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The 30 stages of falling in love with vinyl

The love-hate relationship between vinyl and collectors is full of ups, downs and a whole lotta IDGAFs in between — and it starts way before you get your first record.

  1. As a child: Buys first cassette, listens to it until the tape gets stuck in the car stereo or melts into something. Keeps it anyway.
  2. Tapes music videos on VHS, wishes there was a way to make it look and sound professional. Keeps it anyway.
  3. Gets into CDs but doesn’t like the way they look so cold and unphotogenic. Thinks CD players are so unattractive. Graduates to digital. Starts downloading songs heard on TV shows.
  4. Downloads entire albums online — legally or by any means necessary. “Burns” songs onto CD to feel good about self or for sharing.
  5. Discovers iTunes and amasses thousands of songs for the heck of it. Feels dirty and satisfied at the same time.
  6. Meticulously assigns album art to every single one of said songs on computer. Remembers album covers but not necessarily album titles or which songs they contain.
  7. Syncs songs onto mobile device. Wishes earphones actually fit into ears and didn’t sound like plates thrashing about in an in-sink mosh pit.
  8. Buys decent headphones, wears them all day. Thinks they are life-changing. Tries playing music from computer. Hates it. Goes back to headphones.
  9. Creates account with music streaming service like Spotify. Thinks it’s life-changing. Sees “High Quality Streaming (Premium only)” in settings. Thinks it’s nonsense.
  10. Gives in to nonsense. Signs up for Premium. Thinks HQS sounds amazing.
  11. Discovers music never heard of before. Genres unexplored. An entire universe of aural pleasure and displeasure. Adds to Songs.
  12. Builds quite the collection but feels like it’s too impersonal and devoid of charm. “I have this on Spotify.” Well, honey, so does the 10,384 other users.
  13. Scrolls through Instagram and sees friends posting about vinyl. Casually asks around about it.
  14. Meets an infectious vinyl person who explains why it’s “soooo goood” in ways that make sense and don’t seem so impractical.
  15. Gets contaminated with the disease and displays first symptoms: restlessness, bingeing on Spotify but never feeling satisfied, looking up old favorites and noting them down, casually checking bank account for disposable cash.
  16. Scores a turntable or first record — doesn’t matter which comes first. Life has meaning again.
  17. Realizes speakers are expensive. “Why the heck do I need an amp? My ears are not hypersensitive or trained for flaw-seeking, anyway.”
  18. Goes to record store for speakers. Buys speakers and an amp. Thinks of getting those foam thingies that supposedly makes sound quality better. Decides against it. Gastos.
  19. Goes into record store. Takes an unbelievably long time to choose which ones are worth buying. Buys one — an album that appeals to nostalgia. An all-time favorite, walang tapon record.
  20. Goes home, listens to new record. Freaks out and tells the world about it. “Bakit biglang ang ganda lahat ng kanta?”
  21. Goes into record store — with a list. Buys three or more albums. “IDGAF if payday is two weeks away.” Thinks about new purchases all day. Can’t wait to get home.
  22. Walks out, overcome with an inescapable feeling of guilt. Goes home, plays records. Is happy again. #blessed #lifeisgood #vinyl
  23. Goes online for more vinyl. Adds more to wishlist. Builds up an unshakeable desire to buy this one record that’s not available on this planet. Makes it their life’s mission to get hands on said record.
  24. Contacts sellers for said vinyl. Computes shipping costs. Slowly goes insane. #whathaveIgottenmyselfinto
  25. Finds hard-to-find record. Japan pressing. Old but mint. No scratches. Feels super legit. Looks for more.
  26. Starts buying albums that have their one favorite song in it — because the rest are all going to sound good anyway, thanks to badass setup.
  27. Looks up “records you have to have in your collection.” Believes in strangers’ recommendations. Buys them one by one.
  28. Feels terrible. Hates self. Stares at records on a bad day and thinks of how much money can be made from them.
  29. Shakes off negativity. Plays favorite record. “I love music. Music is life. Vinyls are super worth it.”
  30. Rearranges entire home around vinyl collection. Realizes speakers are too small. It’s time for an upgrade. Goes back to #18. Hits repeat.

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