When you walk toward Hear Again Music and Movies, you are immediately welcomed by the sweet sounds of vinyl playing through the store. On this particular Friday, it was jazz, store owner Andrew Schaer’s personal choice and favorite genre.
You swing the door open and are immediately enveloped by the rows of vinyl records that the store has to offer. Shelves of new and used music alike line the walls, fill bins and cover the entire surface area of the shop, with the exception of the movie cases that line the back wall.
In 2009, Schaer moved the store to its current location downtown, 201 SE 1st St., and decided to refocus the store to selling mostly vinyl. While the store had previously stocked mostly CDs and DVDs, Schaer saw the passion that was reemerging for the vinyl industry.
“When the Millennium hit, piracy hit. It was almost impossible to stay open so I took what I wanted from the store, sold what I could and donated the rest,” Schaer said.
The selling of his CDs and DVDs went to a new purchase, records. The old idea of music collections quickly became popular once again.
“At first I think it (buying vinyl) may have started out as the thing to do, but once these people who had only been listening to compressed music started listening to records, they could hear the difference,” Schaer said.
Having a collection, Schaer said, is self-fulfilling and rewarding. For him, listening to physical music provides a community and offers an experience that can’t be compared to digital.
“Nobody gets together with their friends and makes a night of listening to a hard drive,” Schaer said.
While Schaer prefers physical music to digital, he still sees that all outlets have their place. Today, most newly released records come with a card which allows you to download the album as well.
“I really think that’s great,” Schaer said. “Now you are purchasing something and have a physical representation, but you also are getting a high quality download from the record label. I understand that most of the listening that people do occurs in their car, so with a download you are able to make that piece of your collection mobile and take it with you, but you still keep the physical aspect too,” Schaer said.
The major selling point of Hear Again for a college student? The prices. Schaer works hard to keep prices low and knows that people want to get the best deal around. When people have smart phones that can pull prices from all over the Internet while they are contemplating their purchase, Schaer knows that he must be competitive.
The difference in buying online and in store, Schaer argues, is the instant gratification you get from purchasing and taking the record home that day. With a quick trip to Hear Again, you can invite your friends over and have a listening party the day you make the purchase, all while saving on shipping.
Hear Again Music and Movies takes requests for music that costumers would like to have in store, and they post updates of their stock as it comes in via their Facebook and Instagram pages. Now, finding your favorite album has never been easier.
“We work really hard to give Gainesville something we think it deserves: a reasonably priced place to come and find music,” Schaer said.