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Weezer made me be their record player and now I need a lie-down

A screenshot of Weezer's Human Record Player site
(Image credit: Weezer)

We all know that vinyl's had a resurgence in recent years as a way of listening to music, but have you ever thought about it from the point of view of the record player? Sitting there all day, spinning discs at precisely 33 and a third (or 45) revolutions per minute to play sweet sounds into your ears? Of course you haven't.

That hasn't stopped venerable alt-rockers Weezer from coming up with an absolutely splendid wheeze to promote their new single, 'Records', though. In an inspired piece of marketing silliness, they've released it in a format where you have to play it by holding your phone (ideally one of the best smartphones) and spinning around, literally becoming a human record player.

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Great idea! But what sort of idiot would actually do it? Fortunately I'm just that sort of idiot; I've done panto and I've done street theatre in all sorts of daft costumes (including with a giant flowerpot on my head), so spinning around on the spot for three-and-a-bit minutes in the privacy of my office is just the sort of low-level stupidity I can take in my stride.

Getting up and running with this ludicrous charade is easy: just go to Weezer's Human Record Player (opens in new tab) site on your phone (or just visit the site on desktop and scan the handy QR code). You may well have to grant the site access to your phone's motion sensors but that takes a second, and then you're off.

Yes, it's a daft idea, but it's executed really well. I put in my AirPods Pro and started turning around, and the song started playing, sounding exactly like a vinyl record playing too slowly until I hit the right speed. Thankfully there's some clever quantising going on, so while you're turning at roughly the right speed it'll lock to playing properly; that said you can get some cool effects by going really fast or really slow, or by turning in the wrong direction.

What I wasn't prepared for, however, was the sheer hell of spinning on the spot at a constant pace for three minutes. I made the rookie error of looking at my phone for the first 20 or 30 seconds, which is definitely a cheat code for inducing motion sickness. Pro tip: make like a ballerina and focus on a fixed point as you spin, then quickly turn your head to focus on a new point, and repeat.

Using that technique I was able to make it to the end of the song without being sick all over my phone and cat, and I have the tweet to prove it:

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It's a fun and clever piece of marketing (as well as a hilarious abuse of technology), although it does seem to be a lot of trouble to go to in order to listen to a Weezer song, but if you haven't spun around in a circle until you felt horrifically dizzy since you were in the school playground then there's something to be said for revisiting that experience (mainly: don't).

And imagine my surprise and disappointment when I discovered that despite Weezer's claims, you can actually just listen to the song on YouTube:

What a swizz! Go on, though; do it properly. We all need a bit of pointless idiocy in our lives, and this can be your helping for today. Just remember what I said about ballerinas.

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Jim McCauley
Jim McCauley

Jim McCauley is a writer, performer and cat-wrangler who started writing professionally way back in 1995 on PC Format magazine, and has been covering technology-related subjects ever since, whether it's hardware, software or videogames. A chance call in 2005 led to Jim taking charge of Computer Arts' website and developing an interest in the world of graphic design, and eventually led to a move over to the freshly-launched Creative Bloq in 2012. Jim now works as a freelance writer for sites including Creative Bloq, T3 and PetsRadar, specialising in design, technology, wellness and cats, while doing the occasional pantomime and street performance in Bath and designing posters for a local drama group on the side.