Vinyl vs. Cd: the Format War

Topics: Gramophone record, Sound, Disc jockey Pages: 3 (821 words) Published: December 3, 2008

Vinyl vs. CD: The Format War
Ty A. Graham
Introduction to Effective Written Communication COMM/105
 Verenice Gutierrez, PhD
University of Phoenix
 November 29, 2008

Vinyl vs. CD: The Format War
Some people say vinyl long play records (LPs) have a warmer, more honest sound, others' believe the sound of compact discs (CDs) are clear and more precise; a number of factors besides sound characteristics effect both LPs and CDs, the debate about which format dominates has been going on within the disc jockey (DJ) community for over 20 years. Four strong factors in this debate include: portability, storage capacity, sound characteristics, and fidelity; all which help the user decide which format will best suit his or her needs. Portability can be the deciding factor if a DJ travels a great deal in their career. LPs are larger, and weigh much more than a CD. A typical LP is 12” in diameter and has a weight of approximately 200 grams. This means a crate of 80 LPs, the minimum amount of records a vinyl DJ would travel with, would weigh around 45lbs; this includes the record case that weighs about 10lbs (Lee, 2007, ¶ 3). CDs are 120mm (4.72”) in diameter and weigh 16 grams; so 80 CDs, stored in a flip case weighing 2lbs, would equal almost 5lbs. With this information in mind, a mobile DJ may choose CDs for the fact they are smaller and weigh significantly less, making travel easier. Then one would have to think about storage capacity, they could take three times as many songs if traveling with CDs versus traveling with LPs. If a DJ has to travel light and needs to take a vast array of tracks, LPs would probably not be the best format choice. Storage wise, a CD can hold 74 minutes of music (Coleman, 2003, p. 165). An LP can store 25 minutes of music per side (p. 58). Storage capacity may not pose any problems for a stationary DJ that does not travel, because they may not have to take their music...

References: Coleman, M. (2001). Playback: From the Victrola to MP3, 100 Years of Music, Machines, and Money. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press.
Lee, W. E. (2007). Vinyl vs CD: The big debate. Barbeau Music UK. Retrieved November 20, 2008, from
White, G. D. & Louie, G. J. (2005). The Audio Dictionary (3rd ed.) Seattle: University of Washington Press.
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