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A few days ago I checked out Amazon’s new drm-free mp3 download store. As an emusic subscriber, I was quite curious about what they had to offer. I bought an album by Asylum Street Spankers and another by The Silos. All well and good so far.

Today I went and bought The Best of the Long Ryders–a CD which has 18 songs on it. I clicked on “Buy MP3 Album” and made my purchase. When I checked my download directory, I only got 5 songs. I sent support an email complaining about it, no response yet. Here’s what I found when I went back: Amazon Screenshot (Right click and open in new window)

I didn’t clip it or resize it because it wasn’t very legible after I messed with an earlier version. You’ll notice from the screenshot that the price is not available for most of the songs, but the “Buy MP3 Album With 1-Click” button gives no indication that you are getting anything less than the whole album. The confirmation page that followed clicking the button stated that I was buying an album.

A Little More Research: About this same time (meaning earlier today) I recieved an email from Bloodshot Records (the best label out there!!) announcing some recent releases. One of the releases mentioned was the debut album of Ha Ha Tonka. Never having heard of them, I went to amazon.com to find out more. I searched in the mp3 downloads page for “Ha Ha Tonka” and found the album Buckle in the Bible Belt. It showed their being 6 songs on the album and offered a 1-Click to buy the album. However, when I searched for the CD, there are 10 songs on it and in an entirely different order as the mp3 so-called album.

At worst, this is a blatant rip-off. I feel ripped off getting less than a third of the music I thought I was buying.

At best, this is quite deceptive. Perhaps I should have noticed that the price not being available meant that it was not included on the album? But the Ha Ha Tonka album mentioned above, makes up a small amazon special album without mentioning that it has been stripped down. Both the albums I bought yesterday contained about 45 minutes of music, so I assume they are complete.

Why should an mp3 album contain less music? Album is a dated word, but if you buy a given “album”, you assume it is the same rather on tape or CD or digitized.

I’m going to request that Amazon either provide the rest of the album or refund my money.

I can offer to upload their songs back up to them in exchange for my money back….:->

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