Toronto Record Pressing Vinyl

What do the numbers on vinyl records mean?

The numbers and markings on vinyl records serve various purposes, providing information about the recording, manufacturing process, and other relevant details. Here are some common numbers and markings you might find on vinyl records:

  1. Catalog Number: This is a unique identifier assigned by the record label to each release. It helps identify the specific album or single and is typically found on the spine of the record sleeve and/or on the record label itself.
  2. Matrix or Runout Number: This alphanumeric code is etched or stamped into the runout groove area of the vinyl. It identifies the specific master used for pressing the record, the pressing plant, and sometimes additional information like the side of the record and the cutting engineer. The matrix number often appears as a series of letters and numbers like “ABC-123-A” or similar.
  3. Side Number: Vinyl records are often double-sided, with different tracks on each side. The side number indicates which side of the record you’re playing, typically labeled as “Side A” and “Side B” or with Roman numerals (“Side I” and “Side II”).
  4. Speed: Vinyl records can be played at different speeds, commonly 33⅓, 45, or 78 revolutions per minute (RPM). The correct speed for playing the record is usually indicated on the label or sleeve.
  5. Track Listings: The track listings provide information about the songs or compositions included on each side of the record. They are typically printed on the record sleeve or label, listing the title of each track in order of appearance.
  6. Copyright Information: Some records include copyright information, indicating the year the recording was made and the owner of the copyright.
  7. Manufacturing Information: This may include details about where the record was manufactured, such as the country of origin or the name of the pressing plant.

These numbers and markings help collectors, enthusiasts, and industry professionals identify and catalog vinyl records accurately. They also provide insights into the history and production of the record, adding to its overall value and appeal.

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