Vinyl records can now be picked up in super-markets.
Long beards and shiny mustaches, T-shirts, tattoos, tattoos, static bikes, Buddy Holly's glasses, vintage shoes and 35mm film cameras with framed windows - whether they like it or not, hipsters have brought all these things back, and more, back to vogue over the years a few years ago. And no one who claims to be a lawless person can even dream of listening to their Portishead or LCD Soundsystem albums on a compact disc or - shudder - digital download.
But the rise of vinyl popularity cannot be explained as merely a part of the hipster movement. There should be more to it than dating, otherwise we would have already seen high vinyl record sales and died. In contrast, by the end of the year, the music industry expects global vinyl sales to increase by more than US $ 1 billion (Dh3.7 bn) for the first time since the 1980s.
Vinyl records can now be downloaded from major markets, and there is more on the shelves of Virgin Megastores in the UAE than CDs (in fact, most employees in electronics stores here do not know which compact disc player it is). That is, anyone wishing to have high fidelity should seek out professional audio vendors where sound is actually handled.
Before you go to these stores as cleaners of spending devices that add a little more to your listening pleasure, consider this: what you listen to your music can be compared to a car - a Roll-Royce or a hit Nissan will get you where you want to go, but the experience they bring can't be much different. So while we may think that MP4s downloaded in seconds on our smartphones are the way forward, audio quality is often very poor, compared to the way their artists and producers want us to hear it.