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HDTracks: Has the pay with PayPal loophole finally been closed?

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January 31, 2012 4:04 PM

Hi

 

Tried to add something to my basket today and immediately, long before getting to the payment stage, got the message saying "Based on your territory as determined by your IP address, we are unable to sell you this album due to restrictions imposed on us by the record label. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for shopping at HDtracks!"


Have bought lots of stuff in the past via PayPal with no problem.


Anyone else, from outside the US, had the same thing lately?


Steeve

 
 
 
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January 31, 2012 4:07 PM

I've bought a couple of albums from HDTracks this week, using PayPal. Just click the PayPal icon before proceeding to the credit card payment screen.

 
 
 
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January 31, 2012 4:08 PM

John, 

 

That's what I normally do, but wouldn't even let me get that far this time.

 

Steeve

 
 
 
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January 31, 2012 4:16 PM

hmmm..seem to have been able to get around it again now for one album anyway - will try the other one again once this one has downloaded.

 
 
 
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January 31, 2012 4:23 PM

Originally Posted by Steeve:

hmmm..seem to have been able to get around it again now for one album anyway - will try the other one again once this one has downloaded.

Is it maybe a specific Record Label that has insisted on domestic only sales from HD tracks.?

 

Maybe you could try a different label and see if the problem still occurs (you can cancel the order if you don't really want the music you are using for the test).

 

regards

geoff

 
 
 
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January 31, 2012 4:31 PM

Yes Geoff. Was just trying that. Seems it works fine for some titles but not for others. Unfortunately, doesn't seem to work for most of the ones I want! :-(

 
 
 
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January 31, 2012 4:43 PM

I'm sure this has changed though. Just to try and confirm this, have tried to download something I had previously downloaded and it now won't let me, so I think they must have tightened things up.

 

Problem albums I have identified are : Chronicle (CCR), Innervisions (Stevie Wonder), Let It Bleed and Some Girls (Rolling Stones), Tea for the Tillerman (Cat Stevens). 

 

Managed to download a Sharon Jones album ok and will let me do Machine Head as well though decided against that one.

 

Ho hum, so much for hi-res...

 
 
 
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January 31, 2012 5:06 PM

Just seen a similar thread on the Linn forum so seems I'm right. These new restrictions seem to affect most of the most popular titles. :-(

 
 
 
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January 31, 2012 6:43 PM

try putting a us zip code in

 
 
 
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January 31, 2012 6:50 PM

Oh dear thats bad news. I downloaded 'Innervisions' a couple of weeks ago for example.

 

Bummer

 

Geoff

 
 
 
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January 31, 2012 7:16 PM

I have just purchased and downloading from HDtracks via Paypal (Kate Bush). Still working here - and I am in the UK.

You might want to try going via a proxy server if you are still having problems, ie it will make your IP address appear from a US address range if you use a US Proxy.

 

Update: I went via freeproxy in Canada and I could add items into my basket that otherwise I couldn't do when going directly from the UK. I could invoke the HDTrack Manager from the proxy session, but it was still downloading KateBush that is not limited. I don't know whether the HDTrack Manager is affected by this.. I'll have to wait to buy another North Amercia only Album..

 

Simon

 

 
Last edited by Simon-in-Suffolk January 31, 2012 7:31 PM
 
 
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January 31, 2012 7:55 PM

if we can't access decent mainstream music for download at a decent bit rate what is the point of spending 2k on a N5XS streamer? this is going to hold back audiophile download development for sure. When is the uk going to have access to decent music to down load? naim and Linn downloads are ok but it would be nice to have more mainstream music to choose from. And I don't mean iTunes! I don't really want to pretend I live in another country to get music. I won't be spending my 2k just yet.
 
 
 
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January 31, 2012 8:58 PM

Rich46, it's your IP address that it checks, not your actual address,

Maze, couldn't agree more. 

Simon, can you explain how one would use Freeproxy (without getting too technical!) to get around this? Thanks Steeve 

 
 
 
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January 31, 2012 9:26 PM

Steeve, yes if you put free proxy servers into Google, you will see lots of references. Try one based in the US or Canada. Effectively they act as a relay. If you send a request by them, it gets onward forwarded using a new source IP address based in the geographic location of the proxy. I tried helpmehide.com based in Canada and it appeared to work- at least loading restricted items into the basket.

