Whether you're brand new to collecting vinyl, or a seasoned pro, we've put together a handy glossary of some tricky terminology you may come across when it comes to buying records. Got a question about record collecting? Read our FAQ.

  • 7" / 7 inch:

    A record measuring 7 inches in diameter. Due to its size this format is usually used for single releases, comprising of two tracks, an A-Side and B-side, however can sometimes include more.

  • 10" / 10 inch:

    A record measuring 10 inches in diameter. This format is mainly used for EP's, however can sometimes be used for albums, and singles (usually with multiple remixes).

  • 12" / 12 inch:

    A twelve inch record. The term 12" is used to distinguish between a full length album (LP) and a single (12"). In most cases this will either be a single (with remixes) or an EP featuring multiple tracks but never a full album.

  • Adapter:

    Although rare, some records have a larger hole in the centre designed for use in jukeboxes, usually 7" records. To use these records on a standard record player you will need a record adapter. There are various types from high-end to cheaper plastic versions such as 'spiders'.

  • Black Friday / BF:

    A spin-off to Record Store Day that takes place each year on the fourth Friday of November (following Thanksgiving in America). The day is marked with limited edition records, initially made available over the counter only, with a staggered online release. It's also a date synonymous with sales, along with Cyber Monday which follows it.

  • Bonus Disc:

    An additional record or CD that accompanies the main release, usually with extra tracks that do not feature on the original release.

  • Bonus Track:

    An additional track or tracks that are not included as part of the standard release. Often reserved for re-releases, or deluxe editions, or sometimes included as a stand-alone bonus disc.

  • Box Set:

    A collection of products, either vinyl, CD or a combination of both, packaged together in a box and sold as a single item; often with additional material and collectable items included. To shop available box sets, click here.

  • Cat Number / Cat #:

    Short for Catalogue Number this is a unique code used to an identify a specific release. Separate formats of the same release will usually have different catalogue numbers e.g. a coloured vinyl version will have a different cat number from the black vinyl version. These can usually be found on the spine or back of a record sleeve, and on all our product pages.

  • Coloured Vinyl:

    Any record that's pressed on anything other than black vinyl, which is considered the standard. Colour vinyl used to be viewed as inferior amongst purists, however can have the same level of sound quality and is often used to differentiate limited editions (from standard black vinyl pressings).

  • Deleted:

    Records that are no longer being pressed, but may still be available for purchase commercially. Popular albums which have been deleted often sell for inflated prices on second-hand resale sites.

  • Die-Cut Sleeve:

    A "die-cut" album cover or sleeve features a custom-cut area or hole, designed to showcase the contents inside, for example a picture disc, coloured vinyl disc or inner sleeve artwork without requiring removal from the sleeve.

  • Double LP / 2LP:

    A Double LP (Long Play) is an album that spans two vinyl records, typically due to its length or the desire for higher audio quality. This format allows for more extended music content without compromising sound fidelity. Double LPs often come in a gatefold cover, which unfolds to reveal both records.

  • Download Code:

    Not included with all records, these are usually printed on a card (or sticker) found inside the record sleeve and entitles the owner to own a complimentary digital copy of the album as an MP3 or WAV file. Popular during the digital download era these are much less common today due to the rise of streaming.

  • Embossed Sleeve:

    Slightly more premium than a standard sleeve, an embossing process is used to creating raised, three-dimensional design elements in the cover artwork. Types of embossing include 'blind', 'debossing' and 'scorched'.

  • EP:

    : An EP (Extended Play) is a vinyl record containing two or three tracks on each side, offering more content than a single but less than a full album. EPs can come in various diameters, including 7", 10" or 12".

  • Etchings / Etched:

    Music isn't the only thing records are good for, sometimes pictures can be etched into the vinyl instead - although unplayable, they look great!

  • First Pressing:

    As it suggests, this refers to the the first pressing of a record. These can be more sought after by collectors, as they sometimes include additional elements not found on later pressings, although most are identical.

  • Flexi-Disc:

    A thin, flexible vinyl sheet with a moulded spiral stylus groove, usually measuring 7 inches in diameter and containing a single track. They were designed to be played on record player, and mainly produced between 1960 and 2000 as a means of including audio material with books, magazines, cereal boxes etc. Cheap to make, often with low quality sound.

  • Gatefold:

    A record cover that's intended to fold open like a book. Often the inside of a gatefold cover will include lyrics, liner notes, or additional photos of the artist.

  • Import:

    A release that has been produced / released oversees and brought to the UK for sale to the UK market. Due to additional added import costs these are often more expensive.

  • Indie Exclusive:

    A release that's only available to independent retailers, as opposed to large companies such as Amazon. Often limited editions.

  • Inner Sleeve:

    A paper cover inside the outer cardboard sleeve used for protecting the vinyl. There are multiple types including poly-lined inner sleeves, which include a plastic layer inside for extra protection, and printed inner sleeves which can include additional artwork or lyrics. Some include die-cut holes in the centre of each side so the vinyl label is viewable.

  • Insert:

    Anything that is included within a record sleeve that's not the vinyl or inner sleeve. This is often a 12x12" piece of paper with lyrics, credits or images, which is cheaper to produce than printing this information on the inner sleeves themselves.

