MM: Robert, when did you have the idea to write a book about Vinyl Record Collecting? It is an unusual (but also very fascinating) topic.
RB: The ebook started out as a five page “report” about the subject and just grew from there. There is so much detail that is involved in collecting vinyl, and I just wanted to cover the topic in the best way possible, hence the ebook. And, I have made it very affordable at $4.99 a copy and certainly am not getting rich selling it, but rather I get a keen sense of satisfaction in detailing and explaining the hobby to others. But, the beauty of a digital product like this is that I can add information, interviews and updated material anytime, in fact just six months ago the ebook was at 40 pages, it is now over 70 pages. I wanted to delve into why people collect, the thrill and passion, that not only do I get from collecting, but what other collectors and dealers feel about the hobby. I have over 10,000 records and love adding to my collection, the thrill of the hunt is special to me (and as I found out, to others as well). I do not sell my records, rather, I think that they will be passed on to my family and continue to appreciate in value.
Many people argue about Vinyl and the “old good quality”, are they right? We lost something with digital media?
Oh, yes, there is a “sound fingerprint” that is lost when music is “compressed” into digital format. I call it “binary sound” and the human ear hears music in analogue sound and that is why music on vinyl sounds so much better. In fact, ask any musician (many of who are vinyl record collectors) and they can tell you what compressing the music into digital sound does to the music; that “sound fingerprint” is lost. As for my opinion, music wasn’t meant to be heard as a bunch of 1’s and 0’s compressed together to form the sound, and vinyl records have been around since sound reproduction began; and quite frankly, aren’t going anywhere (remember the reel to reel tapes, eight-tracks and cassettes? vinyl withstood those sound formats for a reason, the sound quality)
What can you tell us about the new media trends and their future?
I had to chuckle when I read about this marketing ploy-they have combined a CD and vinyl into one product. One side is the music in CD format and the other side is a 3 minute vinyl record. Now, I don’t think this is the answer, but I would assume if you can get a hold of one of these, do so, I would think they may be highly collectible once the dust settles.
I have also taken a keen interest in what the band Radiohead has done with their latest release, in fact I have an article on my blog about it.
I am also writing band biographies and reviews about new independent bands for an Internet radio station and I feel that, although a lot of bands still release their product via vinyl or CD, the distribution methods are changing, which to me, is a good thing; a music lover can get to hear so much more music that they may have otherwise not have heard. Many bands are releasing their music independent of the record labels (i.e. Radiohead) and going to MySpace or CD Baby to get their music heard. But, bands will continue to release music on vinyl, because that is what the consumer is looking for.
What about your next projects?
I am currently working on another ebook about “bird” and “animal” names and groups in rock and roll (a daunting task!) and I am having a blast doing this. I also write for www.gemm.com, which is one of the largest vinyl retailers on the Internet (I do band bios and articles). I am also busy working up a couple of more web sites, which I hope to go “live” very soon. I am also involved with a wonderful organization headed by Gary Freiberg called Vinyl Record Day, which helps educate the public about the cultural and social impact that the vinyl record has had on our society. Vinyl Record Day also helps promote and preserve the wonderful art work that has been created throughout the years. I also answer emails that people have about vinyl as well as pursue my fascinating hobby of collecting vinyl records.
On a personal note, I want to thank you for your time and the opportunity to discuss my ebook and hope that you got as much enjoyment out of reading it, as I did putting it all together.
And I thank you, Robert, I wish you big success, your ebook is really charming.