As this article gets updated, you can see the new content added at the bottom. For now, enjoy Part Two!

The flexi disc (also known as a phonosheet, Sonosheet or Soundsheet) is a phonograph record made of a thin, flexible vinyl sheet with a molded-in spiral stylus groove, and is designed to be playable on a normal phonograph turntable.

Flexible records were commercially introduced as the Eva-tone Soundsheet in 1962. They were very popular among children and teenagers and mass-produced by the state publisher in the Soviet government.

Flexi discs were mass-produced from 1964 to 1991 by the Soviet government as inserts in the popular Krugozor magazine for teens. The appearance of the Soviet flexi disc was always the same, vivid blue, and the discs are familiar to virtually anyone who grew up in the Soviet Union and even the post-Soviet era. In 1969 in addition to the successful audio-magazine Krugozor, the government also launched the audio-magazine for children Kolobok, which also contained flexi disks.

Because of a shortage of vinyl recording material (and official censorship of some Western music) during the Soviet era, bootleg recordings known as Ribs, Bones or roentgenizdat were produced on discarded medical X-ray prints. More about them on Wikipedia

In Romania, the national record label Electrecord manufactured flexi discs in the postcard format, called “Photodiscs”, in the late 1950s and into the following decade. The Electrecord photodiscs were designed like postcards – one side was containing a color photograph of a tourist attraction in the country and the recording, while the other side contained a few explanatory words about the photograph and the recording, with space for the sender to write something. They used to have nice envelopes as well, but I wasn’t able to find one. Because their size is not standard, somewhere around 170x140 mm to 200x160 mm, I got some brown C5 envelopes that look “vitingi"(sic!) enough. But because they are still quite large, I decided to use my Lettera to type a “playlist” on an envelope and put all my photodiscs inside.

The photodiscs represented the “F” series of the Electrecord catalog (catalog numbers contained the prefix ECF, EDF or EPF), depending on their content. C was “cult” music (classical and derivatives), D was “diverse” music (miscellaneous: latin, jazz, pop, rock, funk etc), and P was “popular” (folklore and derivatives).

I managed to get 14 of them and they are really fun. Three of them are duplicates, so I’m either gonna keep them for swaps or give them for Xmas.

I’ve set up a fairly new Sony turntable (which has an USB capture device) and recorded each of the photodiscs using Audacity in a single recording+playback session, then cut the wav file into tracks using Magic Cutter. The resulting tracks were then converted to 128kbps MP3 format with no additional processing (no noise reduction, no post-processing) and uploaded to the site. You can find each of them below, next to each of the photos.

The sound quality is not great, but it’s still a cool upgrade of the classical postcard. Because of the age of the cards, but more because of the limitations of the format (very shallow grooves), prone to scuffs and bumps, they are fairly playable, but the quality is nothing to write home. Despite their state and age (over 60 years old!!), out of the 11 fotodiscs I recorded, eight played through from start to finish, only three needed “manual adjustment” because they kept skipping because of old wear, bends and scuffs. I call that a win.

Enjoy below the list of the fotodiscs, the audio of them, some information and photos. The images were taken from discogs, but you can also see the photographs of my fotodiscs in the gallery at the end of the post.

PS: I just realized I synchronized this post with Record Store Day 2023. Keep vinyl alive, keep small shops alive!

Part Two

Because I managed to get a second batch of these photodiscs, I will not create an in-depth post about them, only one that will feature the new photos and the new additions to the collection. You can also find there the recording of these new discs posted separately, but you can find them below as well, in chronological order, mixed with the existing ones.

Unfortunately, disc EPF 63 has some pretty bad scratches and I was unable to do a proper start to finish recording, but one might be coming soon, when I’ll properly clean the disc and maybe do some audio editing magic.

