Then the music industry tried to take it all away from us, convincing the record-buying public to invest in cassettes and then CDs. And finally, its biggest mistake - unleashing the MP3 demon.
Or is it? The successive effect of this change over the past 30 years has shifted much of the style of popular music from the record itself into the hands of the listener, first with the Sony Walkman and now the iPOD.
Vinyl (and CDs to a lesser extent) was one of the great retail browsing experiences, a real collectable investment. However, with incessant price-cutting and piracy now prevalent, CDs in particular are in danger of becoming a commodity.
The iPOD is perhaps the missing link. Minimalist, functional and already a design classic, it has helped democratise popular music.
But will it spell the end for traditional music retail? No, because ultimately it will touch a wider audience. Will it have an adverse effect on the quality of what we listen to? No, greater freedom of choice will force the record industry to be more innovative in unearthing talent. And having more than 3000 tracks at your fingertips can't be bad.