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By Gaurav Sharma
Audiophiles in today’s age revel in digital music, more so because the music industry itself is dominated by Itunes and streaming sites such as Napster, Spotify, Pandora and Tidal.
One of the pioneering inventions of the celebrated digital revolution, the Compact Disc has itself witnessed declining popularity in the new era of online streaming.
Lately however, a surprising development is beginning to gather steam–the revival of Vinyl records–the quintessential music storage instruments of the golden era of 1960’s.
Beginning of Vinyl
The earliest known disc records were made from various different materials including hard rubber. Around 1895, it became a standard practice for companies to use a shellac based compound for making records.
Shortly thereafter, others records such as German Phonycord and the British Filmophone and Goodson records were introduced, however they fell victim to the Great Depression and became obliterated from use.
The Darium records of the 1930’s also did not last long, although their use continued in the United Kingdom and Italy till the 1950’s.
Then, in 1931, RCA Victor introduced their vinyl-based Vitrolac compound for special purpose records. By the end of the 1930’s, Vinyl became the material of choice for pre-recorded radio programming and other critical applications due to its unbreakability, lightweight and low surface noise.
During the Second World War, the 78 rpm(rotation per minute) records were pressed into vinyl for distribution to the US soldiers en masse.
Displacement by Compact Disc
During the late 1980’s Vinyl records started showing decline in popularity.
Although factors such as sensitivity to handling, surface noise and tracking error had their part in fueling the decline of the Vinyl, the major reason behind the downfall was the predatory behavior of the distributors.
With a hawkish eye towards grabbing greater profits, the distributors began restricting their label return policies, a mechanism on which the retailers had been relying on to, for maintaining and swapping out stocks of relatively unpopular titles.
The retailers were charged more for the new product if the unsold vinyl was returned and later stopped credit altogether for the returns.
Fearing that they would be stuck with anything they ordered, the retailers only ordered popular titles which they knew would sell and also devoted more shelf space to CD’s.
Subsequently, many pressing plants were shut down after record companies started deleting vinyl titles from production and distribution.
The rapid unavailability of records further amplified the format’s deceleration and can be considered as a deliberate tactic to make consumers shift towards the CD,
For the first time since 1997, Vinyl sales have surpassed the 1 million mark in the UK. With almost 8 million sales, the US has seen a rapid increase of 49 per cent year-on-year.
So what has fueled the rise of Vinyl in spite of the bulky, analogous nature that defines it against what music stands for in the digital age?
Simon Reynolds, one of the greatest music writers of his generation, underlines one reason as “Retromani”: pop culture’s insatiable desire and addiction for embracing its own past.
Observing the highest selling albums of 2015, however, casts a different picture with an eclectic mix of classical albums such as Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin etc and contemporary acts such as Madonna, Daft Punk and Arctic Monkeys.
Clearly nostalgia is not the only reason driving the revival of vinyl.
The main reason why consumers have decided to delve again into vinyl is because of its superior sound quality compared to the CD.
There is a strong contention that CD’s compress the audio to make it sound as loud as possible, thereby diminishing sound quality and listener enjoyment, a factor known as the “loudness race”.
On the other hand, Vinyl, through the reproduction of analog recordings, produces a more nuanced sound and hence a more immersive experience, fondly called by its fans as the “warmth”.
Listening to records provides a more personal connection between the artist and the fan, than listening to digital music.
Moreover, the aesthetic feeling of sliding the record out of its cover, the gentle nibbling of the disc by the needle and the artwork, design and printed lyrics before the actual listening help build a more personal connection between the artist and the fan, a crucial element missing in all other formats.
While the vinyl sales have undoubtedly soared manifold, yet it can still not be termed as a meteoric craze simply because of the fact that it lags behind in terms of total units in digital format.
According to British Phonographic Industry (BPI), the trade body for UK’s recorded music industry, Vinyl sales account for just 2 per cent of the UK’s recorded music market. Martin Talbot, the chief executive of Official Charts, also acknowledges that the consumer-base for vinyl is “still a niche audience.”
Another factor holding back the Vinyl revolution, is the abysmal shortage of LP (Long Play) manufacturers.