  • Lead-In Groove:

    : The groove at the outside edge of a vinyl which contains no audio. This groove serves only to catch the needle, and gently lead it into the first track of the record.

  • Limited Edition:

    A format or release that is produced in limited quantities, often making it highly collectable. To shop available limited edition releases, click here.

  • LP:

    LP stands for Long-Play record. This is usually a full length album, cut at 33 1/3.

  • Mono:

    Mono stands for monaural or monophonic sound reproduction and is where a record is intended to be heard as if it were a single channel of sound perceived as coming from one position. This is opposed to stereophonic (stereo) sound, a method of sound reproduction which used multiple channels to create the impression that the sound is coming from different areas.

  • Numbered:

    Records are sometimes numbered to indicate that they're made as part of a limited run, usually on the back of the sleeve, either by hand, stamped or embossed. Due to their nature, number records are often highly collectable.

  • National Album Day / NAD:

    : An annual event that celebrates the album in all its forms. It is marked each year with tons limited edition releases, usually based around a specific theme. Past themes have included the '90's', 'debut albums' and 'don't skip'.

  • Obi Strip:

    A thin paper strip wrapped around the sleeve of record. Originating in Japan, they're usually used to contain additional information about the record.

  • Out Of Print:

    This refers to a record that has previously been available to buy, but is now either sold out or has been deleted. If a record is popular it can be re-pressed at a later date or anniversary.

  • OST:

    This stands for Original Soundtrack, a recording of music and/or dialogue from a movie, television show or other media production. The soundtrack is typically released as an album that includes songs and music featured in the production, as well as any score or incidental music composed specifically for the production. To shop our collection of scores and soundtracks, click here.

  • Record Store Day / RSD:

    A global annual event (usually on the third Saturday of April) which began in 2007. Record Store Day was created to celebrate 'bricks-and-mortar' independent record stores and their culture with an emphasis on physical releases. The day is marked by the release of limited edition, highly collectable products that are initially made available over the counter only, and later online. A similar version of RSD also takes place on Black Friday each year in November.

    As we're an 'online only' store we're not able to take part in Record Store Day, however we're able to sell RSD products once they become available online shortly after the main day itself. To see available releases from previous years search 'RSD' or click here.

  • Re-Issue:

    A deleted or out-of-print record that has been re-released, usually as part of a special anniversary or event such as Record Store Day.

  • Re-Press / Re-Print:

    Slightly different to a re-issue, a re-press is a later press of a record that hasn't been deleted. Usually records are re-pressed when demand is higher than expected and the initial press has, or is close to, sold out.

  • RPM:

    An abbreviation of 'Revolutions Per Minute', in this case indicating how many times a record revolves per minute when placed on a turntable. Records are usually pressed at either 33 1/3, 45 and in rare cases 78 rpm.

  • Run-Out Groove:

    The groove at the very end of a record, before the needle hits the centre, signifying the end of a record. This usually includes no music, but can sometimes include a small snippet of audio, the most famous example perhaps being on The Beatles 'Sgt. Pepper' album.

  • Shellac:

    A material formally used to create records before the use of polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Its firm quality meant Shellac discs were extremely fragile and would shatter easily when dropped. Most old gramophone records were made from Shellac.

  • Slipmat:

    A circular piece of slippery cloth or synthetic material which is placed on the turntable (platter) of a record player instead of a traditional rubber mat. A slipmat allows a record to be manipulated while the platter continues to rotate underneath, useful for effects such as scratching. A record should never be placed directly onto a turntable without either a rubber mat, or slipmat. A selection of slipmats can be found here.

  • Spine:

    The thin edge of the record sleeve that faces outwards if displayed on bookshelves. This usually contains the artist name, title of record and catalogue number.

  • Stereo:

    Stereophonic (stereo) sound is a method of sound reproduction using multiple channels and signals to create an impression that the sound is coming from different areas. This is opposed to mono, where a record is intended to be heard as if it were a single channel of sound perceived as coming from one position.

  • Stylus:

    What some people refer to as a record 'needle'. To be specific, it's the tiny wedge that protrudes from a stylus cartridge cantilever that rests in the record groove and moves back and forth in response to modulations in the groove.

  • Triple LP / 3LP:

    An album (or multiple albums) that's pressed over three discs.

  • Turntable:

    This can either refer to another name for a record player (as a whole), or specifically the circular rotating platform of a record player of which the vinyl is placed on (also known as a 'platter').

  • Vinyl:

    The general term used to describe music formats that store analogue sound within grooves, predominantly made out of polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

  • Warp / Warping:

    Warping is when a record becomes bent or deformed due to pressure or temperature changes. Essentially, if your record isn't completely flat, it's warped. Minor warping however is normal and can happen even if you're taking good care of your collection, and shouldn't affect the playability of your record. Major warping however can cause issues with playability. There is no way to 'fix' warping, although there are ways to minimise its effects such as record weights.

  • White Label:

    A promotional pressing, traditionally sent out to radio stations and distributors - or to test quality before mass producing, with a completely blank label denoting it is for promo only. May also have unique black on white printed labels with just artist and title information or "A" and "B" symbols, and have different catalogue numbers to domestic releases. As they're pressed in very small quantities these are often highly sought after by collectors.