What is a Picture Disc Vinyl

picture disc vinyl is a unique collector’s item in the world of vinyl records. It is a vinyl record that has an image directly on the playing surface. The image is usually placed between a vinyl puck and a clear sheet of thin polyethylene foil vinyl on both sides. The process of creating a picture disc vinyl is usually done by hand and takes more time compared to standard vinyl records. While picture disc vinyls are visually appealing and valuable as collector items, they may not have optimal sound quality compared to their standard counterparts.

A round vinyl record with a transparent center showcasing a vivid and intricate picture design that covers the entire surface. The picture features a colorful and detailed illustration of a famous band’s album cover art, with vibrant hues and sharp lines that create a visually stunning effect. The vinyl is displayed on a turntable, with the needle gently resting on the grooves and ready to play music. The background is dark, with a subtle gradient that enhances the contrast and clarity of the picture disc vinyl.

Key Takeaways:

  • Picture disc vinyls are collector’s items with images directly on the playing surface.
  • The manufacturing process of picture disc vinyls involves placing artwork between vinyl and thin polyethylene foil vinyl.
  • Picture disc vinyls may have substandard sound quality compared to standard vinyl records.
  • Playing picture disc vinyls can erode the clear layer of the image, so limited playtime is advisable for preservation.
  • Picture disc vinyls are valued by collectors for their visual appeal and limited availability.

The Manufacturing Process of Picture Disc Vinyls

Picture disc vinyls undergo a unique manufacturing process that sets them apart from standard vinyl records. This process involves incorporating a piece of artwork between the vinyl puck and a thin polyethylene foil vinyl. The artwork is typically placed on both sides of the vinyl, creating a visually appealing design directly on the playing surface. The components are then pressed together, resulting in the creation of a picture disc vinyl.

The manufacturing process of picture disc vinyls requires additional steps compared to standard records, which can lead to higher production costs. The handmade nature of picture disc vinyls contributes to their collectability, as each piece is a unique work of art. Despite their unique design, picture disc vinyls can be played like any other record without any special settings.

The Manufacturing Process of Picture Disc Vinyls

StepDescription
1Artwork preparation: The artwork is selected and prepared for the manufacturing process.
2Placement of artwork: The artwork is carefully positioned between the vinyl puck and a clear sheet of thin polyethylene foil vinyl on both sides.
3Pressing: The components are pressed together, applying pressure to create a bonded picture disc vinyl.
4Quality control: Each picture disc vinyl is inspected for any defects or imperfections before packaging.
5Packaging: The picture disc vinyls are packaged and prepared for distribution.

It is important to note that while picture disc vinyls are visually appealing and valuable as collector’s items, they may not have the same sound quality as their standard counterparts. The thin polyethylene foil used in the manufacturing process can degrade over time, leading to a degraded sound. Additionally, the production process can sometimes result in static build-up and surface noises. However, the sound quality can vary depending on factors such as the mastering, manufacturing, and production process.

The Sound Quality of Picture Disc Vinyls

Picture disc vinyls are highly coveted collectible items due to their unique visual appeal. However, it’s important to consider the sound quality when purchasing these records. While picture disc vinyls offer a visually stunning listening experience, they may not provide the same level of audio fidelity as standard vinyl records.

The production process of picture disc vinyls involves using a thin polyethylene foil, which can degrade faster than regular vinyl over time. This degradation can result in a loss of sound quality, including increased surface noise and a reduction in dynamic range. Additionally, the manufacturing process can cause static build-up, leading to pops and crackles during playback.

It’s crucial to note that the sound quality of picture disc vinyls can vary depending on factors such as the mastering, manufacturing, and production process. Some picture disc vinyls may have better sound quality than others, so it’s advisable to research the specific release and read reviews before making a purchase.

Features of Picture Disc VinylsSound QualityVisual AppealCollectibility
Unique image on playing surfaceVaries based on manufacturing process and conditionVisually stunningHighly collectible
Thin polyethylene foil constructionPotential for increased surface noise and degraded audioEye-catching addition to a vinyl collectionValued by collectors
Handcrafted manufacturing processCan result in static build-up and pops during playbackOffers a unique listening experienceRare and sought-after in the collector’s market

While picture disc vinyls may not provide the same level of audio fidelity as standard vinyl records, their unique visual appeal and collectibility make them highly desirable among collectors. It’s important to consider the trade-off between sound quality and the aesthetic value when purchasing picture disc vinyls.