I’ve noticed that not all of the have been found and added to the discogs database, some are still a mystery. I will try to keep this list as updated as possible. Green means I have it, red means it’s not found and gray means I haven’t acquired yet.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 N/A (3e)
EPF.1 EDF.2 EDF.3 EDF.4 EDF.5 E?F 6 EDF.7 EDF.8 E?F 9 EDF.10
EDF.11 EPF.12 E?F 13 EPF.14 E?F 15 E?F 16 EPF.17 EDF.18 EDF.19 EPF.20
EPF.21 EXF 22 E?F 23 E?F 24 E?F 25 E?F 26 EDF 27 EDF 28 EDP 29 E?F 30
E?F 31 EDF 32 E?F 33 E?F 34 E?F 35 ECF 36 EPF 37 E?F 38 E?F 39 EXF 40
E?F 41 E?F 42 E?F 43 ECF 44 ECF 45 ECF 46 ECF 47 E?F 48 E?F 49 ECF 50
ECF 51 EPF 52 EPF 53 EPF 54 EPF 55 EPF 56 EPF 57 EDF 58 EDF 59 EDF 60
EPF 61 E?F 62 EPF 63 EPF 64 EPF 65 EPF 66 EPF 67 EDF 68 EPF 69

If you want to see only the new stuff, check this other post.

Florin Dorian - În Bucureștiul Iubit


București, Combinatul Poligrafic « Casa Scânteii »
Photo by: I. S, Decorativa

Gigi Marga - Frumos Ești, București


Vedere Din București, Hotel Athénee Palace
Photo by: N. Săndulescu

Unknown Artist - Hora Furtună


Marea Neagră — Țărm
Photo by: Dan Grigorescu

Trio Peternelli - Trei Băieți Și O Chitară

EDF 28

Vedere Valea Prahovei și Munții Bucegi
Photo by: R. Ardeleanu

Doina Badea - Spre Soare

ECF 45

Peisaj din Mamaia
Photo by: Alex. Florescu

Constantin Drăghici - Cînta O Mandolină

ECF 46

Vedere din Mamaia
Photo by: Alex. Florescu

Orchestra Nicu Stănescu, Voce: Maria Lătărețu - Oltule Voinicule

EPF 52

Peisaj din Olt
Photo by: P. Florescu

Orchestra Ionel Budișteanu, Voce: Alexandru Grozuță - Pe Murăș Și Pe Tîrnavă

EPF 53

Peisaj de pe Mureș
Photo by: Sandu Mendrea

Orchestra Nicușor Predescu, Voce: Ioana Radu - Primăvara

EPF 55

Peisaj de primăvară
Photo by: Sandu Mendrea

Orchestra Nicușor Predescu, Voce: Ioana Radu - Dacă-n Douăzeci De Toamne

EPF 56

Peisaj de toamnă
Photo by: Sandu Mendrea

Orchestra Nicușor Predescu, Voce: Maria Tănase - Cîntec Din Oaș

EPF 57

Tineri din Oaș
Photo by: Sandu Mendrea

Orchestra Electrecord - Dirijor: Alex. Imre, Voce: Margareta Pîslaru - Soarele E-ndrăgostit De Mamaia

EDF 58

Peisaj din Mamaia
Photo by: Sandu Mendrea

Trio „Do-Re-Mi“ - Troleibuzul De Mamaia

EDF 59

Gara din Constanța
Photo by: P. Florescu

Angela Moldovan - Mi-e Tare Dor De Satul Meu

EDF 60

La marginea satului
Photo by: Sandu Mendrea

Orchestra Nicu Stănescu, Voce: Vlad Dionisie - Învîrtita Din Sibiu

EPF 61

Jocuri ardelenești
Photo by: Clara Spitzer

Orchestra George Vancu, Voce: Victoria Darvai - Măi Bădiță Floare-aleasă

EPF 63

Photo by: Ion Hananel

Orchestra „Ciocîrlia” - Dirijor: Victor Predescu, Solo nai: Damian Luca - Doina Oltului

EPF 64

Oltul la Cozia
Photo by: Alex. Florescu

Orchestra Radioteleviziunii - Dirijor: Victor Predescu, Voce: Elena Roizen - Dobroge, Măicuță Bună

EPF 66

Photo by: Sandu Comănescu

Orchestra Nicu Stănescu, Voce: Angela Moldovan - Asta E Moldova Mea

EPF 67

Hidrocentrala Bicaz
Photo by: M. Vladu

Orchestra „Barbu Lăutaru” - Dirijor: Ionel Budișteanu - Perinița

EPF 69

Photo by: Sandu Mendrea

George Enescu, Dinu Lipatti - 3e Sonate Pour Piano Et Violon En La Mineur « Dans Le Caractère Populaire Roumain »

Bucharest - the R.P.R. Athenaum. (At the left, George Enescu's Statue by G. Anghel