Albums, LPs, Eps, Mixtapes, and singles – What is The Difference?
Albums, LPs, Eps, Mixtapes, and singles are used loosely every day. It’s even uncommon to hear musicians refer to an Ep as an album today.
So, in this article, I try to give you some key differences between them. Let’s jump right to it, shall we?
LP (Long Play):
An LP is an album that has 30 minutes or more playtime.
In the old school days, LPs were released on Cds and Vinyl. Today they have become far less popular. The track count for LPs could be up to 20+ and above!
An EP is a smaller LP in brief! It is a recording made up of a couple of songs that normally last for about 30 munites.
Eps usually have more tracks than singles and fewer tracks when compare to albums or LPs. They are sometimes referred to as EP
Albums or mini albums. The track count for Eps could be up to 7 but not less than 4 songs.
Eps could be released as prequels for upcoming albums to build awareness and excitement. They require less money and time to make than albums. This is why they are so ideal.
An album is a release of 8 songs or more with a total playtime longer than 30 minutes. Today, this definition depends a lot on streaming platforms.
Some streaming platforms consider a track count of 7 songs as Albums. The key point here to note is the 30 minutes or more total playtime.
A single is usually referred to as a single song that has been released! Sometimes the word single can also refer to more than one song. According to standards, singles cannot be longer than 25 minutes and could have up to 4 songs or less!
A mixtape is a recording containing various songs from various artists. It’s usually homemade. Mixtapes were made popular by the rap community and are still very useful today.
With mixtapes, quality is less of a priority and so, rappers usually have complete freedom to do as they please. That’s why mixtapes work better with rap music. There is no restriction on track count. This is why Mixtapes are often just a group of songs with no theme.
Rappers use mixtapes to mostly kickstart their careers because mixtapes cost far less to make. This makes Mixtapes a great promotional tool since they are mostly handed out for free. The recordings are usually on someone’s beat and artists normally don’t worry about music licensing when using this medium.
Don’t be confused!
To keep things simple:
Consider a single as 1 song, an Ep between 4 to 6 songs, and an album between 8 to 16 songs and you will be just fine. The existence of these standards in today’s time is just to serve as a guide.
So is it time to release a single yet?
We wrote an article on the benefits of releasing more music this 2023. You can read about this here:
The benefits of releasing more music in 2023
Enjoy a wonderful day.
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Very helpful, little things we are ignorant abt