As per a Wall Street Journal feature, more than 90 per cent of the Vinyl raw materials were produced by a single company. This means that if the Vinyl comeback has to last, then considerable investment has to be made in its expensive technology.
Distribution network will also have to be built and expanded, to ensure the sustainable development of vinyl records.
The journey forward
Various hurdles notwithstanding, the popularity of Vinyl is here to stay. Vinyl records continue to be manufactured by rock bands, record labels, collectors and Indie bands.
The direct manipulation of the medium makes Vinyl more suited for use by Disc Jockeys, particularly those playing the electronic dance music and introducing hip hop releases.
However, the trend needs to be taken notice of and nourished by the recording industry.
The popularity of Vinyl has not been reported properly by various communication organizations. No trade body keeps either a track record of used records sold or sales on e-commerce sites such as ebay, arguably the central marketplace for vinyl purchase.
In the end, it’s not just the Vinyl evangelists who profess that the sound of the Vinyl is richer and warmer. Exquisite sound quality rules over all other considerations.
By Himanshu Agarwal
While smart homes are typically about connected and automated devices and appliances, making it a super convenient and comfortable living experience for residents, there is one connection that we often seem to miss when we speak of smart homes -- the inextricable connection with the indoor home environment.
After all, smart living is also about smart breathing. Unless we breathe clean and pure air even within our homes, smart living remains an incomplete aspiration. Therefore, as we pivot big time to a modern lifestyle with nearly 24/7 gadgets, utilities, and network dependency within our homes, a sense of balance with respect to the indoor ambiance must also be attained. And this balance necessarily means breathing pristine, unadulterated pure air even at homes.
Don't forget we breathe 24/7 even when living in smart homes
Of course, in this time and age when we are actively using some smart device or the other within the premises of our smart homes most of the time, the point that we are also breathing 24/7 need not be as labored. However, the question is: whether the quality of the air that we are breathing indoors is commensurate with the aspiration for this so-called quality of life and experience of living in high-class homes. In other words, even as we think we are living the 'high life' using all the fancy gadgets and increasing convenience in life, unless we breathe the right air, the desire and dream of quality living will not find true meaning.
Don't forget we breathe 24/7 even when living in smart homes. | Photo by Ale Romo Photography on Unsplash
Indoor air is worse than outdoor air
Contrary to the popular perception that the air quality in the external settings is worse than that of indoors, the reality is that indoor air is often found to be more impure and unhygienic for our health and living. This is not only because outdoor air gets natural circulation and revitalization as opposed to indoor air with a higher likelihood of getting stale by its very nature. But this is also based on solid scientific evidence. In fact, the levels of indoor air pollutants are often 2 to 5 times higher than outdoor levels and can even top the outdoor levels of the same pollutants 100 times in some cases. In these times of pandemic, it is worthwhile mentioning that even the transmission rate of the coronavirus is higher in indoor settings than outdoors.
Indoor air is often found to be more impure and unhygienic for our health and living. | Photo by Kaleidico on Unsplash
Efficient energy use reminds us of the need for efficient human energy too
Smart homes naturally mean the most efficient and optimized energy use. There is a bit of irony in the fact that while we are living in an optimized energy-based setup, we are not optimizing our own energy here if we ignore indoor air quality. Breathing is a source of energy that sustains our body with oxygen, a life force that creates nearly 90 per cent of our bodily energy. If we wish to get the best of our breathing and internal energy system and indeed make everyday life and related pursuits more fulfilling, we need to breathe clean purified air all the time. A healthy life starts with breathing healthy air.
Smart homes naturally mean most efficient and optimized energy use. | Photo by Unsplash
In a nutshell, unless we have indoor air purification -- of the smart kind or otherwise -- within our smart homes, even living in smart homes doesn't make us smart enough! (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: smart homes, energy, indoor, air, breathing, outdoor, smart, air purification
By - Jhon Richardson
People all around the world love shopping. When people go shopping for Anti social socil club hoodie they want to find the perfect pieces that fit them, look good on them, and are in season. People also know there are things you should watch for when shopping but tend to make some common mistakes during the evaluation process.