If you prioritize sound quality above all else, it’s recommended to focus on standard vinyl records. However, if you appreciate the visual artistry and enjoy having a visually striking centerpiece in your collection, picture disc vinyls can be a fantastic addition. Ultimately, the decision to purchase picture disc vinyls should be based on your personal preferences and the specific release’s reputation for sound quality.

Playing and Preserving Picture Disc Vinyls

Playing and preserving picture disc vinyls requires some special considerations to ensure their longevity and value. While these unique collector’s items can be enjoyed like any other vinyl record, it’s important to be mindful of their delicate nature.

When playing a picture disc vinyl, there are no special settings required. Simply place it on your turntable and lower the stylus as you would with a standard record. However, it’s essential to remember that the more a picture disc vinyl is played, the more susceptible it becomes to wear and tear.

The stylus of the turntable can erode the clear layer of the image and potentially damage or remove the image layer itself. To preserve the value and condition of a picture disc vinyl, it’s advisable to limit its playtime. Consider purchasing a second copy of the album on a standard black vinyl for regular listening while keeping the picture disc vinyl as a collector’s item.

By taking these precautions, you can ensure that your picture disc vinyls remain in excellent condition and retain their value for years to come.

The Value of Picture Disc Vinyls

Picture disc vinyls hold a special place in the hearts of collectors, serving as valuable and highly sought-after items in the world of vinyl records. With their unique design and limited availability, picture disc vinyls offer a visual aesthetic that sets them apart from standard vinyl albums. They are often considered collectible pieces, treasured by enthusiasts for their artistic appeal and as a way to display their love for a particular artist or album.

The value of a picture disc vinyl can vary depending on several factors. The artist and album play a significant role in determining its worth, with picture disc versions of albums from popular artists often fetching higher prices in the collector’s market. Rarity and condition are also crucial considerations, as rare and well-preserved picture discs can command higher prices. The iconic artwork featured on certain picture disc vinyls can also contribute to their value, as fans and collectors appreciate the visual appeal and unique design.

To give you an idea of the value of picture disc vinyls, here’s an example table showcasing the price ranges of some collectible picture disc vinyl albums:

ArtistAlbumPrice Range
Pink FloydThe Dark Side of the Moon$100 – $500
David BowieHeroes$200 – $800
The BeatlesSgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band$300 – $1,000
QueenBohemian Rhapsody$150 – $600

It’s important to note that these price ranges are approximate and can vary depending on the specific edition, condition, and demand in the market. Collectors should always do thorough research and consult experts or reputable sources to determine the current value of specific picture disc vinyls.

Why Collectible Picture Disc Vinyls Matter

The appeal of collectible picture disc vinyls goes beyond their monetary value. They offer a unique and visually captivating listening experience, combining the love for music with the appreciation of art. Picture disc vinyls allow fans to connect with their favorite albums on a deeper level, providing a tangible representation of the music they love. Displayed on a shelf or framed on a wall, picture disc vinyls become conversation starters and symbols of personal taste and passion.

So whether you’re a seasoned collector or just starting to explore the world of vinyl records, consider adding picture disc vinyls to your collection. They are not only valuable assets but also beautiful pieces of art that enhance the overall aesthetic and enjoyment of your music collection.

The History of Picture Discs

Picture discs have a fascinating history that dates back to the early 20th century. The concept of laminating playable records onto postcards emerged during this time, but it wasn’t until the early 1930s that commercial production of picture discs using the core-photo-vinyl construction began. These early picture discs faced several challenges, including poor sound quality and high manufacturing costs, making them a rarity in the market.

In the 1940s, Vogue Records introduced high-quality picture discs with colorful graphics. However, the company faced difficulties in terms of production costs and talent signings, leading to a decline in the availability of picture discs. It wasn’t until the 1970s that picture discs for the adult market saw a revival, becoming popular among collectors once again.

Today, vintage picture discs are highly sought after by collectors due to their rarity and historical significance. These discs offer a glimpse into the evolution of vinyl records and the artistic expressions of different eras. As the production techniques improved over time, picture discs became more visually appealing and collectible, making them valuable additions to any vinyl collection.

