SmithsonianMag published a story on the future of vinyl, which, because of technologies like 3D printing, looks bright:
The 3D printer isn’t as precise as a vinyl cutting machine, and the sound quality leaves a lot to be desired, but among the clicking, hissing and scratching on the prototype 3D record, Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is unmistakable. Unless you’re making a record for an old Fisher Price toy record player, desktop record-pressing isn’t quite practical yet, but it is pretty darn cool.
Experimenting with records is a practice that dates back as far as recording itself. Before vinyl became the standard in the 1930s, records were made from a shellac; but before shellac, a variety of materials were tested as inventors searched for a medium to hold sound. Among the 400 early experimental audio recordings in the collection of the National Museum of American History are records made from brass, beeswax, rubber and glass.
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