This piece was originally published March 25th, 2013.
It’s easy to take entertainment for granted.
In our present day we have the ability to purchase and enjoy so many recreational items: play a video game, listen to whatever it is we want, watch whatever we want, and, though there are still many folks out there who wish they could control our choices, read any books we can find.
Folks happily embrace the technology that has made obtaining our selections quick, simple and affordable, and we think nothing now of versions that exist only on the ether, or rather—on a cloud.
Still others, myself included, like to seek out older formats and what some will call obsolete mediums.
Some of these formats such as the vinyl LP have actually increased in their yearly sales and there are constantly new purveyors now marketing records, both for new album releases and reissuing older releases.
The annual April celebration event for small independent record shops around the world, Record Store Day, has increased popularity and made it a huge success. For many of these brick and mortar stores and the independent record labels that send exclusive items for sale on that day, it is their best retail day of the year.
Long thought dead formats such as 78 r.p.m. records, 8-track tapes, cassettes, VHS tapes and laser discs, still have numerous aficionados and collectors that will readily discuss at great length their obsessions and collections. In fact, there are even record labels, bands and filmmakers that choose to only release their output on some of these “antique” formats.
It wasn’t always this easy though…