Sunday 21 October 2007

No geography on the internet

Dear Amazon,

I was wandering around the web just now and I got excited. Being an Einstürzende Neubauten fan for some years and owning many of their albums (until a whole slab of them got stolen when I was robbed a few years ago - I'm slowly re-acquiring my collection) I heard about a digital download you had of the Weil Weil Weil digital single.

To date I haven't gone for the whole digital download brouhaha but since, in recent history, you made your digital downloads DRM-free (for this I salute you) I thought the combination of some fresh Neubauten-ness combined with tracks I can put on my computer AND/OR portable media player would be more than enough to warrant a purchase. So I navigated to the page, set up an account, plugged in my credit card details and rubbed my mitts together with apprehension and a degree of glee. However, you needed to know where I live. Yes, it's true - I'm not a resident of the US. I'm an Australian. Here's your condolences:

We could not process your order because of geographical restrictions on the product which you were attempting to purchase. Please refer to the terms of use for this product to determine the geographical restrictions.
We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

From your 'Terms and conditions' page:
As required by our Digital Content providers, Digital Content will, unless otherwise designated, be available only to customers located in the United States.

Required by your digital content providers!?? Digital content providers - if indeed that is your real name - I had money ready, I had my earphones on, had converted the price to Aussie dollars and had even installed the Amazon Mp3 downloader application before you BROKE MY FREAKIN HEART by not allowing content to this humble Australian music fan. Granted, granted, I should have read the terms and conditions CAREFULLY, and I did. To a degree. I guess I missed that part. Still, I was flabbergasted by the nationalism of the internet. I can buy an import CD and get it sent over here, no problem. But no dice with the digital download. And the only way I could find this particular music is as a digital download! It's a global medium, people - start treating your content that way and I guarantee an increase in sales. You may even get rid of some of those pesky downloaders that are (allegedly) killing the music industry.

The internet can generate a BUCKETLOAD of hype and (this may come as a shock) but people WANT TO BUY MUSIC. People WANT TO SUPPORT ARTISTS. I know I did. But... I am a Neubauten fan, and I will get this album whenever it hits our shores (remember, there are no 'shores' on the internet), but for now my music purchasing enthusiasm has ebbed and I will not be buying anything from your site digital, physical or otherwise (for the moment, at least). If you want to avoid this kind of thing - localise Amazon to Australia. There's quite a few of us down here, and at least then we'll know what music can be eked out to us and when.

At least Neuabauten released one track officially. And I'm gonna post this track in an effort to generate even more hype about their music. Let the people buy. Buy, and... Be happy.

Weil Weil Weil - Einstüerzende Neubauten [7.0MB mp3 file]