There has been no doubt that CD sales have been declining due to the growth of digital music. Well, CDs are now being flanked by an old format: vinyl. Although vinyl LPs have always enjoyed a niche popularity with dance djs and indie rock fanatics, large mass-market retailers like Fred Meyer are starting to stock vinyl versions of albums in response to broad increasing consumer demand for the "obsolete" format. Though vinyl enthusiasts claim that the analog sound from records is of higher quality than that of their digital counterparts, audiophiles are not necessarily the ones leading this resurgence in vinyl demand. Consumers like the larger format's liner notes and the nostalgic experience of owning and playing a vinyl LP -- both things that cannot be replicated with the digital version of a song. Unlike the declining sales of CDs, Vinyl LP sales are expected to grow 60% this year over last year. However, the actual volume of vinyl sold (1 million albums sold versus 450 million for CDs) is very low, so clearly the resurgence is not an indication of a shift in consumer's primary demand. That said, as more consumers are exposed to the music, the market for related non-digital goods will grow, and the increasing demand for vinyl albums is yet another indication of this trend.
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