Despite the rise of global online music services like iTunes and Spotify, local and physical music retailers are not extinct. Although many have faced redundancy, others are turning their local presence and technological platforms into assets in regaining customer favour. This article presents an interview-based study of the transformations of two Norwegian record stores in the 2000s, one of which invested in vinyl records, and the other in online streaming with a local profile. These distributors are found not only to have changed the way in which they make records available, but also to have cultivated specific forms of musical communication, in perceptual, psychological and social terms. In doing so, they have developed crucial tools, such as the retailing of high-fidelity sound systems and the hosting of local concert events.