Simplistically the vast majority of IP addresses are divided up across the globe, and so when you  initiate your web request the web server can tell where in the world you are coming from. It's called GeoLocation in web terminology. All web requests have a source and destination IP address ( it's quite a hot topic in my professional work right now)

Simon

 
 
 
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January 31, 2012 11:21 PM

hmmm....thanks Simon. I tried a couple and whilst they allowed the load into the basket, they didn't seem to be able to cope with payment via PayPal. All seems far too much trouble at the moment.

 
 
 
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January 31, 2012 11:25 PM

Of course, the SSL encryption of Paypal won't  traverse the proxy server... Dohhhhh. Is the basket stored between sessions? Ie load with a proxy, and then try and pay by a direct web connection... I agree it's all getting clunky.

Simon

 

 

 
 
 
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February 1, 2012 12:38 AM

Maybe get a friend in the US to buy, then download from them?  Still clunky though, and probably breaks so many laws you'd be extradited to the US for terrorism...

 
 
 
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February 1, 2012 8:27 AM

Also, a further word of warning...........going through a proxy appears to trigger a security issue within Paypal. You account will be limited and you will have to go through a re-verification process!

 
 
 
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February 1, 2012 11:31 AM

They seem to have turned on geolocation on the search results as well now - if i search for 'stones' it correctly returns The Rolling Stones as the artist, but the album listing shows 'record not available'. If I search on Google and jump directly to the correct landing page I see the albums, but can't add them to my basket. Bugger... should have downloaded more while I had the chance.

 
 
 
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February 1, 2012 11:38 AM

If that is indeed correct, I would call for HD Tracks to finally open a EU download site.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

 
 
 
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February 1, 2012 12:14 PM

Peter,

 

An EU site would be great of course. Not sure where the legal issues are exactly. If, as it would appear, it's a record label issue, is it dependent on their agreement and out of HD Tracks' hands?  

Does anyone understand the situation? Why would a label not want to sell more product? I fear there is so much in life that I don't understand and never will....

 
 
 
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February 1, 2012 12:39 PM

Geolocation by IP at hdtracks.com has been active for surfers from Germany for some weeks now. Now they seem to cover UK as well.

 

IP restrictions obviously are based on entire labels, i.e. you can either buy any album from a label or none.

 

Restricted labels seem to be: Deutsche Grammophon, Verve, Mercury Living Presence, Island Records and some others. When you click on such a label you get "coming soon" and it's also hidden from the page with all labels. There are still labels that are not restricted, e.g. Chesky as hdtrack's "house label"  and many smaller labels.

 

Very annoying. One might think we are trying to buy drugs, weapons or other illegal stuff. Surfing via proxy is not really an option: Dead slow, insecure and Paypal makes problems too (as noted by Steeve).

 

I don't blame hdtracks for this, they wouldn't mind the extra cash. The idea obviously comes from the content mafia^H^H^H^H^H owners.

 

 

KR,

Jochen

 
 
 
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February 1, 2012 2:58 PM

I tested it with The Rolling Stones. No problems ... here in ... eh ... Denmark, that's a city in Western Autralia, if you have to ask.

 

So the Geolocation Star Wars Umbrella designed to protect us from ourselves isn't covering the far-away countries outside of the USA mainland.

 

I wonder what the dis-united EU, Putin USSR and Red China will say to this infamous resucitation of The Cold War?

 

Best wishes,

Peter

 
 
 
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February 1, 2012 3:12 PM

Surely if British people aren't allowed to download British artists in HD, then our culture is being suppressed and our Human Rights are being infringed?  I smell a legal case...

 
 
 
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SAT offline
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February 1, 2012 5:50 PM

No, this is the UK, your human rights can only be violated if you're a crook or terrorist and someone tries to punish you. Still perhaps trying to buy music by a UK artist is now a crime.