A vinyl record with a colorful image on its surface, showcasing music notes and symbols, surrounded by an intricate border pattern reminiscent of antique prints and engravings. The colors are bright and vibrant, with a glossy finish that catches the light. In the center of the disc, there is an iconic artist or band logo, rendered in a vintage style that evokes nostalgia and passion for the music. The grooves of the record can be seen underneath the picture, adding depth and texture to the design. The background is blurred and abstract, suggesting movement and energy, as if the music were about to burst out of the vinyl and into the listener’s ears.

DecadesKey Developments
Early 20th centuryPlayable records laminated onto postcards
Early 1930sCommercial production of picture discs using the core-photo-vinyl construction begins
1940sVogue Records introduces high-quality picture discs with colorful graphics
1970sRevival of picture discs for the adult market

“Vintage picture discs offer a glimpse into the evolution of vinyl records and the artistic expressions of different eras.”

As the popularity of vinyl records surges once again, picture discs continue to hold a special place in the hearts of collectors. The unique combination of visual artwork and audio has made picture discs a cherished form of artistic expression. Whether you’re a seasoned collector or a newbie to the world of vinyl, exploring the history of picture discs can deepen your appreciation for these captivating and valuable collector’s items.

Children’s Picture Discs

If you’re a fan of picture disc vinyls and have children who love music, you’ll be happy to know that there are picture discs specifically designed for kids. Children’s picture discs offer a unique listening experience for little ones, combining colorful visuals with their favorite songs. These picture discs are often smaller in size, usually seven inches, and played at 78 RPM, making them easier for small hands to handle.

Companies like Voco Records and Record Guild of America were among the pioneers in releasing picture discs of children’s music. These discs featured vibrant and eye-catching images that captured the imagination of young listeners. The manufacturing techniques used for children’s picture discs were often simpler, with the discs printed on cardboard and made without a reinforcing core. These vintage children’s picture discs are now considered nostalgic collector’s items.

Whether you’re looking to introduce your children to vinyl records or want to add a touch of nostalgia to your own collection, children’s picture discs are a delightful option. They not only provide an interactive and engaging listening experience but also serve as visual aids for storytelling and imaginative play. With their unique designs and playful imagery, children’s picture discs are sure to spark joy and creativity in young music lovers.

Making Music Fun for Kids with Picture Discs

Picture discs for children offer an exciting way to make music more fun and accessible for kids. The colorful images and engaging visuals help capture their attention and make the listening experience more memorable. Whether it’s a storybook-themed picture disc or one featuring their favorite cartoon characters, these vinyl records provide a sensory experience that can enhance a child’s love for music and ignite their imagination.

Not only do children’s picture discs bring joy to little ears, but they also serve as wonderful keepsakes. As your children grow up, these picture discs can become cherished mementos of their childhood, reminding them of the songs and stories that brought them joy. So, whether you’re a collector looking to expand your vinyl collection or a parent wanting to introduce your child to the world of music, children’s picture discs are a perfect choice that combines entertainment, education, and nostalgia.

Advantages of Children’s Picture Discs
Engaging visual element enhances the listening experience
Introduces children to the world of vinyl records
Encourages imagination and storytelling
Serves as a keepsake and nostalgic item
Can be a source of bonding and shared musical experiences

Unique Types of Picture Discs

If you’re a collector of picture disc vinyls, you’ll be glad to know that there are some unique types out there that are highly sought after. These special editions add an extra level of creativity and collectability to your vinyl collection. Let’s dive into some of these unique types:

Prototype Picture Discs

Prototype picture discs are extremely rare and valuable collector’s items. These are unreleased examples that were used for image alignment and were not intended for commercial sale. They offer a unique glimpse into the production process and are highly coveted by collectors.

Shaped Picture Discs

Shaped picture discs are another fascinating type of picture disc. Instead of the standard circular shape, these picture discs feature images that are cut into unique shapes. These can range from simple geometric designs to intricate shapes that reflect the theme or artwork of the album. Shaped picture discs add an extra visual element to your vinyl collection.

Zoetrope Picture Discs

Zoetrope picture discs take vinyl art to a whole new level. These picture discs incorporate moving images through rotation, creating an interactive visual experience when played on a turntable. As the disc spins, the images come to life, adding a mesmerizing and captivating element to your vinyl listening experience.

