Kristian Freeman

Digital throwaways, physical keepsakes

I went on a vinyl purchasing kick over the last year. I bought about 50 records - new, old, favorites, random records at the store. A bit of everything.

It was disappointing to listen to some of my favorite albums on vinyl and realize - they don't sound that much better! Sure, I'm not buying audiophile level of equipment. But do I need to? It's a collection that has a few things I love, but mostly just a collection of ideas-as-records - "that cover is cool!" or "wonder what this one sounds like".

I'm starting to wonder if the strategy might be going digital for 95% of my collection, and a few things I really love that I want to treasure as physical keepsakes.

A great example of this is the soundtrack to The Social Network. I love Nine Inch Nails, and when Trent Reznor made a shift to soundtracks, I was all-in. It's one of my favorite albums! I listen to it weekly. It's my most-played album for focusing in on work, too.

So I happily bought on vinyl; now, when I want to listen to it, I get to take it out of the sleeve, and go through the whole ritual of getting it playing on my record player. It's an event! And it's worth it to do that, because it's one of my favorite pieces of music ever.

A smaller example: I've recently discovered Tony Robbins' "Awaken the Giant Within". It's an excellent listen that I find super inspiring. I've ordered the cassette tape version of it, because I want to be able to have a similar "settle in and listen" experience.

I think this is probably the future of media for a lot of people. I imagine people do this with Blu-Ray as well: get your favorite X number of movies physically, and the rest are probably fine to either be on streaming services or 🏴‍☠️.