Vinyl records have been the cool thing for years. The ethereal sequence of 0s and 1s that feed mp3 archives has no appeal whatsoever for collectors, let alone the ephemeral audio streams.

What did you say? CDs? Come on, nobody buys these overpriced pieces of plastic anymore. Even a cassette tape has more value, at least they are kitsch and sentimental and can transport us back to the 1980s – you know, Back to the Future, ET and football players sporting micro shorts and mustaches.

A LP gives you much more than music – and we won’t even debate analogical versus digital sound.

For a start, a vinyl cover is an artwork of a considerable size. Think of iconic sleeves such as Sonic Youth’s “Goo” (by Raymond Pettibon), Rolling Stones’ “Sticky Fingers” (Andy Warhol) or Animal Collective’s “Merriweather Post Pavilion” (based on the works of Japanese psychologist Akiyoshi Kitaoka).

Secondly, they are usually released in small batches, which increases their value.

Additionally, and here comes their most important feature, you can’t copy them. I mean, if you have a vinyl album it means that you have bought it – or stolen it, or found it… but never copied it. Is this important? Well, yes, precisely what devalues any other sound platform is that you can reproduce them at home at minimum cost and with the same quality.

All this rant about the importance of vinyl is regarding the next International Record Collector Show in Miami. As part of the annual Winter Music Conference, this event brings together collectors and established dealers from all over the world for a day of music fundamentalism in Miami Beach, on Saturday, March 24, 2012.

Get ready to fight your way in and get what you want. There will be people of all sorts, that’s for sure, but the majority of them will be geeks and music buffs who have been waiting for this sacred moment all year. Don’t let their weak appearance and translucent skin deceive you, they are probably stronger than you.

You may not find rarities like the limited print of Sgt Pepper’s with staff at Capital Records on the cover – and if you do, you won’t have the money to pay for it.

However, you might get hold of a “bonzer,” or one of those rare records that for one reason or another are actually worth much more than what you would pay for them.

By yanam49

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