The 45 RPM Record Is 59

45 rpmOn this day in 1949 the 45 rpm vinyl record format was introduced by RCA. The previous year the 33 rpm vinyl record, which gave a longer playing times per side than the existing 78 rpm format was introduced.
The 45 rpm record would remain largely unchallenged as a portable audio format until Philips invented the compact cassette in 1963 though the cassette would not take off as a quality portable medium until Sony invented the Walkman (originally called the stowaway in the UK) which hit the consumer market in the early 80’s.

Cassingle
The cassette however remained largely a medium for self transcribing of music from radio and vinyl though pre recorded cassette and ‘cassingle’ sales boomed in the 80’s despite the introduction of the digital CD in 1982 which saw rapid adoption throughout the 1980’s.

CD In Decline
And now the CD itself is in decline with a 10% drop in sales last year as digital downloads continue to grow as does the availability of free music both illegally and legally.

Vinyl Rebirth
Oddly actual vinyl sales have increased, the only physical music format that has done so, as a generation that grew up with CD’s embraces the previously unknown experiences of owning a and playing a LP and 45 rpm record.

Clearly retro sells and the 45 might yet outlive the CD as a physical format that sells.

Attempts to introduce new physical music formats continue.

A collection of modern vinyl playing turntables

Time’s article of vinyl resurgence 

Photo by Kurtrik under this creative commons license

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5 thoughts on “The 45 RPM Record Is 59

  1. I’ve also read about Vinyl records being sold with codes for the free digital downloads as well, so you get the joy of owning and playing a real vinyl record at home, but get the digital downloads for on-the-go. Sounds like a winning idea to me.

  2. Hello dreamrapper-I’ve read this too. A good place to shift vinyl is often after a gig with tokens to get the downloads as you say. It’s go more legs than the vinydisc (VD?) format which has analogue vinyl on one side and digital CD on the other.

  3. I think vinyl will always be a signifigant medium in audio. There’s so many records out there that will never be re-pressed or make it to CD. And the sound quality is argueably better than any format out. As a producer and record collector I will always dig for and collect records. Happy birfday 45!!!

  4. I guess i agree with professor, but only as long as we’re using the correct setup, taking into account the moon and gravity, vibrations and isolation, a good cartrige and tonearm and a clear signal path…(a TMS will do fine!) it seems like we’re mathematically limited on digital audio – 44.1 or 48KHz but no better results with higher samplerates – with all respects to the team who did a great job and brought back to live the analog records and to emalyse for this post;

  5. I have a very large collection of black 45 records, 50’s, 60’s 70’s. 8-1/2×11 paper reams boxes – Each full – Estimate 20 boxes. Have not cataloged all, put do have by A-Z artist.
    If you are interested please email me. I am located in Dayton, Ohio.

    Hope to hear from you or someone you know who might be interested.

    Sharon Profitt
    937-426-6357

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