The vinyl record is an audio storage medium, most commonly used for preserving music. It is a subset of the family of analogue disc records (see).

A vinyl gramophone or phonograph record consists of a disc of polyvinyl chloride plastic, engraved on both sides with a single concentric spiral groove in which a sapphire or diamond needle or stylus is supposed to run, from the outside edge towards the centre.

Vinyl records are made in the following formats:

Common formats

  • 12" 331/3 rpm long-playing (LP) format
  • 7" 45 rpm (single) format

Less common formats

Some 78rpm records were also pressed in vinyl, particularly the six-minute 12" 78rpm records produced by V-Disc for distribution to US troops in World War II.

Although replaced by digital media such as the compact disc as a popular mass marketed music medium, vinyl records continue to be manufactured and sold in the 21st century. Currently the most common formats are:

  • 12" / 45 rpm Maxi Single
  • 12" / 33 rpm LP

followed by

  • 10" / 45 rpm EP
  • 7" / 45 rpm Single

The sound quality and durability of vinyl records in highly dependent on the quality of the vinyl used.

See also: DJ