to see an artist / label partnership that enables donators to obtain rare recordings, like that of Eight Second’s “Almacantar.”

Eight Seconds is a rock band from Ottawa primarily known for Canadian hits “Kiss You When It’s Dangerous“, “Where’s Bula” and Sincere“, which were taken from this Universal Records album. And for “Tell Diane” and “No Picasso” from their subsequent release, “Big Houses” on ATCO Records.

A re-release of Almacantar may be imminent independent of this new project this year. But this could have been an interesting fallback, provided the band were consulted in an acceptable amount of time.

This being an American project I suspect most Canadian releases would take some time to be considered, not only because of popularity in the states but because of contractual and rights issues.

I suspect its success will depend on the compensation artists will receive for these re-releases, especially the lesser known acts. I’ve signed on to get more details on UVinyl and will post additional information, if any.

A Vinyl Comeback ?

It appears that more and more consumers are choosing vinyl over compact disc when if comes to purchasing physical copies of their music.

According to Soundscan, Americans had purchased just over 330 million vinyl albums last year and over 76 thousand new record albums were released in the United States that year.

Apparently many audiophiles are purchasing mp3s for their portable players and purchasing vinyl for their home stereos instead of compact discs because they believe vinyl has a richer sound. And although many bloggers have claimed that this opinion was subjective, the sales of vinyl records continue to rise.

Regardless of the technological debate, consumers have not dropped vinyl as a physical format like the magnetic tape formats (8 track/cassette tape). And compact disc sales are dropping so dramatically in the United States that many major retailers have either reduced or eliminated the retail space they had dedicated to the format.

On the other hand, many online retailers have created vinyl stores to fulfill the demand, including Amazon.ca & chapters.indigo.ca in Canada, and Amazon.com, Barnes & Nobleicon, CD Universeicon, DeepDiscounts.com & JR.comicon in the United States.

Yes, compact disc sales were still substantial at $225.5 Million dollars in the United States in 2011. But sales have slipped by 5.7% from 2010 whilst sales of LPs, digital singles and digital albums have grown.

LPs will not likely not surpass compact discs in sales anytime soon. But it obviously remains a niche product that is fashionable in certain circles, who also prefer the artwork found on LPs and 45s.

Compact disc inserts may be adequate to some but I personally prefer framing a LP for display if I am unable to find a poster of an album cover’s artwork. And I doubt that I am alone in finding the LP album cover more aesthetically appealing.

Many home audio systems and compact stereo units still include turntables but record players are available as separate components in Canada from Amazon.ca, Sears.ca, and Sony.ca.