Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Students choosing vinyl for music, sentimental value


In a digital age when music can be downloaded from your smartphone, some students are choosing the opposite and turning to vinyl records for their music fix.

Andrew Moody, the assistant manager of Oz Music in Tuscaloosa, said students have been purchasing more copies in vinyl over the last few years.

Most bands now include free digital downloads with their vinyl copies, and turntables have been fitted with USB ports so listeners can transport their vinyl favorites to their computers.

“[Students] like something they’re able to hold, and they like the artwork,” Moody said. “They also like the free downloads big groups put out for the same price.”

Record Store Day, an event held by Oz Music in April, brings in students by offering promotional posters and colored vinyl by production companies. Oz Music also expanded its used record section recently.

“A lot of kids want what their parents listen to,” Moody said, “That’s what gets them started. Then they see the newer bands have records, and they keep coming back.”

Jimmy Griffin at Charlemagne Records in Birmingham, Ala., said their store’s close proximity to The University of Alabama-Birmingham brings students in daily.

“People buy every style from the new releases to the classics,” Griffin said. “Records open up people’s ears to listen to types of music they haven’t explored before.”

Rachel Childers, a sophomore majoring in psychology, said she prefers vinyl records to digitally downloaded music for the sentimental value.

“My parents passed down their vinyl records to me, and this led me to beginning my own collection,” Childers said. “The covers of the records make the music collectible and in some cases more valuable.”

Childers said she finds most of her vinyl at Oz Music and 2nd & Charles in Birmingham, Ala.

Moody said most students have a very specific idea of what kind of music they want when entering his shop. He said many come in search of classic rock and blues. When looking for the newer artists, he said indie music is popular.

As more contemporary bands release versions of their music digitally and on vinyl, it is speculated record sales will increase.

“I am always more willing to buy a vinyl of a new album if it comes with a free download,” Childers said.

Most new vinyl sells for around $20, but older vinyl can be more expensive depending on the band, the record and the condition. Oz Music also sells turntables so music lovers can start building their record collections.

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