For the record: 'No one has ever preferred the CD'

For the record: 'No one has ever preferred the CD'

EUGENE, Ore. - When was the last time you browsed through a record store or played an album on a turntable?

In the age of iPods and MP3s, these funny looking audio frisbees with holes in the middle are enjoying a revival of interest.

Vinyl records appear to be getting their groove back: U.S. sales last year were 18 percent above 2011.

Greg Sutherland at the House of Records in Eugene has had a front row seat to this phenomenon.

"It's an incredible story," he said of the vinyl revival. "It skipped a generation, and now you've got these new people who are 15 to 25, and they're the ones. It's not old guys like us."

Sutherland said he's noticed the trend over the last 7 years as more people who grew up with iPods and music downloads catch the same performance on a modern platter.

"They heard a vinyl record and said, 'Wow, that sounds different.  That's not the same as my MP3,' " he said.

Serious audiophiles swear the vinyl sound is better than ever.

"I've done a lot of experiments with people. I'll play them the CD and the vinyl from the same album," said Erik Muiderman, "and no one has ever preferred the CD."

Muiderman has 1,000 LPs in his collection, but that's no big deal in the world of serious collectors.

"I mean, there are guys in town here with 10,000," he said. "It's a disease - and stores like (House of Records) are very grateful for people with that disease."

Beyond the sound, consider the album artwork: The White Album on CD and record both come with classic shots of The Beatles.

The difference? The CD artwork is tiny; the record sleeve gives artists more room to complete the package.

Long story short: the analog sound of a needle tracing a groove is not going away.

"All I can say," Sutherland said, "they never went away."