The study and cataloguing of phonograph records.
The Discogs website was originally created as a personal project by Kevin Lewandowski in 2000 and has fast become one of the primary sources for searching and buying vinyl records. The heart of Discogs is its user-built database, which has grown exponentially with over 140,000 members contributing accurate releases from personal collections and beyond. This vast catalogue of music is the key to searching for anything from new releases to lost gems from the years since vinyl records were created. The Discogs marketplace connects buyers and sellers across the globe providing a service for over 12,000 music items to be sold each day all over the world. The site also allows users to compile a release specific online catalogue of their personal collection and add future purchases to a wantlist. In addition to these features the forums and discussion topics have become great areas for like-minded music enthusiasts to connect and converse.
This vast database that’s now available is an excellent pool of information that could be tapped into for my project. The community spirit that I have experienced on Discogs as a buyer/seller over the years and more recently with my research has been fascinating. This online culture in ways reflects the experiences you would have in your local record store when vinyl was the primary format. The ritual and experience of physically looking through and buying records in a shop seems to have become a lost art in the digital download era. Store owners and employees could develop personal relationships with customers to the point where they could recommend music based on what you were buying on a regular basis and direct you in specific directions of whatever you were looking for. Despite its many inconveniences and impracticalities vinyl has outlasted many of its succeeding formats. Through my research my aim was to speak to record collectors and music enthusiasts, like myself, to identify what it is about the vinyl culture that is so universally appreciated and what was lacking from the supposedly superior mp3 file format that dominates the industry in this age.