EP vs LP vs SP: Let's Talk Reality (2023 Edition)

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If you adore music you’ve probably come across the EP, LP, SP abbreviations in your music journey and life. Or maybe you came across these strange abbreviations where you were downloading your favorite album.

Well, if you’re wondering what they mean, then read on till the end because we define and discuss them in detail in this brief article.

Knowing the differences between Ep vs LP vs SP is important especially if you’re a music enthusiast and you want to know more information and become more knowledgeable about music.

It’s also important to know the difference between an EP, LP, SP if you’re a musician because it helps you determine the right projects to put out for your fans.

What’s an EP, LP, and SP?. Well, let’s find out.

Most people who have tried to answer this question before are not straightforward. But I will try to uncover the mystery behind these abbreviations and go in-depth as much as I can. Let’s dive in.

EP vs LP vs SP

What’s an EP? And how long is an EP?

Extended play 7 diameter vinyl records

The abbreviations EP are a short form for the name extended play 7 diameter vinyl records. Eps are common among people involved in the music industry especially musicians.

You’ve probably had your favorite musician say he or she is releasing their new Ep, right?

The extended play is also known as a mini-album. This is how they referred to an EP in the past, in the music industry.

But what is it?

An EP is longer than a normal single song.

What does this mean?

An EP can be defined as a mini-album but with fewer songs thus making it not a full-length album. Normally a full-length album has like 10 or 12 songs. Instead, an EP has 2,3, or 5 songs.

The fact that an EP is a mini-album with the name extended play can be quite confusing for many.

In the past, EPs have been used by indie, rock, and artists and this culture has been adopted by new musicians today. This is because of the modern era of streaming music online.

What’s an LP and how long is an LP?

Long-play vinyl records

An LP is a short form for long-play vinyl records. LPs are common amongst musicians who want to record more music without compromising the quality of their records.

LPs phonograph records are recorded at 33 revolutions per minute. They were common in the past but are still used today among some musicians.

Content in an LP is recorded in analog form and quality. Today, LPs are also referred to as Full-Length albums.

The length of LPs has changed over the years. In the past, most artists made LPs with 10-12 songs. This played for 30 to 45 minutes.

Today some artists opt for the same number, some want their LPs shorter and others want them even longer. In fact, some artists and fans even prefer singles to LPs today.

Many artists are disregarding the fact that in the past labels required musicians to produce an album with a specific number of songs.

What’s an SP and how long is an SP?

Standard play or single play

The abbreviation SP stands for standard play or single play. You can record content and music in standard play without compromising its quality.

Traditional singles were released in 7-inch phonograph records. They were recorded with a rotation speed of 45 revolutions per minute.

An SP is a single record in one musical composition. Today they come in CDs and DVDs and are released for specific collectors, fans of an artist, and DJs. But the production of single vinyl has reduced over the years except for those from popular artists whose music is in high demand.

Ep, LP, and SP summary:

  • EP stands for extended play and is a mini album with 3-5 songs.
  • Lp stands for long play and is a full-length album with 10-12 songs.
  • SP stands for single play 7-inch phonographic records.


There you have it. A clear summary differentiating an EP, LP, and SP. Now when you enjoy your favorite artists’ albums you won’t have to worry about what they mean. And if you’re a musician and your lovely fans ask you to differentiate an EP, LP, SP you’ll do so clearly.

This info will also help you as a musician to decide what type of album you want to release to your fans. If your fans have a short listening span, we recommend you release music in terms of singles and EPs. But if they have a long attention span, which is very rare today in the music industry, release a full-length album and LP.

Jennifer Max


Hi, I’m Jennifer I’m a passionate singer and an audiophile from Detroit, MI. 

I’m on a mission to help music creators to create fine music that help them position uniquely in the saturated music space.

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