"I tend to actively buy a lot of gospel because I like it very much," Jacob Blaisdell said just before he picked up a rock album. "This is a great compellation."
Jacob knows music. He runs the used vinyl section at Criminal Record in Atlanta. He says he doesn't engage in format discrimination, but there's something alluring about a vinyl record.
"If it's the same price on record as it is on CD, I'm going to buy the record," he said.
At Criminal Records in Atlanta, the growing love of vinyl is helping them survive. Manager Mel Pinson crunches the numbers: "By the end of 2008, over half of our music sales [were vinyl records]. That's total music sales against CDs. So, there's a trend upward. No doubt about it."
According to Neilson 2008 figures, vinyl sales hit a 17-year-high. Sales nearly doubled from 2007 to 2008.
From old classics to new releases, record fans say the music is just better on vinyl.
"Even the used records are great," Shannon Mulvaney said. "The cracks, it's a little like a warm campfire, you know. It's comforting. It's like comfort food for your ears."
Customers roaming the isles at Criminal Records also admit there's something more tangible about a vinyl record. Roommates Adam Courtney and Zac Harrison just started buying records.
"You want to go back and get some of the classics, the originals," Harrison said.
"That's how rock and roll was first released," Courtney adds. "So that's kind of cool to hold that history in your hands."
Digital downloads now make up 70-percent of music purchased.
"They still buy the CD's or the downloads or whatever, but I think they notice the difference in records."
Vinyl could be the weapon in the David-versus-Goliath showdown between independent record stores and big box giants.
As a new generation embraces and old format, it's helping the little guys survive.