Breaking News
Danbury High School     43 Clapboard Ridge Road Danbury, CT 06811     (203) 797-4800

The Hatters' Herald

Danbury High School     43 Clapboard Ridge Road Danbury, CT 06811     (203) 797-4800

The Hatters' Herald

Danbury High School     43 Clapboard Ridge Road Danbury, CT 06811     (203) 797-4800

The Hatters' Herald

Press play or flip the record: the dilemma of choice in music


For most people, listening to music consists of opening up a streaming service like Apple Music or Spotify on your phone. However, for an increasing number of people, it consists of taking a vinyl record and spinning it, or putting a CD in a CD player.

While streaming and digital downloads are great for convenience, for some people, being able to own their media, especially in an age of subscription services and digital consumption, means a lot to them. Where music can be pulled from streaming services such as Spotify for any reason at any time, owning physical media means that you own that song and can play it whenever even if it is taken down from streaming.

So many things nowadays are digital that there is also a novelty factor in buying physical media. Despite the fact it is now seen as a hobby rather than a mainstay, physical media, especially vinyl records, have seen a resurgence in popularity, despite some stores such as Best Buy recently getting rid of the medium altogether. Many people buy physical media to build a collection of their favorite albums, while others prefer the high-fidelity audio that comes as a result of purchasing music outright. Additionally, the tactile experience of handling an album, the ritual of flipping through albums, and the sound quality are all aspects digital formats have failed to replicate fully.

Collectors and people conscious of sound quality are not the only ones driving this trend. Thanks to social media, a new generation of music enthusiasts is discovering physical media, one that grew up as it was being phased out. Many are drawn by the allure of a more engaging listening experience as the act of playing a record or CD is an intentional activity, unlike streaming, which can be done extremely quickly and conveniently. While convenience is a positive of streaming, it also throws a lot of choices in your face at once, whereas with physical media you have a curated collection of songs you know you will more than likely like.

The resurgence of physical media is also a sign of a desire from consumers to own their products rather than be rented for a fee. Increasingly over the past decade, entertainment has shifted largely from a product to a subscription service, as well as something that has gone from physical to digital. In the face of algorithm-driven playlists and streaming off of a server, physical media offers a sense of ownership and longevity that streaming does not. Additionally, physical media allows for digital media, especially in the case of CDs, which can be ripped for audio files, which can be both streamed and played and are typically of the same or higher quality than streaming.

While streaming services have revolutionized the way we access music, they also inadvertently sparked a renewed appreciation for physical formats. It is clear that tangible forms of media such as vinyl records and CDs will continue to co-exist alongside digital services, each offering unique benefits. It allows the mainstream to access music freely, while also allowing music enthusiasts to find a medium that resonates with them. Whether it is the convenience of streaming or the authenticity of spinning a vinyl album, there is room in the music ecosystem for different types of media to thrive individually.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Noah Gallo
Noah Gallo, Staff Writer
Hi! I'm Noah Gallo, a senior at Danbury High School. I am a staff writer for the Hatters Herald, the school paper. This is my first year writing for the school paper as I wanted to try my hand at journalism and writing. I enjoy writing and I want to inform others of events going on in the school because as an underclassman, it felt like I never knew what was going on around me. Aside from writing, I am interested in photography, photo and video editing, coding, cybersecurity, and music.

Comments (0)

All The Hatters' Herald Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *