More on Downloading Elbow’s New Single

This morning, before nine o’clock Eastern, I received an e-mail from HMV. With the subject line “it’s on its way” (no capitalization), HMV was writing to tell me that Elbow’s Build a Rocket, Boys! was in the post, and I should have it in seven to ten days.

Naturally, I’m hoping for seven days. Delivery next Wednesday would be utterly fab. 🙂

Sunday’s blog post on downloading Elbow’s “Neat Little Rows” single has garnered some interest from other Elbow fans. For the record, though I do appreciate some of you asking, no, I’m not going to share the files with any of you.

However, my instructions for how to get around the geographical restrictions on the “Neat Little Rows” single download may have been, quite unintentionally, a little cryptic. I tend to go from starting point to ending point, skipping all the little steps in between. Oh, I work them out, and I do them, but then I can’t explain them to anyone. I just go into this kind of dissociative daze where the mysteries of the problem work themselves out, and the solution, no matter how complex, becomes completely intuitive to me.

So, after explaining in a few e-mails the steps to purchase the single from Amazon UK if you live in the United States, for posterity’s sake, here’s the one-stop shop for getting around Amazon’s geographical restrictions.

What you need to do is to use a proxy server to convince Amazon that you’re in the UK.

Before you do anything with a proxy, you need to make sure you have the Amazon Music Downloader installed, and you have to tell Amazon UK that your 1-Click address is in the UK.

If you don’t have the former, download the music downloader. For the latter, to the My Account page in Amazon UK, add a UK address (even if you just have to make one up — you’re not shipping anything there), and set that as your default 1-Click address.

Now you’re ready to proxy!

The proxy I used — http://daveproxy.co.uk — isn’t currently up (and hasn’t been since Monday), and I can’t find another free proxy that works in quite the same way. Keep checking back; chances are the site will be back up sooner or later.

(If you’re comfortable with changing the proxy settings of your browser manually, feel free. I don’t have any advice for you here.)

Go to the proxy server in your browser. Dave Proxy lets you enter a URL. Enter http://www.amazon.co.uk and, when the site comes up, search for the “Neat Little Rows” single.

Click “Buy Now With 1-Click.”

I don’t remember the exact order of steps here, so I’m going to describe two things that happened. Just keep these in your mind.

The mismatch between my billing address and my 1-Click address caused Amazon to tell me that there was a problem with my address. Amazon should take you to an address page. Just confirm that your 1-Click shipping address is the UK address, and everything is good.

Amazon also told me that I didn’t have the music downloader installed. I suspect the proxy layer confused its script. However, there’s a link on the page that says, basically, “Yes, I have the downloader installed.” If the download doesn’t start, click on that link.

At that point, the “Download” box in your browser should come up, and tell the browser to open the Amazon file in the Amazon Music Downloader.

The downloader will do its jiggery-pokery, and in a few minutes you should have the single.

It took me about half an hour of experimentation to work through this Sunday morning, and ultimately it worked easier than I thought it would. When Dave Proxy gets back up and running, I can’t imagine that this will take more than ten or fifteen minutes. 🙂

Hopefully, this will tide someone over until next week, when Build a Rocket, Boys! drops in the UK.

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