A typical 12-inch
Video of a 1936 spring-motor-driven 78 rpm acoustic (non-electronic) gramophone playing a shellac record.
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A phonograph record (also known as a gramophone record, especially in
British English, or record) is an
storage medium in the form of a flat disc with an inscribed, modulated
spiral groove. The groove usually starts near the periphery and ends near the center of the disc. At first, the discs were commonly made from
shellac; starting in the 1950s
polyvinyl chloride became common. In recent decades, records have sometimes been called vinyl records, or simply vinyl, although this would exclude most records made until after
World War II.
The phonograph disc record was the primary medium used for
music reproduction until late in the 20th century. It had co-existed with the
phonograph cylinder from the late 1880s and had effectively superseded it by around 1912. Records retained the largest market share even when new formats such as the
compact cassette were mass-marketed. By the late 1980s,
digital media, in the form of the
compact disc, had gained a larger market share, and the vinyl record left the mainstream around 1991.
 From the 1990s to the 2010s, records continued to be manufactured and sold on a much smaller scale, and were especially used by
disc jockeys (DJs), released by artists in some genres, and listened to by a
niche market of
audiophiles. The phonograph record has made a notable niche resurgence in the early 21st century – 9.2 million records were sold in the U.S. in 2014, a 260% increase since 2009.
 Likewise, in the UK sales have increased five-fold from 2009 to 2014.
As of 2017, 48 record pressing facilities remain worldwide, 18 in the United States and 30 in other countries. The increased popularity of vinyl has led to the investment in new and modern record-pressing machines.
 Only two producers of
lacquers remain: Apollo Masters in California, USA, and MDC in Japan.
Phonograph records are generally described by their
diameter in inches (12-inch, 10-inch, 7-inch), the
rotational speed in
revolutions per minute (rpm) at which they are played (8 1⁄3, 16 2⁄3, 33 1⁄3, 45, 78),
 and their time capacity, determined by their diameter and speed (LP [long playing], 12-inch disc, 33 1⁄3 rpm; SP [single], 10-inch disc, 78 rpm, or 7-inch disc, 45 rpm; EP [extended play], 12-inch disc, 33 1⁄3 or 45 rpm); their reproductive quality, or level of
fidelity (high-fidelity, orthophonic, full-range, etc.); and the number of audio channels (
Vinyl records may be scratched or warped if stored incorrectly but if they are not exposed to high heat, carelessly handled or broken, a vinyl record has the potential to last for centuries.
The large cover (and inner sleeves) are valued by collectors and artists for the space given for visual expression, especially when it comes to the long play vinyl