Unique Types of Picture DiscsDescription
Prototype Picture DiscsUnreleased examples used for image alignment, extremely rare and valuable.
Shaped Picture DiscsImages cut into unique shapes, adds visual appeal to your collection.
Zoetrope Picture DiscsMoving images through rotation, creates an interactive visual experience.

As a collector, having these unique types of picture discs in your collection can elevate your vinyl experience and make your collection stand out. Whether you’re fascinated by the rare and valuable prototype picture discs, the visually appealing shaped picture discs, or the mesmerizing zoetrope picture discs, these unique types offer a new dimension of creativity and collectability.

So, keep an eye out for these unique types of picture discs and add them to your collection to showcase your love for vinyl and your appreciation for the artistry that goes into these special editions.

Create an image featuring a collection of various unique picture discs, each one with a different and eye-catching design. The discs should be arranged in a way that showcases their individual designs, with different shapes, colors, and patterns. The image should convey a sense of excitement and curiosity for collectors and music enthusiasts who appreciate the beauty of these rare vinyls. Use vibrant colors and high-quality details to make each disc stand out.

Current Trends in Picture Discs

The world of picture disc vinyls continues to evolve with the changing demands and preferences of collectors and music enthusiasts. Today, modern picture disc vinyls are being produced by various artists and record labels, offering unique and visually appealing editions of their albums. These modern picture discs often feature exclusive artwork, limited edition pressings, and creative packaging, making them highly sought after items in the current market.

One current trend in picture disc vinyls is the collaboration between musicians and visual artists. Many artists are teaming up with renowned artists or designers to create stunning visuals that complement their music. This collaboration not only enhances the overall aesthetic appeal of the picture disc vinyl but also creates a collectible item that showcases the synergy between music and visual art.

The Rise of Picture Disc Vinyl Subscription Services

Another trend in the world of picture disc vinyls is the emergence of subscription services specifically catering to vinyl collectors. These services offer exclusive releases, including picture disc vinyls, directly to subscribers. By subscribing to these services, collectors can access limited edition picture discs and expand their collections with unique and rare finds.

Additionally, advancements in technology have allowed for higher-quality printing on picture disc vinyls, resulting in more detailed and vibrant visuals. Artists and designers can now create intricate and visually stunning artwork that truly stands out on the playing surface of the vinyl. This has further increased the appeal of picture disc vinyls as collectibles and art pieces.

TrendDescription
Collaboration with visual artistsArtists partnering with renowned artists or designers to create visually stunning editions of their albums.
Picture disc vinyl subscription servicesSubscription-based services offering exclusive releases, including picture disc vinyls, directly to collectors.
Advancements in printing technologyHigher-quality printing techniques allowing for more detailed and vibrant visuals on picture disc vinyls.

The Appeal of Picture Disc Vinyls

Picture disc vinyls have gained significant popularity among collectors and music enthusiasts due to their unique appeal. While they may not offer the same sound quality as standard vinyl records, they provide an engaging and visually captivating listening experience. The artwork directly embedded on the playing surface adds an extra layer of artistic expression, allowing listeners to connect with the music on a different level.

One of the main advantages of picture disc vinyls is their ability to serve as display items. Collectors can proudly showcase their favorite albums, transforming them into visually striking pieces of art. Whether displayed on a shelf, framed on a wall, or used as a centerpiece, picture disc vinyls add a touch of creativity and personality to any space.

In addition to their visual appeal, picture disc vinyls hold value as collectibles. Limited edition releases, exclusive artwork, and unique packaging make these vinyl records highly sought after by collectors. The rarity and scarcity of certain picture disc vinyls contribute to their desirability and can result in increased market value over time.

Show a vibrant, colorful image of a record player with a picture disc vinyl spinning on it. Surrounding the player, depict a variety of different images and designs that are visible on the vinyl. Use bright hues and vivid patterns to convey the visual appeal of these unique collector’s items. In the foreground, show a happy collector admiring their collection of picture disc vinyls, with a satisfied expression on their face.

