A vinyl record is a disk that is made from vinyl plastic. The sound is recorded on a very fine line or groove which goes around and around in a spiral from the outside edge of the disk to the center. The phonograph plays the sound with a needle that touches the groove. A record usually has different music on each side.
Thomas Edison made early phonographs in the 1870s. He originally used wax cylinders to record the sound, but disks were soon used instead, first made out of bakelite, and then vinyl. Singles usually carried only one or two songs or recordings. EPs (extended play records) carried from three to five songs. Albums carried many more recordings; a dozen was normal, or from 30 to 45 minutes of playing time. These formats are still used today, with digital recordings, and playing time for singles and albums has grown considerably.
Vinyl records lost popularity but never went out of production. Now, in recent years vinyl is gaining popularity, while CD record shops have gone out of business, more and more vinyl only record shops are opening. Many argue the higher sound quality of vinyl compared to newer formats.