I will always prefer vinyl. I’m gutted how things are going.
I think it’s just a romantic thing more than anything else because despite how much I run on about sound quality I know deep down that a decent wav file is better than vinyl… of course it is, as it is more often than not the original format of the tune. The only time I’ve heard amazing quality is when the whole process is analogue and that is VERY rare in dance music as even if you use all analogue synths etc you will usually hit a digital conversion somewhere along the line between recording the tune and pressing it.
Also, digital media (cd’s/mp3’s [v high quality ones]) can be saved and duplicated so you don’t have to worry about damaging or losing your tunes. They save space and they make it much easier for playing your own productions. Over time there will be a lot more “fx on the fly” possibilities for live dj’s using digital media. Not to mention they save your back. I don’t think I’ll ever recover from dragging around record bags and boxes for most of my youth.
Strange how nothing comes close (IMO) to the buzz of getting new vinyl. Either getting it from a record shop and having big slabs given to you to listen through or ordering online. It’s like a drug.
The fact that they are crackly, prone to damage, heavy and unpractical makes them even more appealing to me for some odd reason. The sound is coloured in both the pressing stages and the sound reproductions stages and gives it that warm feeling of energy.
That rare tune that you seek out for years and finally lay your hands is not the same with digital stuff because it’s so much easier to get hold of.
Somehow I don’t think I’ll ever look at a pile of sterile cdr’s with felt pen labels the same way as I do my vinyl.
Of course then there is the whole problem with digital media destroying the idependant labels and artists because it’s so easy to share and pirate, but I’ve covered that many times before so I wont go in to it.
In answer to your question though, I give vinyl another 3-5 years before the final major UK pressing plant closes doors and the vinyl market will be left to purists and underground labels who will buy vinyl at a higher price from plants that churn out smaller press runs.