Advantages of Picture Disc Vinyls

  • Visually captivating: The embedded artwork on the playing surface adds an aesthetic charm that enhances the overall listening experience.
  • Unique collector’s items: Picture disc vinyls are limited edition releases, making them valuable additions to any vinyl collection.
  • Display items: Used as decorative pieces, picture disc vinyls allow collectors to showcase their favorite albums in a visually appealing way.
  • Creative packaging: Special edition picture disc vinyls often feature innovative packaging designs, enhancing their collectability.

“Picture disc vinyls provide a visually captivating and unique listening experience, serving as both artistic expressions and collector’s items.”

Benefits of Picture Disc Vinyls

  1. Artistic expression: Picture disc vinyls add an extra layer of artistic expression to the music, creating a more immersive experience.
  2. Collector’s value: Limited availability and unique designs make picture disc vinyls highly sought after by collectors, potentially increasing their market value.
  3. Conversation starters: Displayed picture disc vinyls can serve as conversation starters, allowing music lovers to share their passion and knowledge.
  4. Visual variety: The wide range of artwork available on picture disc vinyls offers music enthusiasts the opportunity to explore different visual styles and genres.

Where to Find Picture Disc Vinyls

If you’re a collector or a music enthusiast interested in adding picture disc vinyls to your collection, there are several places where you can find these unique and visually captivating records.

One option is to explore online marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay. These platforms often have a wide selection of picture disc vinyls available for purchase. You can easily browse through different albums, artists, and genres, and choose the ones that appeal to you the most.

Another great option is to visit physical record stores. Many independent record stores specialize in vinyl records and have dedicated sections for picture disc vinyls. Visiting these stores can provide a more immersive and hands-on experience, allowing you to see and feel the records before making a purchase.

Additionally, keep an eye out for record fairs and vinyl conventions in your area. These events bring together collectors, enthusiasts, and sellers, creating a vibrant marketplace for all things vinyl. You’re likely to find a wide range of picture disc vinyls, including rare and limited edition releases.

Table: Online and Physical Picture Disc Vinyl Retailers

Online RetailersPhysical Stores
AmazonAmoeba Music
eBayRough Trade
DiscogsReckless Records
Vinyl Me, PleasePermanent Records

These are just a few examples of online retailers and physical stores where you can find picture disc vinyls. Keep in mind that availability may vary, and it’s always a good idea to check multiple sources and compare prices to find the best options for your collection.

Vinyl records come in various formats, from the iconic 12-inch LPs to 7-inch singles, picture discs, and historic 78 RPM records. Discover the diverse world of vinyl and find out which types resonate with your musical tastes.

33 RPM vs 45 RPM: Discover the key differences between 33 RPM and 45 RPM vinyl records and how they affect your listening experience.

7 Inch Vinyl vs 12 Inch: Dive into the world of vinyl sizes as we explore the pros and cons of 7-inch and 12-inch vinyl records.

Types of Vinyl Records: Explore the various types of vinyl records available, from LPs to EPs, picture discs, and more, and find out which one suits your music preferences.

What Is an EP: Learn about Extended Play (EP) vinyl records, their history, and why they remain a unique and cherished format for music lovers.

What Are 7 Inch Vinyl Records: Get acquainted with the charm of 7-inch vinyl records, known for their singles and limited editions, and how to make the most of them.

What Are 78 RPM Records: Step back in time to explore the fascinating history of 78 RPM records, an early form of recorded music that left an indelible mark on the industry.

Vinyl Record Sizes: Get a comprehensive guide to vinyl record sizes, from the smallest 7-inch to the classic 12-inch LPs, helping you understand the nuances of each format.

Conclusion

Picture disc vinyls offer a unique and visually captivating listening experience for collectors and music enthusiasts alike. While they may not have the best sound quality compared to standard vinyl records, they hold tremendous value as collectibles and serve as stunning display items. The manufacturing process of picture disc vinyls involves placing artwork between a vinyl puck and a thin polyethylene foil, resulting in a one-of-a-kind design that appeals to the eyes.

Throughout the history of picture discs, different types have emerged, including prototype picture discs, shaped picture discs, and zoetrope picture discs, adding even more creativity and collectability to the world of vinyl records. Modern picture discs continue to be produced today by contemporary artists, often featuring exclusive artwork and limited edition pressings. With their visual appeal and limited availability, picture disc vinyls have become highly sought-after items in the collector’s market.

