2024: Ins and Outs:
Vinyl Edition

It’s officially 2024 and the vinyl revival is real.
Between teenagers buying vinyl as collectible artist merch (*cough* *cough* Swifties) and the older generations reminiscing on simpler times, record collecting has become a unifying hobby. So, what better way to ring in the new year with a good ol’ “ins and outs” list for the ever-expanding vinyl community. Here’s what we think vinyl lovers should do this year and what we think should be left behind.

In: Pre-ordering vinyl

It's probably safe to assume that, at least once, you've been nudged by your favorite artists to “pre-save” their new music on streaming platforms, but why not take it a step further and pre-order their vinyl?

Pre-ordering is a great way to continue your collection with minimal effort — no stress of wondering if your top record-buying joints sell out on drop day.

When you pre-order a vinyl online, you can forget about it until it shows up at your door. Many artists have pre-orders available on their webstores, as do many others, including the Victrola Record Store.

Some bundle pre-orders with other goodies — some offer special incentives. Would you rather pick up the vinyl in person? Ask your local record store if they take reservations!

Check Out Current Pre-Orders

Out: Overpaying for resale vinyl

Resellers are the bane of every music lover’s existence. They scoop up concert tickets and sought-after vinyl before the real fans have a chance to grab them. A few minutes later, you’ll find them reselling for 3x more.

It may be difficult to get around this when it comes to live music, but vinyl does tend to be re-pressed at a later date, or eventually sold by a genuine person who just doesn’t want it anymore.

So let’s all stop giving resellers what they want and be patient for fair prices.

In: Inner and outer sleeves

If you’re on VinylTok (the vinyl side of TikTok), then by now you’ve seen the popularity of sleeving your records after purchase. There’s a reason this has risen in popularity — it’s great for your records!

Taking your vinyl out of the cheap — usually paper — inner sleeves and putting them into anti-static archival quality sleeves will help keep the dust and other bad stuff off your vinyl. Slipping all of this into protective outer sleeves will keep your vinyl’s packaging in good condition for years and years.

To avoid ringwear on the jacket, slip the inner sleeves behind the jacket or within the gatefold. There are a lot of great options for purchasing sleeves, but some favorites include Invest in Vinyl and Hudson Hi-Fi.

Out: PVC sleeves

If you’re into fun shapes or picture discs, you’ve probably acquired a record packaged in a PVC sleeve with nothing between the record and the plastic.

These are rough on records as the plastic on plastic causes vinyl “misting” that affects not only the appearance of the record, but also the sound.

If you end up with a record that comes in a PVC sleeve, just make sure you take it out and put it into an anti-static sleeve instead!

In: Cleaning your vinyl

It goes without saying that vinyl gets dirty over time. Pet hair, dust, dirt —you name it —all love settling into the grooves on your records.

Before each play-through, give your vinyl a light cleaning with an anti-static brush. Every few plays, take it up a notch with some cleaning solution and a cloth.

Our cleaning kit is great for these regular cleanings. For really dirty vinyl, invest in a cleaning machine like the Kirmuss Audio KA-RC-1 Ultrasonic Record Restoration System or the HumminGuru Ultrasonic Vinyl Record Cleaner.

Get the Kit

Out: Stacking records

It may look cool, but stacking records on top of each other causes the bottom records to warp under the weight of the others. To keep your records safe and in tact, store them vertically.

There are loads of vinyl stands with built-in vinyl storage, plus this cube storage from IKEA is perfect for storing vinyl if you have the space.

If you want to keep some out next to your turntable, our vinyl stand displays up to 25 records.

Browse Accessories

In: Going to local record stores when you travel

We all love the convenience of ordering online, but nothing beats digging through crates at local record stores and talking music with people who share your passion.

Add it in your trip itineraries to check out a local record store or two and bring memories back with your newly acquired vinyl. Make sure to properly store them in your luggage (tip: bring a shipping box from online vinyl orders for the safest transport).

Gamify your obsession: Try to acquire a vinyl from every U.S. state and more than one country.

Find a Local Record Store

Out: Hating on others’ setups

We get that you spent a lot of time and money on building your amazing setup, but we all have to start somewhere! No need to hate on people using suitcase or other beginner record players; they‘ll upgrade when and if they want to.

This community can be welcoming and educational to newcomers without the ‘tude!

In: Logging your collection

If you’re prone to repeat purchases because you just can’t remember what you already have in your collection, then you absolutely need to start logging your collection.

Our favorite way to do this is with the Discogs app. With their Collection tool, you can scan or manually enter the barcode UPC, select the version you have, and add it your log. This way, you can bring up the Discogs app when you’re out crate digging and see if you already have Rumours.

