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What is the Difference Between an EP and an Album

There was a time when I was asking this question, and I honestly couldn’t get it. I mean music is such a complicated thing, right? I mean EP, LP, album, mixtape…geez! So many things.

Well in time I have learned to search for information about music the moment when I started to become more and more passionate about it. And of course I have learned about an EP.

Now let me bring you some clarifications. First of all, let’s start with the definitions.

According to Wikipedia, EP stands for Extended Play and is a musical recording that contains more tracks than a single, but is usually unqualified as an album or LP. Contemporary EPs generally contain a minimum of three tracks and maximum of six tracks, and are considered “less expensive and time-consuming” for an artist to produce than an album.

Also according to Wikipedia, An album is a collection of audio recordings issued as a collection on CD, vinyl, audio tape, or another medium.

But let’s get more into it, go beyond the definition and check out some similarities and differences.

Similarities:

  • Both contain a collection of songs
  • Both can be recorded on vinyl and CDs
  • Both contain songs released by the band. Sometimes the songs might coincide

Differences:

  • EP usually contains a number between three and six tracks, while an album may have 11-12 tracks
  • EP is usually cheeper than an album
  • While an EP can only be recorded on vinyl or CD (correct me if I’m wrong), an album can also be recorded on an audio play or some other mediums
  • EPs are usually 7″ diameter and 45 RPM records while LPs are usually 12″ diameter and 33 RPM records

RPM stands for Rotations per Minute and indicate the speed at which the vinyl record you’re listening to is supposed to rotate on the turntable you’re using. Records that rotate at faster speeds generally contain more musical data, and are said to sound better.

There are many to be said about EPs and Albums, but I prefer to only syntethise the information available on the internet for better structuring and understanding.

What I want to show you until the next time is the List of Number One EP’s in the UK from 1960 to 1967 and the List of Number One Albums in the UK from 1960 to 1969.

4 thoughts on “What is the Difference Between an EP and an Album

  1. Foarte util articol! 🙂 Cred ca incet-incet toate genurile de discuri o sa ramana pentru colectionari si industria muzicala se muta pe descarcarea online cu plata. Dar abrevierile astea se vor pastra si e bine sa stii cat o sa downloadezi, doar citind doua litere. 😀

    1. Da, probabil vor ramane in spate caracteristicile fizice ale discurilor, insa la fel cred ca in continuare se va face diferenta pe baza lungimii, care poate fi masurata si in format digital. Trupele vor avea in continuare nevoie de o unitate de masura pentru releasuri, altfel nu vor mai avea sens concertele de promovare si nu vei mai putea avea o clasificare a discografiei.

  2. It sounds pretty complicated for someone like me, who knows very little about the music industry. Thank you for writing this informative article. I wonder if they will even hold concerts in the future. They will probably just develop holograms that create virtual reality concerts right in our homes.

    1. Well actually it all sounds complicated when you don’t know, but it gets better in time. Regarding to the future, sky is the limit, but my opinion would be that personal held concerts will always be a much better and desirable experience than a hologram, but in the end who knows? We can only wait and see. Thank you for your opinion. 🙂

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