"We're sorry. This album is unavailable for download in your country"

12 April 2008

So there I was typing away as an email from eMusic came in. In a bout of continuous partial attention, I clicked on it and thought: "Ooh, new Black Francis album. Glad I saved some downloads instead of splurging them when the subscription rolled over at the end of last month."

But, thanks to the byzantine nature of distribution deals in the music industry, it is, naturally, not available for download in the UK from eMusic. Then I remembered the Breeders album was meant to be coming out this week and that one, thankfully, is available here. And now downloading.

As is Black Francis' Svn Fingers as I decided to see if it was on iTunes. I could have waited to get the CD but as my mind normally goes blank the moment I walk into a record shop, decided to lay out a fiver on the mini-album there and then. Looks like it's going to a kind of ex-Pixies day.

But this is something that the music industry needs to get a grip on. There are people who do pay for music - when they can find it. It's crazy to have a situation where it's easier to find pirated versions than the paid-for recordings, particularly when it comes to back catalogues of minor artists.