On March 27th, we learned from The Mercy News that vinyl and CDs are outselling digital downloads for the first time since 2011.

With that being said, I began to wonder why that is. In my personal opinion I love vinyl. It’s not just about the sound quality, which with vinyl tend to have more clear and crisp sound compared to CDs or an mp3 bought off Amazon. It’s about loving the music or artist that created the album so much that you want a physical copy, or the nostalgia of how I got the vinyl, if I waited in line after one of my favorite bands’s show, or just strolled into FYE and picked it up.

Owning vinyl is also like owning art work; some are splatter painted, tie dyed, some are solid neon colors, some are just plain. For example, if you own State Champ’s Finer Things album in multiple different colors, it’s like owning your favorite album 3x more, which for people that are passionate about music, it’s like a dream come true. As far as CDs go, personally, having something that a band made physically gives me satisfaction.

I did a little investigating with some of my own friends and the APU team to find out which they prefer and why. Here are their responses:

“Vinyl because the sound is much more raw and being able to physically hold my music adds a certain element of value to it. Not to mention whole album art is extremely cool regardless, coordinating it with record color and design makes the music experience a visual one as well.” — Alex West (APU contributor)

“Vinyl because there’s a better quality of sound that comes from a physical copy of music. There’s also so much more time put into creating vinyl than a digital copy because of all the technicalities involved which ultimately creates a better sound.” —  Natalie Roberto (APU contributor)

“I love the idea of vinyl coming back, but right now I still prefer digital. It’s just so much easier to access. It’s always with me. For $10/month I carry any song I want to listen to anywhere I go. However, vinyl and CDs sound better for sure. I get that there is a sense of nostalgia and satisfaction in owning a physical copy of music, but I’m so used to digital now that I can’t see me going back.” — Tyler Winters (APU founder & editor) 

“Vinyl has a very authentic limited vibe to them. They’re high end and only so many people can have them. Albums come in different variants too, so they look really cool including neon green splatter and other designs. Then when it comes to Spotify it’s more for listening to in the car. It’s worth the money to easily be able to skip songs through and safer because I can see the song titles appear on my car display. Another great feature is customizing my own playlists. It’s easier than being limited to one band a whole car ride or trying to switch discs all the time.” — Amanda Iacano (Friend, Kent State graduate)

“I prefer vinyl or CDs over digital downloads because anyone can just open up iTunes Music Store and download a song, but there’s something special about waiting in line after a show for a physical copy, for example, in 2008 I waited in line at Warped Tour to buy Hit The Light’s, Skip School Start Fights and had them sign it. Sometimes there is a memory behind vinyl or a CD.” — Adam George (Boyfriend, Cleveland State graduate)

“With vinyl the sound quality is better and it’s a better authentic experience.” — Andy Piskura (Friend, Cleveland State graduate)

“I like to physically have the thing that I paid for. Also, vinyl is cool.” — Carly Stuber (Friend, music photographer)

As Tyler and Amanda pointed out that they prefer the streaming sites like Spotify, but it was never mentioned for paid streaming counts as digital downloads. Taking a guess that it doesn’t, because for only 10 dollars a month with Spotify you can have every song you want, anywhere you want, no matter how gorgeous the variant maybe it would be very difficult to beat out the premium features.

With that being said its nice to hear and see that even millennials are embracing the beauty and nostalgia that can be found in vinyl. Which do you prefer?