Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Don't purchase any music from

[update: 15.10.09: four and a half weeks after I originally purchased the music they finally managed to make the download available to me.]
[update: 4.10.09: over three weeks since I purchased the music and I still can't access it. I've had more correspondence with Bleep: twice they've wrongly said the problem was fixed when in fact nothing had changed. Then they said there was a bug in their system. They refunded me the money then. But since I still own the copy I purchased from them, it'd be throwing my money away to go purchase it elsewhere, so I'm still effectively prevented from being able to listen to the music until they get their act together. And refunding me the money doesn't address all the wasted time and frustration I've had to go through. It was a week ago when they told me about the bug in their system, and I haven't heard from them since. If they had any decent customer service, they could easily find an alternative way to get the music to me].

I was really keen to get the Autechre album "Draft 7.30" but I couldn't find it at the shops. When I got home and looked on the internet I discovered, through the music publisher's (Warp Records) site, that you could buy it online as MP3s at

So I purchase it and went to download it. Because my internet connection at home is flaky, the download failed and failed four more times. Each time i was only able to get a tiny fragment of the entire file before it failed - the most it ever got on an attempt was 2.75MB. I went to try again and found that the download link was disabled. It didn't actually say why, but I presume this was an anti-piracy measure.

I didn't see any mention of a limit to the number of times you can download it. Maybe there was in the fine-print of the terms and conditions, but there was certainly nothing made obvious about it, and nothing mentioning it on the download page. I never saw anything there saying how many download attempts I had left, or saying that now I'd used up the number of attempts. The download button just stopped being clickable (I tried other browsers to see if it was some problem at my end, but it wasn't). There was no explanation at all.

If this is an anti-piracy measure, then it should stop people after five successful downloads. I wasn't able download the music once, I just had five quickly-failed attempts.

But then why is there a limit at all? If someone can download it once, then if they wanted to give copies to their friends they could still easily do that. If someone gave out or published their Bleep login details, so anyone could just log into the account and download the music, then this would also allow anyone to purchase more music on their credit card, so that's hardly going to happen.

So I don't see any point to a download limit anyway. All think it does is send out a message to a legitimate purchaser that does not trust them.

I then used their feedback form to send them a message explaining the situation. They say they'll try to get back to you within one working day. I bought the music on a Saturday, so that means I'd have to wait till around Tuesday morning (their time). I think this is pretty slack. Online stores are always open. If the store can take your money anytime, 24/7, then it seems a bit slack for them to only deal with customers' problems on week days.

The next day I sent them a rather more annoyed message. It's ridiculous that you can hand over money for something and be prevented from actually obtaining it. It's crazy that it is far easier to pirate music than to buy a legitimate copy.

It's now Wednesday -- four days after I purchase the music and sent them my first message explaining the problem -- and I still haven't gotten any response at all. After being screwed around like this, my advice is: don't buy music from I certainly won't be.


  1. Hi James,

    We have come across your post and wanted to get in touch. We would not expect you to have had to wait so long for a reply something must have gone wrong somewhere along the line. Can you mail us at so we can look into this for you.

    All the best


  2. I emailed that address a day ago, and still no response to either that or any of my earlier messages (which were sent through the form on their site)...

  3. I have a worse story... I PRE-ORDERED a copy of Rustie's "bad science" and Hudson Mohawke's "Butter", back in the summertime, paid something over 70$ bucks for it all.. Rustie's EP was out at the end of summer, Hud Mo's in late October... its almost December and I don't have ANYTHING. They said they ran out of stock of Rustie's EP (isn't the purpose of pre-ordering so that you dont have to worry of it going out of stock?) so I'm just crap out of luck about that, although they offered me to choose something else to send to me.. I chose but its not released yet, so we'll see how that goes.

    BUT... I still have no hudmo LP.... they sent me some 2track promo LP for "consolation" of a artist I can't stand... it was supposed to come in the same box as the Hud Mo LP, I received the invoice and everything, but only the crappy promo ep, and no Hud Mo!

    I'm STILL waiting for my copy of Butter after countless emails with support.. So far, I have absolutely nothing that I paid for. REDICULOUS.

  4. I filed complaints with the FTC, and state attorney general this morning -- I suggest you do the same. Hopefully they will shut them down -- these are not isolated incidents.