 
 
 
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February 1, 2012 6:09 PM

Just says record unavailable

Glad I haven't sold my CDS3 to finance a NDS yet

 
 
 
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February 1, 2012 6:14 PM

Well everyone is still a human and most crooks are outside the prison system anyway and in many circumstances today's terrorist is tomorrow's freedom fighter. But moving swiftly on before I get embroiled in a political debate, is there anything that we can do about this to campaign for HD tracks to be available in the UK and/or EU? Starting a Facebook page seems a bit lame and taking to the streets (or the afore-mentioned terrorist action) a little too over the top. But maybe something something inbetween? Would be good if the UK Hi-fi industry got on board as Naim, Linn, Cyrus (are they still UK?) and others must have a vested interest.  

 
 
 
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February 1, 2012 6:19 PM

Naim and Linn have their own HD content so I can't see them joining the fight.  Why don't we set up some tents outside HDTracks' HQ?

 

#OccupyHDTracks  

 
 
 
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February 1, 2012 6:32 PM

I'd rather call it #OccupyUniversalMusicGroup and I'd only move into a tent if I could take the SuperNait with me .

 
 
 
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February 1, 2012 6:40 PM

I'd take a few big Class-A monoblocks at this time of year...

 
 
 
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February 1, 2012 6:44 PM

tut ive been downloading for a while .quite a collection .are they looking for me too

 
 
 
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February 1, 2012 6:48 PM

HD Tracks has only allowed to offically sell you media if you are in North Amercia. You could not register a non North Amercian address. The fact that many of us exploited a loop hole in the HDTracks system to purchase content via Paypal, is hardly justification to complain now. I exploited it but knew I was on borrowed time. We were going outside thier terms of sale and getting away with it. They have tightened up thier website governance and only now we complain - we should of lobbied sooner if we wanted to legitametely purchase the content.

 

To me this is just the same as  Bluray or DVD zoning. I don't like it  but is fact of life by media companies. I am sure it would have been on CD if the technology existed at the launch of CD.

 

I assume the reason we have no mainstream  hidef content in Europe is becasue the media companies don't want it, they might be fearful of piracy etc, otherwise it would be there now.  The market in Europe is on a par with North America.

 

Fortuantely I use my streamer mostly as a CD transport, but the odd piece of  hidef media has been a treat, although my choices have now reduced.

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
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February 1, 2012 6:58 PM

MegaUpload got taken down and it was based outside the US, so I don't quite understand the piracy legal issue.

 

In terms of a strategy - how about getting some HiFi journos fired up to get to the bottom of what the real barriers are and what HDTracks' European launch plans might be?

 
 
 
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February 1, 2012 7:27 PM

On a few other fora I read, real-life proxies are pretty popular -- folks who will buy something not available in North America or the EU, collect funds from the buyer, and ship the item . . . all based on the honor system.

 

Such does, however, violate HD Tracks' "User Agreement."

 
 
 
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February 1, 2012 7:34 PM

I wrote HD Tracks an e-mail and got this reply:

 

"The restriction is limited to UMG titles. It is beyond our control. Hopefully it will resolve as the music industry moves towards a globalized framework. It is as much a consequence of globalisation."

 

Which is useful in some ways and cryptic in others. You can identify Universal Music Group labels here:

 

http://www.universalmusic.com/labels

 

I bought a batch of Hires albums recently so won't be checking this right away. If anybody wants to see if this is true as a by product of attempting to buy some albums let us know how you get on.

 

regards

Geoff

 
 
 
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KRM online
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February 1, 2012 7:38 PM

The difference between this and DVD zoning is you can buy that, for now at least, there isn't an HD Region 2, so who do these rules protect?

 

Keith

 
 
 
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February 1, 2012 7:43 PM

Does it reflect a desire by UMG to have higher prices in Europe than the US for the same content?

 
 
 
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February 1, 2012 7:48 PM

probably, another case of rip off britain!
 
 
 
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February 1, 2012 7:53 PM

... and the rest of Europe, right?

 

Best wishes,

Peter

 
 
 
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February 1, 2012 8:05 PM

It's the same with qobuz.com (France) and UMG titles. You can't even buy them from other european countries. And in this case it might very likely contradict european laws.

 
 
 
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