Even with the consistent technological progress that the human race experiences, many aspects of our more primitive cultural roots still remain and thrive. The music industry continues to grow and evolve, with whole genres fading in and out of popularity and new technology constantly providing supposedly clearer function, sound, and availability. For years music has been getting smaller, more compact, and more efficient; suddenly, the process has taken a major step backwards, and it has produced unexpected and plentiful profits. The record player is back and better than ever.

Companies like Audio-Technica, Sony, and Rega are coming back strong with new models and fresh marketing to appeal to new, younger audiences. Even smaller local companies like Detroit’s Shinola are getting into the audio industry, expanding upon their classic leather and wooden products to invest in the prosperity of turntables. Everyone is rushing to produce and sell records to the eager public; Barnes & Noble, Target, and Amazon are among the well-known frontrunners. New vinyl pressing factories are popping up to carry the load: Jack White, the lead singer and guitarist of The White Stripes, is now opening his own factory in downtown Detroit in an effort to bring modern music back to Motown.

Record sales are now at the highest they’ve been since 1988, out-profiting many well known music streaming companies, including YouTube, Vevo, and Spotify’s free service; but why? What about a big, clunky, expensive, and fragile record is attractive to consumers who consistently look for price and space-efficient products? Despite this usual trend, there is a group of society that prefers the old-fashioned, pure quality of music that comes off of a solid disk of ridges and patterns; there’s a certain satisfaction that comes from the process of playing the record. It’s the same feeling that any cook, good or bad, can relate to: food always tastes better when they make it themselves. It’s fresh and new, though it requires work and effort to prepare it. Somehow, the music sounds better when it is produced through the five minute process of removing the record from the sleeve, positioning it on the table, and placing the needle on the spinning record. The very same good feeling produced from the end product is the same reason so many people prefer to cook for themselves instead of ordering Little Caesar’s; it’s just more satisfying.

Record players continue to beat out economic incentives and are still growing rapidly, and the end to the vinyl boom doesn’t seem to be coming anytime soon. Music continues to grow and alter with the times, and history is now being proven to repeat itself; the tables have truly turned.