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L/R Stereo
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Linear Tape-open
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From Wikipedia, Chace Audio

“LP” stands for “Long Play.” It may refer to a long play album – a type of vinyl record that spins at 33 1/3 rpm – or a recording mode for various video formats that allows for longer record times with slightly sacrificed video quality.

LP records are an analog format generally 10- or 12-inches in diameter. First introduced in 1948, they were the primary release format for music until the compact disc eclipsed them in the late 1980s. The first release on LP was a reissue of the Frank Sinatra 78rpm album set, “The Voice of Frank Sinatra.” In early recordings, pop music was released on 10-inch albums, while classical music and Broadway shows were released on the higher-priced and longer-playing 12-inch discs. The 10-inch record eventually lost the format war to the 12-inch disc, although the 10-inch disc reappeared in the late 1970s and early 1980s as “Extended-play” mini-albums.

Due to mastering limitations, most LPs had a total runtime of 30 to 45 minutes averaging 22-26 minutes per side. Sonic limitations include scratches, static charges, dust, and distortion. The average LP has about 1600 feet of groove on each side, or about a third of a mile. Early recordings were mono, but stereo records became commercially available in 1957. In the 1970s, quadraphonic sound (four-channel) records became available, but never achieved the popularity of stereo recordings due to scarcity of playback equipment and the lack of quality in quad-remix releases.

Most LPs played at 33-1/3rpm, however some were designed to play at other speeds including 45 and 16-2/3rpm. Vinyl composition and thickness of LPs has varied throughout the years. During the petrochemical crisis in the late 1970s, records were recycled and made thinner, reducing the sound quality due to warping and surface damage.

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