There are quite a few different ways to listen to music nowadays, but the basis for all of these different types of music storage can all be traced back to one very important step forward for the music storage and music playing industry: the LP record. Up until this time, phonograph records were much further behind in terms of the materials they were made from, reducing the playing time of albums and therefore impacting the way that artists wrote and produced songs for public consumption. Indeed, the alterations of the way the public is able to consumer music has had a huge impact over the years on the way music has been created for that public consumption. The changes brought about by the LP record are innumerable and far reaching, even to the way that we today talk about the songs on album. The vinyl records of old have shaped around terminology, as we refer to these songs as “tracks” on the album, referring- of course- to the way the needle ran its course around the album, playing a particular song. In ways as simple as this to more complex phenomenon, the LP record took the world forward by a huge lead in terms of music storage and music consumption for the public.
So, what was so special about LP records when they first came about. Perhaps the most significant switch that can be identified is in the material that was used to produce the albums. When LP records came into existence, the phonograph records in use were made from an abrasive shellac materials. This shellac’s texture made it quite noisy when placed on the turntable. Indeed, the shellac compound also made use of a larger groove than the improved LP records did. Because these shellac records had larger grooves, they could play only 78 revolutions every minute, meaning that a 12 inch record could only play five minutes on each side. The big changes that set LP records up for instant success, then, were the change in the size of the grooves on the disc as well as the use of vinyl for the record. Only the smaller tipped stylus was the really revolutionary aspect, as vinyl records with a 33 and a third rotations per minute speed had been produced before. The “microstylus”, as it was called and the “mircogrooves” truly changed the way music was played and made records for home use more of an option for everyday people. The LP record was especially well set up for classical music with this extended playing time option; before, the long symphonic tunes had been difficult to capture on a disc playing only five minutes per side, often selling classical music in sets of 78 rpm records with many sleeves bound together. With the rise of the LP record, a whole album could be played on just one record, inducing the rise of the name “record album.” And thus, LP records swept the nation, and large music stores like Sound Stage Direct still sell LPs today in massive quantities, as people are still fond of that one-disc LP sound.