Got a PR blast from Amazon today saying that they've added vinyl to the AutoRip program (where you get MP3s automagically via their Amazon MP3 downloads of music you buy on physical media).
That's pretty damn sweet, I have to say. I hope that record companies are doing this independently so that if I buy a record at, say, Vintage Vinyl, I get the same thing.
Pretty appealing. I've thought about collecting Vinyl before, but that would leave me needing to find MP3s or something for travel. If I recall correctly, Yep Roc records (Robyn Hitchcock's label these days) has done this with some of his stuff.
To sum up: Buy a record on Amazon, get a free (and immediate) digital copy you can slap on your MP3 player and a vinyl copy you can spin on the record player occasionally when you want to be all old-timey. (Or just keep it pristine, and hope that it might be something that becomes a collector's item someday.) Smart. As terrible as Amazon has been for local businesses, they do have a habit of offering what users want – when there's competition and they have to make a case for your business.