In this morning's New York Times Sunday Styles section, there's a good piece on the spike in interest and sales of vinyl records. Among music geeks, this trend of preferring vinyl over any other form of music is as old as...well, probably the invention of the CD. But CD sales dropped 17-percent in 2007 while vinyl sales jumped 37-percent. Fred Meyer is now selling vinyl and majors like Warner Bros., Columbia and Capitol have upped their vinyl releases (Metallica's new record, for instance, will be released as a 5-record box with one song per side at $115 a pop). One thing the article didn't mention, however, was the way some indie labels have adapted: Releasing vinyl that comes with a coupon for a free digital download of the album. The indie labels know their target market buys vinyl, but spends a lot of time on the computer or on a long metro commute zoning out to their iPod. The free download with vinyl deal is one of the smartest moves I've seen yet and it's something the majors would be wise to pick up on. I've even heard that Southern Lord is thinking of not even bothering to make CDs anymore and just switching to this format. If buying vinyl over CDs is, as the article says, akin to buying fresh produce rather than frozen, then a vinyl-with-download is like Amy's Organic frozen dinners...the best of both worlds, I say.