Thursday, 9 December 2010

Christmas @ Amazon - Bah. Humbug!

I find it extremely frustrating to see a Tweet or the result of a Google search that promises free Christmas music, only to be taken to the Amazon USA site where, since I do not live in the USA, I cannot download. It seems that there are bucket loads of free mp3s available at the US site compared the the dozen or so available at Amazon UK.

Specifically, I am miffed because I was looking for online Advent calendars (see Advent Calendars: Take 2) when I came across Amazon's 25 Days of Free. It looks brilliant... but is for USA only. Bah!

Is it simply down to scale? Can Amazon USA offer more free stuff because they are so much bigger? Is it down to the record companies who have bizarre ideas about protecting markets in different regions?

To be fair to Amazon, they are not the only music service that suffers from this problem. The USA just seems to have a bigger choice of legal music downloads in the first place. If anyone can shed some light, I'd be genuinely interested to know why customers outside the USA get such a poor deal.

Also, to be fair to Amazon, there are other music sites that gave away free downloads last year but do not seem to be doing so this year. For example, iTunes UK gave away music and TV shows last year on the run up to Christmas and also had the Holiday Sampler (see Free Download Friday #39: iTunes Holiday Sampler). This year though, no sign of any freebies.

I follow @AmazonMP3UK on Twitter and occasionally there is an announcement of a free download but usually, they are announcing new product or discounts. For example, their most recent message said: "Yep, it's December, so instead of getting the same three versions of the same three Christmas songs, check this out..." The link takes you to a couple of pages with some alternatives to the usual suspects you hear every Christmas. One of the offerings is Elvis' Christmas Album, which at £2.57 is not as good as a free download but is still a real bargain.

There are a few other albums in there that look interesting but I have some already thanks to eMusic. {I've talked about eMusic before. Please note that if you sign up after following the links on this blog, I get a few extra downloads for sending you in their direction. You can get free credit for downloads just for signing up and, as long as you remember to cancel your subscription before a month is up, those downloads are yours to keep. I suspect though that there will be plenty there to convince you to keep your subscription going.}

Some Christmas albums that you could spend your free credit on include:

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