Help Me Download this Album England Doesn't Want Me To Have
October 22, 2012 12:35 PM   Subscribe

I would like to buy and download a specific album (with no scheduled or rumored or hinted at American release date) from any reputable English purveyor of music. Yet my lack of a UK mailing address and/or UK payment method seems to block me from doing so. Is there any legal way I can purchase this music digitally and download it to my American desktop?

I would rather not buy the imported physical media CD from US purveyors of music for 4x more than I think I would pay for just the digital files, or pay 2.5x for a disk+shipping+a wait of "at least 45 days" especially since I do not think the artist would be seeing any of the extra money I'd be spending.

I will suck it up if I absolutely can not get the music legally in my preferred manner, but I'll be a pain in the neck to live with, and no one wants that.
posted by julen to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: You can often buy UK iTunes gift cards on eBay. You pay with your American credit card, they send you the code for the UK gift card and instructions on how to set up a UK account, and away you go. The music should be DRM-free from iTunes, too, so you can do whatever you like with it after that.

In case you're worried about getting scammed, I've done this several times without issue. Just choose a seller with a lot of positive reviews for the same thing you're buying.
posted by anaximander at 12:52 PM on October 22, 2012

Are they on a small (or at least not Very Corporate) label? If so, you should get in touch with their label and explain your situation. This could be as easy as sending some money via PayPal and getting a bunch of MP3s in return. Or, they could tell you that due to the arrangement they have with their distributors, there's no way to legally do this. Either way, it'll cut down on the legwork and keep you from accidentally paying someone distributing illicit MP3s.
posted by griphus at 12:58 PM on October 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

Find a UK based volunteer to buy it for you and send it?

It may not be technically legal ("this purchase is non transferrable" agreements, blah blah) but it would seem to be meeting your essential moral aims of registering a legit purchase by the artist/label's chosen channels with them seeing whatever cut they expect to via those chosen channels, etc.

I suppose the only moral hole in this bucket is that if your purchaser likes the tunes too, they could keep them and listen "for free".

What is the album? If I hate that band maybe I can help, hehe.
posted by Slyfen at 2:02 PM on October 22, 2012

In this situation, I'd probably pay the 2.5x for the physical disk and in the interim download myself a copy elsewhere. Although this is only saving wait time.
posted by dobi at 2:14 PM on October 22, 2012

Response by poster: Heh. It is the new Matraca Berg album. I am going to try the uk iTunes card method, I think, and save the human proxy method if that doesn't work.
posted by julen at 5:20 PM on October 22, 2012

I have, many times and successfully, used TunnelBear to tunnel to a UK proxy server. That way, your computer appears to be in the UK and you can easily buy stuff and download directly. I prefer 7digital over iTunes, because sometimes iTunes doesn't like switching back and forth between my US "normal" store and the UK store.
posted by gemmy at 9:00 PM on October 22, 2012

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