Sony last pressed a vinyl record in 1989. And it’ll be pressing them again by March 2018, reports The BBC , proof of the mainstream return of the ancient format—once again a billion-dollar business. Folks always argue about quality (will mainstream product mean mainstream mastering?) but the reasons for vinyl’s resurgence are complex. It’s a nice thing to own, it’s a pleasing retail experience, it’s nostalgic, it’s a better gift, it’s big enough to hang on a wall, you can fend off zombies with it, and so on. There are seriously lame aspects to vinyl, though: quality deteriorates with use; easily damaged even when stored; no metadata; no controls; fiddly hardware. So whenever I read a “vinyl returns” article I dream of a new HD physical media format that’s backward compatible with it. An LP-sized optical disk with the grooves on a clear laminate layer, perhaps. Or maybe a vinyl with a hidden flash storage layer within and exposed metal rings to read it with near the spindle. Or some kind of bad-ass sharpened metal disk played the old-fashioned way but at nyquist-busting RPM.
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After 28 years, Sony resumes vinyl record production