Buying clothes without trying it on
When buying separates you always need to try on each piece of clothing before purchasing it because not every color or size will look good on you. You don't want be stuck with two pieces of clothing that do not work well together or worse yet not having anything that goes well together because you didn't try on your purchases first! Not only can what you buy end up looking bad, but it can also make you feel bad about what you are wearing. So make sure to always try on your purchases to avoid this mistake.
Sweating the small stuff
When you pick out a few outfits, it's important to not get caught up in details that aren't worth getting stressed about because there are so many pieces of clothing out there and only so much money to spend on them! You don't want your outfit choice or buying decision ruined by something like whether the hem is straight or if the buttons line up perfectly when trying it on at home after purchasing it. It is easy enough to fix, but can also take away from shopping and spending time with friends and family over things that really aren't worth getting upset about in life that can be fixed easily.
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Buying on impulse
There are some people who don't even try their purchases on before purchasing them and unfortunately realize after the fact that they didn't like what they bought or it doesn't fit right and now it isn't returnable and is taking up space in their closet. This is a big mistake because we live in a world where you can shop for clothing at any hour of the day from your phone, tablet, or laptop, so there is no reason to make an impulsive buying decision that you will regret later because there will always be time to find something else if it's meant to be yours!
Along row of clothes on sale Image credit: Photo by Duy Hoang on Unsplash
Shopping for others more than yourself
Some women only want to buy things from Chrome Hearts Official Store for themselves when they are shopping if it's something that isn't meant to be shared with anyone else. The worst thing you can do is go shopping just for your friends or family members. You don't want to buy clothing that the other person may not like or that doesn't look right on them just because you wanted to get them something! The three of you could be so much happier if one of you was left out and everyone got what they actually wanted.
Settling for second best
You should never settle for second best when buying something, even if it is a deal or at a discounted price because it still means someone else will get what you're looking for and another piece of clothing will end up in the wrong home where it won't be appreciated the way it deserves to be! So if you find a piece of clothing that has all the right pieces in all the right places, make sure to buy it and never settle for anything less because your wardrobe can only benefit from including things that are really worth having.
Shopping in haste
If you go shopping in a hurry due to not having much time or being rushed because someone is waiting on you then your choices will end up doing more harm than good when trying them on at home. You'll end up with clothing that doesn't fit perfectly or isn't what you wanted since you didn't have enough time to consider everything. So slow down and take your time whenever possible so there aren't any regrets later.
Failing to consider your current wardrobe
You want to avoid this mistake at all costs because it's just a waste of time, money, and energy when you know what you have is fine or that there are so many pieces in your closet that don't go together. You have to have some knowledge about the clothing you already own before getting something new. So take an inventory of what you already have so you can make informed decisions before buying anything else!
Clothes Store Interiors can often tempt unplanned buying Image credit: Clark Street Mercantile
Buying things only because they're on sale
You may be so focused on getting a discounted price for items that aren't even your style or size which will just end up sitting in your closet unworn and wasting space because it doesn't fit right or look right because it wasn't meant to be. That's why you should only buy the best, most stylish clothing that fits your personal sense of style so there is no need to rush or settle for anything less!
Focusing too much on the price tag
You may end up passing over lots of things that are great deals, but not buying them because they don't have a high enough price tag making you think they weren't worth it even though you could get other pieces in your wardrobe without spending as much money elsewhere if you were shopping with a clear mind. The price tag doesn't mean everything when searching through your options for clothing!
Not checking how something will fit before buying it
This mistake can be a huge problem, especially when buying pants and skirts because you may not be able to return them or exchange them for something that will fit properly. You can't always trust the size on the tag so it's crucial to try clothing on before buying it whenever possible!
If you avoid these mistakes, then shopping can be one of your favorite things to do instead of another chore that just makes you angry at the end of the day because you didn't find anything worth having or spent too much money on what wasn't even right for you. So take your time every single time and never rush yourself by checking out all 10 mistakes so there are no regrets later!
Knowing what not to do is just as important as knowing what to do when it comes to shopping for clothes. Hopefully, this blog post has given you some helpful pointers on how to avoid these common mistakes and find your perfect look! Let us know if we can help with anything else - our team of experts are ready and waiting.
(Disclaimer: This article is sponsored and contains some commercial links)
Keywords: Shopping, Impulse, Sale, Clothes, Mistakes