GUELPH — Sales of compact discs have been dropping since the introduction of downloading, MP3s and iPods but the popularity of vinyl is enjoying a growing resurgence.

U.S. record companies saw the sale of vinyl records nearly double from 2007 to 2008 and the spin cycle appears to be repeating itself exponentially as many old and new artists are choosing to release a growing percentage of their work on the old format.

Bryan and Kara Munn own Meow and Chat Noir. Those are vintage clothing and furniture stores in downtown Guelph. They say used vinyl records are a growing part of their business.

“With Guelph’s music scene there are so many young musicians who are very conscious of the history of music,” said Bryan. “They have a diversity of influences so they’re always looking for unusual and classic things.”

“A lot of young people are discovering these records for the first time,” said Kara. “They find them exciting especially older music because they get to listen to it the way it was supposed to be listened to originally.”

She said the format offers a level of authenticity you don’t get with digital recordings. “I’ve listened to an original record and the CD and there is a difference.”

“It’s a warmer sound on vinyl,” said Bryan. “They take a lot of information out when they convert it to a digital file.”

They say, apart from sound quality, is the fascination with the album artwork.

“You have an actual physical artifact from an era in music,” said Bryan. “People enjoy the experience of reading the liner notes and pouring over the whole artifact.”

“I’ve had young girls come in and buy records and they don’t even own a record player,” said Kara. “They buy them to take home and decorate their rooms.”

They say the majority of their customers are in their teens or 20s, but they also get older customers or “boomer consumers.”

“There are two markets,” says Kara. The really young and the people in their 40s and 50s who had vinyl, got rid of it, regret it now, and have come back around to it all over again.”

“We’re always looking for people to bring us vinyl and we’ll sell it for them on consignment.”

However, don’t expect to line your retirement nest egg by trading in the milk crates of albums collecting dust in your attack or basement. More often than not their value is more sentimental than financial.

“There are a lot of price guides for records and there is a thriving online business through eBay and several other websites for the rarer stuff,” said Bryan. “With this shop, we want to keep things accessible so it’s not like we’re a rare record shop. We leave that to the pros.”

If you are interested in seeing what all the fuss is about or starting your own collection of vinyl, you might consider attending the Guelph Record and CD Show on Sunday, at the Best Western Hotel on Gordon Street. It goes from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.