Favorite Format?

10-15-10

Favorite Format

Do I have a favorite format?  The most venerable is likely the humble LP.

About the only format of the modern era that I have not approached is the 78rpm phonograph record.  I’ve just never found a 78rpm that I had to hear that wasn’t re-issued in either 45rpm or 33 1/3 rpm.

45’s, LP’s, 12” Single, Reel-to-Reel, MiniDisc, Dat, Cassette, 8-track, 4-track, Playtape, Compact Disc, CD Single, SA-CD…Beta, Laser Disc, VHS, DVD, 8mm…I really like most physical audio / video formats.  I probably have the most LP’s of any of these formats, with CD a close second.  I don’t have nearly as many cassettes as I used to.  I do not actively use 4 or 8-track.  I don’t own a Dat, but I have used ‘em.  I still use MD all the time.  Wish I had a working Playtape, but…too long ago…

I am always amazed that I can still play a format that was in use 50 years ago – the stereo LP.  And some 50’s stereo LP’s sound amazing!  All tapes (apart from maybe Reel-to-Reel) seemed to wear out or be less useable with age.  Some LP’s sound really great.

And, of course, LP’s can be very “pretty”, nice to look at – with liner notes one could actually read etc.  Can’t say the same of most other formats.  It’s true, Japanese paper sleeve CD’s do replicate the original LP packaging accurately – yet sometimes the liner notes are either only in Japanese or not entirely readable because of the use of tiny type size!

If I had to have my entire collection in one single format, probably the ‘ease of use’ prize goes to the compact disc – unlike a phonograph record, you don’t have to flip it to hear “Side Two”!

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