Friday 27 November 2009

Getting $1 off nothing

I recently made a purchase on and was relatively chuffed to see they followed up my purchase with a promotional offer for $1 off any Amazon mp3 song or album.


For a moment there I was thinking about what I should get while fumbling for my credit card to make an additional purchase. That is, until I realised that being in Australia negates their offer. So why torment me so, Amazon? You have my billing address, don't you get that it isn't in the 50 United States or District of Columbia? Why can I buy actual physical CDs, but not download digital files of the same content? I've bought digital downloads without issues from the US before, and even previewed albums in the mp3 format - but any mp3 content (even of the material that I have already downloaded previews of) is unavailable to me via Amazon:

I'm sure there's a perfectly reasonable reason for Amazon not selling mp3s outside of the US (actually, that's a lie), but the site has my billing address, so why are these options even available for me? To make me feel like maybe, just maybe it will work? I've even downloaded the 'Amazon MP3 Downloader' application, which turned out to be useless. I keep trying, hoping that one day Amazon (and other music sites offering digital downloads to the US only) will change their approach and actually allow me to legitimately pay for something that I want.

Another case in point: Here's a compilation album I'm interested in by Talking Heads - 'Bonus Rarities & Outtakes' but it's ONLY available as an mp3 purchase. I read about this album online, got excited about it (and my band is working on a cover of 'Drugs' so I wanted to hear the alternate version) but there is no way I can buy it. In fact, I wish I never knew about it. There's not even an option for me to get an email alert if it ever is available in the Antipodes.

We feel backward enough here as it is. We get movies and TV shows significantly later than the US and our video games get censored and/or altered. Amazon was a leader in removing DRM from it's mp3s, why can't it be a leader in international mp3 distribution? At least we have a (limited) iTunes store:

(Or at least give me a promotional offer I can actually use).