Pink Dolphin Music, Melting Clock Records & Cosmic Window Recordings | 3 record labels

The beauty of the physical format

Today, I want to talk to you about my love of the beauty of the physical audio format.

I stream music regularly. There, I've said it! I love the big streaming platforms. Currently I pay for Deezer and listen to about 40% of my music consumption in this way. I also have a vast collection of downloaded music. I am a regular man living in the 21st century.

However, the remaining 60% of my music listening pleasure - the majority - comes from the good old physical format. I am of an age. I was born in the 1970s in a time when analogue physical formats were the only way of choosing the music you could listen to (CDs arrived in my childhood) and the only way you could stream music was via FM/AM/LW radio. Basically, if you didn't have the music on vinyl record or tape (either cassette, 8 track cartridge or reel-to-reel), you couldn't play it. The internet did not exist as it does today for us mere mortals and I grew up coveting, purchasing and cherishing the physical music formats.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s I flirted with downloads for a few years. However, there are some major problems that I have with downloaded or streamed music:

1). You can hardly see the accompanying artwork and it is quite often unmesmerisingly dull.

2). You do not have to play an album from beginning to end, you can select just certain tracks. This for me destroys the art of creating an album that takes the listener on a carefully crafted and sequenced musical journey.

Currently, I still buy vinyl, cassettes and occasionally CDs. All 3 (especially vinyl and cassette) have a tactile quality and the sonic properties of an analogue format - to me - are worth their weight in gold. Yes, vinyl crackles and pops, but the beautiful warm sound from it's grooves is pure magic. Watching the record spin is an enjoyable passtime of it's own. Plus, the covers are large! LPs have big 12 inch square artwork that can be studied or even displayed on a wall.

Cassettes have been much maligned in the past, but I think this is unfair. Yes, there is tape hiss, but the warmth from the sound on them is wonderful and can add something tangible to the music of an artist.

As a label, we manufacture CDs, vinyl and cassette tapes. Join me - and many others - in buying these products and enjoy the time and care that has been taking to make them something special. Something to be really enjoyed.

First stop, pop onto Facebook Marketplace and search for record player or cassette hifi. You can find great sounding old vintage machines really very cheap.

Enjoy the formats, enjoy the music.

Go Back

Great read! I'm definitely gonna buy a proper vinyl player!


Thanks Jeff and I'm glad I'm not alone in this


Awesome post!

I still buy my fair share of physical formats, as I love the idea of a proper artwork and a booklet or two to read through :)
And as someone who still plans albums as a side one and side two, I wholeheartedly agree with the whole planning of an album to go on a journey, and so have a beginning and an end.




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