With the digital age in full swing and the Music industry seemingly dominated by downloading as the preferred choice of most people for their music consumption, it is somehow refreshingly "old school" to hear that vinyl album sales have risen beyond the magical one million mark in the year 2014 (Official Charts' data). The death knoll for the apparently antiquated medium has been clanging for many years, ever since compact discs became more fashionable in the 80s and then even they were supercedecd by the download. Little 'pockets' of vinyl fans have continued to demonstrate their penchant for the slightly cumbersome form of tune reproduction, but in diminishing numbers it has seemed.

Yet, there still seems to be a market out there, whether they be a nostalgic "older generation" buyer, a rave DJ or (and perhaps a pre-requisite for any continuation of vinyl in the future) a newer 'hipster" collector.

The last time that vinyl sales were as high as they are at present was during the 1990s when "Britpop" was at its height, as groups such as Blur and Oasis dominated the airwaves. Record sales this year have been boosted by rock fans keen to get their hands on the latest offerings from long time established bands, such as Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. Newer artists such as Arctic Monkeys and Jack White still feature heavily in vinyl record sales to rub shoulders with the older rockers.

One advantage over the download comes from the feel and look of the record and its sleeve / packaging. The purchaser gets something physical to cherish with (if produced cleverly) in-depth details on the tracks and background to the group, a link that can be lost with the disposability of the download. A sleeve cover can become a work of art in its own right with some thought and imagination applied in its creation.

The downside of course comes with (among other things) the lack of portability of the physical record, as consumers demand music on the move on their iPods, mobile phones and the like. A pre-requisite to being able to play a record is a turntable, another piece of stereo equipment that many households will probably cease to have in 'modern' times, preferring a more compact or portable system instead.

For those who were born into a world pre- CDs (and long before downloads were even a pipe dream), there is something rather quaint and magical about the slightly gravelly sound generated as the stylus touches the vinyl surface and settles into the groove on the record. Generations of vinyl lovers can probably (well) remember the first single or album they bought, with the memories that engenders. Will the downloaders of the current time remember the first track they ever downloaded in time, or will it be lost with the ease that new tracks can be added to their ever extending playlists? Downloaders will no doubt counter arguments for albums, by claiming (quite legitimately) that a ten or twelve track package will probably only include a handful of memorable songs and many more 'fillers' that are seldom listened to.

With a download you can usually target precisely which tracks you like and screen out the rest.

One imagines that the growth in sales of vinyl are unlikely to ever challenge alternative forms of 'playback', but while there is a market out there then the companies will continue to produce in that format it seems. Especially if some of the old rockers dig their heels in and push the format on to their legions of adoring fans. Rock on!