The Jarbochov Stratagem

Living in the gray.

Album Collecting

It’s weird to think of collecting physical media for music where nearly1 everything is available in a streaming app. But hey you’re reading this from a guy that still collects physical video games2.

I’ve been a subscriber to Apple Music for a while, but I find great sense of discovery and appreciation browsing a collection of albums. The dedication to the album art, notes, and track list. Having something to hold in your hands of something you really enjoy lets you connect with it more. It reminds me of the bygone era of really cool video game manuals. From my point of view everything else surrounding albums was lost or diminished as the form factor for music got smaller and then completely digital.

There is an emerging market if limited of producing physical records. Many independent artists are releasing their albums on vinyl via Bandcamp or other boutique retailers. What I find more interesting is video game soundtracks on vinyl. One of the first vinyl albums I’ve ever purchased was the Shovel Knight soundtrack. When I think of listening to music on vinyl I think of listening to a recording of a band in a studio, not electronically produced music. But I LOVE electronically produced music. I’m okay with this trend.

I recently (and instantly) purchased a re-release of Strong Bad Sings on vinyl. I love Homestar Runner and crew and I will follow the Brothers Chaps forever. It’s easy to associate Homestar Runner with ”Early Internet” but their sense of humor is attuned to my own that I will always remember their work. It’s like the nichest of niche products to release an album dedicated to a bunch of Flash cartoons of the early 2000s and then to rerelease it on vinyl34. It’s really nice to have this on vinyl that when I die, someone will be going through my estate and look at this album and be like “WHAT THE HECK IS THIS?”

Part of collecting albums is having a record player to play them on. I am still working on that. My plan is making a dedicated space in our house for music listening (of all varieties). If you have any recommendations let me know. I’d be very interested to know if you have vinyl albums in your collection and how often you listen to them.

  1. At least everything popular. If you’re into niche things like video game soundtracks, you’ll need to look elsewhere like Bandcamp or… the inter webs.
  2. Physical Forever!
  3. Strong Sad would be so happy.
  4. If you want to listen it’s available on streaming services like Apple Music too.

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