Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Music Downloads in Canada

A month (or a little more) ago I had a less than wonderful experience with Amazon music downloads. Short version:
  • Searched Marco Torrance.
  • Linked in via a search engine to the MP3 download page of an album I deeply desire.
  • Performed a virtual vault over the virtual counter with my very real credit card thrust out before me in my very real hands.
  • Went through the motions of a download manager.
  • Skipped reading the license stuff on install. (I generally trust Amazon.)
  • Poked my way through the billing and order process.
  • Came to a screen asking for a new billing address.
  • Filled in particulars, including the field stating Zip Code/Postal Code. <--Hey, Canada has Postal Codes! Amazon recognises this!
  • Could not advance, no Canadian province options.
  • Retried process.
  • Explored the website looking for some documentation, found at the top of the MP3 downloads main page: "Please note that Amazon MP3 is currently only available to US customers."
  • Wasn't particularly annoyed despite the disappointment. Looked for a contact page where I could report the lack of clarity with the residency restriction when entering the download artist page through a search engine.
  • Couldn't find such a contact page. Left Amazon site annoyed. (I still use Amazon extensively for CD and book purchases.)
That's a minor marketing fail there, but expected of a Humungous-Co. Inc. Ltd.. The Epic Fail came this weekend when in an electronics store, where I found gift cards for an outfit called, hocking music downloads and boasting 750,000 songs. Already burnt by Amazon, I didn't buy the gift card, but wrote the name of the site down, to look at their titles later. I bring up the site and see:

Questions this raises:
  • Is there a copyright violation here in posting a screen grab, and if there's a legal page on the website, why can I not access it with Firefox on a Windows Vista machine?
  • Why do I get the same page using IE 7?
  • Why does the page mention Macs?
  • Where's Vista on the list?
  • Why does it mention IE 5.0 and above?
  • Why can't I browse the download stock regardless of whether or not the site likes my browser and OS?
  • Did they really have to use the word 'reject' in the URL?
  • In the light of the previous questions, would I trust this company to behave in a competent fashion with my credit card?
I still really want that Marco Torrance album, and despite the various walls, and various insulting walls tossed up between myself and this album, I still will not resort to going to a

Still with a fistful of dollars no one wants,


Addendum: I managed to order the CD through Cardamar Music. Paid in Euros. Enough of this silliness, when in doubt, go direct to the artist. :)

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