The Tables Are Turning, Or Are They?

While most people are getting their music from clouds and using wireless ear buds, the retro world of playing music is undergoing its own business boom. With the resurgence of performers releasing their music on vinyl along with their digital downloads, the turntable industry is growing rapidly once again.

Most turntables were packed away when CDs (compact discs) became popular in the 1980s. CDs became our new source for music and record collections were sold off at yard sales, or donated to libraries, or given to friends who collected such stuff. Some music lovers had the burning desire to digitize favored LPs (long play vinyl records) so that they could still enjoy favorite albums that they either couldn’t find on CDs, or to avoid buying those same records in another format. I know people who have the same records on 45s (records played at 45 rpm), LPs, 8-track tapes, cassettes, CD’s and MP3s (MPEG Audio Layer-3 music format), and Cloud-stored versions. Music fans spent billions for newer versions of things they already had.

For almost 20 years since the advent of MP3 players, numerous companies marketed turntables with a USB plug so people could convert their music to a computer and eliminate having to replace records with CDs. But many of these cheaply-made turntables came with an editing program that didn’t always work very well, so the turntables were eventually sold to frugal music enthusiasts.