What the Tech? App of the Day: Discogs

For record collectors and fans of vinyl, Record Store Day held every year is like a national holiday. Record stores across the country extend hours and bands release new albums on Record Store Day.

This year there are two Record Store Days since most in-person store appearances were canceled due to the pandemic.

As a vinyl collector myself, I found an app to help find records I’ve always wanted in my collection. DISCOGS is a smartphone app for iPhones and Android devices where collectors can search through millions of selections and purchase their favorites and want-to-have records, 8-tracks, and cassettes from stores and other collectors around the world.

All you have to do in DISCOGS is search for the album or artist. You can also browse by genre (because you don’t always know what you can’t live without).

For example, I searched for a record from the 70s from the group Pilot. You may remember their hit “Magic”. They weren’t known for a lot of other things. To add that album, 45, 8-track, or cassette to your collection you might have to search eBay for a while, browse local record stores and yard sales, and may still come up empty.

In DISCOGS I found over 200 original albums for sale from collectors all over the world. They list a price but just like at a yard sale you can make an offer. Shipping is paid by the buyer in most cases but some sellers throw in shipping if you buy enough.

Browsing through the listings some sellers offer the album for as little as $4 and as much as $80. A lot depends on the condition of the vinyl, the album cover, and the paper sleeve. Sellers give each of their listings a grade. For sellers that are less than truthful about the condition, other buyers will mention that in the reviews and give the sellers a grade or stars based on their experience.

If you stumble across a record at an estate sale or if you find one at a relative’s house, you can search for it in DISCOGS to get an idea of what it’s worth.

Collectors also use DISCOGS to inventory their albums, 8-tracks, 45s and cassettes. During the coronavirus stay-at-home orders I did an inventory of my rather large collection of LPs and 45s. Once done, DISCOGS will give an estimated value of the collection. It’s nice to have it all organized too.

You can list and sell your own copies through DISCOGS as well.

By the way, I believe just about any record that’s ever been printed can be found on DISCOGS. If it’s ever been sold, someone has listed it on DISCOGS.

DISCOGS is a totally free app for iPhones and Android devices. You can also access the library and tools online at www.discogs.com

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