When it comes to playing and preserving picture disc vinyls, it is important to note that the more they are played, the more the stylus can erode the clear layer of the image. To preserve their value, it is advisable to limit playtime and consider purchasing a second copy of the standard black vinyl version for regular listening. Whether you are a collector seeking rare and limited edition picture disc vinyls or a music lover interested in the visual aesthetic, picture disc vinyls offer a unique addition to any vinyl collection.

FAQ

What is a picture disc vinyl?

A picture disc vinyl is a unique collector’s item in the world of vinyl records. It is a vinyl record that has an image directly on the playing surface. The image is usually placed between a vinyl puck and a clear sheet of thin polyethylene foil vinyl on both sides.

How are picture disc vinyls made?

Picture disc vinyls are made by placing a piece of artwork between the vinyl puck and a thin polyethylene foil vinyl. These components are pressed together to create the picture disc vinyl. The manufacturing process of picture disc vinyls involves additional steps compared to standard vinyl records, which results in higher production costs.

Do picture disc vinyls have optimal sound quality?

While picture disc vinyls are visually appealing and valuable as collector items, they may not have optimal sound quality compared to their standard counterparts. The thin polyethylene foil used in the manufacturing process can degrade faster than regular vinyl, resulting in a degraded sound over time. The production of picture disc vinyls also requires less vinyl in the grooves, which can affect the sound quality.

Can I play picture disc vinyls like any other vinyl record?

Yes, picture disc vinyls can be played just like any other vinyl record. There are no special settings required to play them. However, it is important to note that the more a picture disc vinyl is played, the more the stylus of the turntable can erode the clear layer of the image and remove the image layer itself.

How much are picture disc vinyls worth?

The value of a picture disc vinyl can vary depending on factors such as the artist, album, condition, and rarity. Some picture disc vinyls, especially those with iconic artwork or from popular artists, can fetch high prices in the collector’s market.

What is the history of picture disc vinyls?

Picture discs have a history that dates back to the early 20th century when playable records were laminated onto postcards. The commercial production of picture discs using the core-photo-vinyl construction began in the early 1930s. The production of picture disc vinyls for the adult market saw a revival in the 1970s and has continued to be popular among collectors.

Were there picture discs for children?

While picture discs for the adult market were not common in the 1950s, there were several companies that marketed picture discs to children during this time. These picture discs were often smaller in size, usually seven inches, and played at 78 RPM. They are now considered nostalgic collector’s items.

Are there any unique types of picture discs?

In addition to standard picture disc vinyls, there are other unique types of picture discs that collectors seek. Prototype picture discs are unreleased examples that were used for image alignment and were not intended for commercial sale. Shaped picture discs feature images that are cut into unique shapes. Zoetrope picture discs incorporate moving images through rotation, creating an interactive visual experience when played on a turntable.

Do contemporary artists release picture disc vinyls?

Yes, many contemporary artists release special edition picture discs alongside their standard vinyl releases. These modern picture discs often feature exclusive artwork, limited edition pressings, and creative packaging.

What is the appeal of picture disc vinyls?

Picture disc vinyls offer a visually captivating and unique listening experience. The artwork directly on the playing surface adds an extra layer of artistic expression and personal connection to the music. Picture disc vinyls also serve as display items, allowing collectors to showcase their favorite albums in a visually striking way.

Where can I find picture disc vinyls?

Picture disc vinyls can be found in various places, both online and in physical record stores. Online marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay often have a wide selection of picture disc vinyls available for purchase. Several specialized record retailers also cater to collectors and carry a range of picture disc vinyls. Record fairs and vinyl conventions are also great places to find unique and rare picture disc vinyls.

Kenneth Haney

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Kenneth Haney is an ardent collector and a scholar of vinyl records, with extensive knowledge ranging from production roots to pressing nuances and audio equipment.

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Written By Kenneth Haney

I am Kenneth Haney, an unyielding audiophile and an ardent collector of vinyl records.My love affair with vinyl started at a young age of 15. As a teenager, I found myself enchanted by the distinct warmth and depth that vinyl brought to music. Unlike digital music, vinyl records carry a tangibility, a piece of history, an art that exists far beyond the confines of an MP3 file.

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