The weekly podcast about vinyl records and the people who collect them.

Why would anyone buy music on vinyl?

That's one of the questions we examine every Monday on the podcast.

Hosted by Keith Foster and Columbo "Sama" Ahmed, The Vinyl Exam is a bi-weekly podcast that features stories and interviews with record collectors, DJs, and vinyl addicts. Keith sits down for in-depth conversations with album enthusiasts, while Columbo draws up short-form radio stories featuring 45 collectors.

By virtue of its existence, the podcast also serves as a go-to spot for some of the best music you can find on vinyl.

Keith Foster

Keith is the guitarist for the funk band Big Pimp Jones, who has released 2 albums, a 45 on Freestyle UK, and a 45 on Funk Night Records Detroit. The band released additional records under pseudonyms Clarence Foster and the Internal Revenue Service, Nosotros Pimpamos (on Freestyle UK) and The Hot Peas and Butta Band (on Recordbreakin Music).

Keith also contributes to The Kodoja Project, writing the giant monster comic 'Kodoja' and working as part of Big Pimp Jones to craft the comic's soundtrack. 

In addition, Keith finds time to run the 'Nerdometrics' podcast and dig for records whenever he can.

Columbo "Sama" Ahmed

Sama is a scientist with a good ear. 

Since 2012, Sama has been hosting a monthly dance party, called The Payback, which goes down every second Friday at The Monarch Lounge in San Francisco (6th and Mission Street). Each month, a guest DJ is invited to play only the very best in Soul, Funk, RnB, and Jazz. The night is consistently accompanied by scantily clad hoop dancers suspended from the Monarch ceiling. 9:30pm-2am.

Aside from experimenting, collecting records, and designing posters, Sama spends a good portion of his time hosting and producing Carry the One Radio, a twice-a-month science podcast based out of the University of California - San Francisco. He believes strongly that all scientists should reach out to the public.

Sama can easily be found on twitter: @ColumboAhmed. He also writes for the "Throwback Thursday" feature of the daily music blog, Today's Song Is

Matt Scott

Photo by Ryan Jones.

Matt writes about music every week at Today’s Song Is. When he’s not collecting rock and soul records, Matt can be found either playing keyboard and other odd instruments with the San Francisco-based Brass Animals, practicing copyright and trademark law, or debating the merits of various burgers.

Matt writes for The Vinyl Exam blog, including his ongoing reviews of music documentaries.

Ryan Jones


Ryan is a relative newcomer to the vinyl scene, but a long-time analogue fan. He has been an avid photographer since 2008, and specializes in 35 mm black and white photography. His photography career began rather unceremoniously when he discovered his father’s film camera in a dusty corner of the house, and began experimenting with the anachronistic world of film in the post-modern age. He still uses the same Minolta X-700 camera today. His current favorite film photographer is Chris McCaw but he has always loved the classic works of Edward Weston, Ansel Adams and Arnold Newman. 

Ryan is also a neuroscientist at the University of California, San Francisco and specializes in the study of epilepsy and dysfunctions of neural communication. He is also a strong promoter of public science education and co-created the website in 2012. He has since moved on to producing the science podcast, Carry the One Radio, with Sama and others.

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