Vinyl record sales double in '08, CDs down


MusicDirect opened 20 years ago, as the CD market exploded, targeting sophisticated audiophiles, Bizar said. In each of the past five years, it has seen a 200% increase in record sales and now ships between two million and three million albums annually.

LPs have made enough of a comeback that online retail sites such as have recently created .

, an online vinyl records store based in Doylestown, Penn., has experienced a 49% increase in sales from 2007 to 2008, selling 55,000 records over the past year, according to owner Seth Frank. Frank, 42, said he first worked in a record store at age 10. After college, he took a "suit" job, but hated it. So five years ago, he decided to go back to his first love, selling records.

"Records just sound better. They have that warmth to them - that analog-warm sound. A record reproduces music, a CD transforms it into zeros and ones," Frank said. "Digital to me is a harsher sound. When I put a CD on, it's the sound track of the day. It's background music. When I want to listen to music, then I listen to a record."

According to Frank, the music industry is responding vigorously to increased demand for vinyl and labels representing artists such as Nirvana, Van Morrison, Cream, Guns 'N Roses and Metallica have all recently put out new releases or re-released classic albums on new vinyl.