Beyond logging, you can see the estimated value of your collection, buy and sell vinyl, keep track of your ISO list, and more.

Check Out Discogs

Out: Saying “vinyls”

It may not seem intuitive, but the plural of “vinyl” is still “vinyl.” If that sounds too funky, just say “vinyl records.”

No other explanation here. 

In: Getting vinyl as merch at the END of concerts

You may want to jump in the merch line right when you enter a venue, but we’d suggest holding off on picking up the vinyl right away. So you can dance and sing your heart out, hit the merch table after the show or ask if they can hold it for you until then.

Nothing’s worse than being so excited your favorite artist has vinyl at their merch stand, having a blast at the show, then getting home and your vinyl is ruined cause you went a little too hard.

Have the best of both worlds by leaving it up at the merch stand till the end.

Out: Unorganized collections

Some people organize their collection by genre, some by the alphabet, some by color… whichever way floats your boat, but in 2024 we’re saying goodbye to unorganized collections.

As collecting and swapping gains momentum, and as you build a collection worth showing off, consider a method to the madness (that others can figure out). This'll help you avoid the awkward "I know it's here somewhere" silence that happens when it takes you 3 business days to find Zeppelin IV.

In: Gifting turntables and vinyl

The gift that keeps giving. Once you give someone a record player, you’ve got endless follow-up gifts with vinyl to spin on it. And now and forever, that lucky someone will always have an answer when someone asks, "What's on your gift list?"

Keep their collection up to date with new releases from their favorite artists and snag them some limited editions they might not get for themselves. For major holidays, we put together gift guides to help you shop for people based on their vibe.

Browse New Releases

Out: Vinyl as an audio-only experience

Yes, audio is a big part of the vinyl experience, but it’s not the only reason vinyl has made such a comeback. There’s so much more to this hobby, like color variants, exclusive artwork, fun setups, and just having something physical to show your love for your favorite artists.

Even record players themselves are often used for design purposes rather than listening use. Vinyl is an art, not just a means of listening to music.

In: Vinyl swaps

Got any records in your collection you don’t want anymore? Take them to a vinyl swap and get some pre-loved records from another vinyl collector.

Vinyl swaps are not only a great way to acquire records, they’re also a great way to integrate yourself within your local vinyl community and meet other people with the same passion.

Out: Grabbing records on the grooves

Do you wince when you see people grab vinyl on the grooves instead of the edges? Well you should! The oils from your fingers can settle into the grooves of the vinyl and make them dirtier faster. This will also transfer some oil and gunk to your needle, requiring it to be replaced sooner.

These oils can be hard to clean with a simple both and solution combo and may require a deeper clean to get rid of. It’s not the end of the world if you accidentally get some finger prints on your vinyl, but try your best to only hold them by the edges for prolonged use.

In: Vinyl subscriptions

If you’re looking to expand your collection and possibly genres, vinyl subscriptions are the way to go. Put your trust into someone else to pick out records from artists you may like (you can take any you don’t to a vinyl swap). 

Check out Vinyl Me, Please (VMP) to find different subscriptions based on genre, like rock and country, plus wider categories like essentials and classics.

With VMP, you’re receiving limited edition pressings of each title, sometimes with very cool colors.

Visit Vinyl Me Please

Out: Not letting kids use record players   

It may be nerve racking watching kids go anywhere near vinyl, but it’s best to teach them while they’re young! Pick up an affordable, entry-level record player and thrift some vinyl for them to learn how to carefully play vinyl.

That way, when they inherit your collection, they’ll be pros and will keep it going onto the next generation. In the meantime, this is a great way to connect with them and make beautiful memories.

In: Automatic turntables

Low effort 2024 is IN. Get your eyes and ears ready for one of Victrola's biggest head turners of the year —a fully automatic turntable!

Press the start button and let the turntable do the rest. You can even repeat one side of the record over and over again with the “repeat” button. Doesn’t get much easier than that!   

Check Out The Automatic

Out: Leaving a record out after it’s done playing

We all get a little lazy sometimes and leave a record out on the turntable for a while after it’s done, but we’re going to try to leave that bad habit in 2023.

While it’ll be fine for a few minutes, if you leave it out any longer it’ll start collecting dust and particles from the air and you’ll want to clean it before putting it away.

So let’s all agree to take a few seconds to put our vinyl away after it finishes.

In: Vinyl + drink pairings

Take your vinyl listening to the next step with cocktails curated for the vinyl you have on deck.

With our friend Adam of Soundtrack My Drink, we asked a bunch of cocktail experts to build recipes based on certain albums that simply sound better on vinyl.

Check Out the Pairings

What habits/trends are you leaving in 2023, and which ones are you looking to start in 2024?