Saturday, April 2, 2011

Amazon MP3 Store in Singapore

For many years now I haven't been able to buy any music MP3s from the iTunes store in Singapore (does anyone have any updates? Has the situation changed?) This is another case of customers wanting to give money to companies but they just don't want to take it. Then customers need to try extra hard to make it possible!

Fortunately, everything changed this past week when Amazon launched their new Cloud Drive and Cloud Player for Web. The first major breakthrough is that I'm now able to buy MP3 in Singapore with a VPN. (I couldn't do this previously for some reason.) The second advance is of course the way Amazon has magically revolutionised content delivery when it should have been Apple who's supposed to be doing this. Cloud based music means you can play music anyway with an Internet connection. Buy once, play anywhere. Here's how to buy music in Singapore. Disclaimer: Your milleage may vary, buyer beware, your account could be terminated etc.

Preparatory steps
  • Buy a VPN. I'd suggest AlwaysVPN who has a very attractive one-off US$8.50 fee, it will last you for years.
  • Run the VPN. Go to the Amazon MP3 store and register for the Cloud Player service.
How to buy music from the Amazon MP3 store
  •  I'm using the gift card method as I cannot test the alternative. This method means you buy a gift card, and then send it to your email address. You may use a local credit card. You'll then apply this gift card funds to your Amazon account.
  • Switch on the VPN and buy the music you want. 
  • If they ask you for a credit card, you can use your local credit card. For the billing address, use any US address. This will be quite okay as your credit card will not be actually used. Money will be deducted from the gift card funds instead.
  • Your music will show in your Cloud Drive. You may switch off your VPN (so that you don't waste it) and then use the MP3 Downloader application to download your music into your PC. You also don't need the VPN to listen to your music using the Cloud Player.
  • Here's a simplified walkthrough.
Buy your music!

You will be thanked!
You'll see the music you've bought in the Cloud. Play them anywhere with an Internet connection.

Naturally you may want to have a local copy of your music in your computer. The Downloader does this quickly and you'll see your music in iTunes or Windows Media Player.

Everything is seemless!

Happy listening! There're 15 million songs in Amazon's catalogue! Well done Amazon, this is the ideal way to sell music!


Karsten said...

Thanks so much for this walkthrough!
Finally I can buy my music online - you made my day :)

Anonymous said...

hi jeff!
I forgot about using gift cards and actually purchased a book using my own CC. will this raise any red flags with Amazon?
the book was delivered vis Whispernet too but I used a VPN

jeffyen said...

Anon, I'm assuming you're talking about Kindle books. I think you don't need to worry too much about your situation...

Joanna said...

As usual great and informative article. a stupid question: is it possible to download the music from Amazon cloud drive to your mp3 player?


jeffyen said...

Joanna, sure you can download to your hard drive as described, and then you can just copy the music into your MP3 player.

Anonymous said...

It seems that this "self-gift card" method does not work anymore. It was working fine last week. Anyone still able to buy from the mp3 store?

jeffyen said...

Yup, I just bought Eminen's 2010 album for USD5. I'm using AlwaysVPN.

Liza said...

Thanks for this info, it's a good solution to the problem with that store in this country.

I just read another how to buy VPN online that it's very informative too.

Anonymous said...

thanks dude! it works!!! :D

2hongye said...

First of all thanks for this great post.
Just to let you all who have not tried that know that
1)Paypal doesn't work for the gift card ( Yes you need a credit/debit card )
2)It takes times to process your gift card ( <15mins )
3)For the U.S address, you can go to find a U.S address. For the road, go google some house location in that area )

Anonymous said...

I haven't purchased a gift card yet and using a amex credit card like how I purchase books for my kindle and it had no problem.

However when I'm purchasing the mp3s I'm getting the following error.

We could not process your order. The sale of MP3 Downloads is currently available only to US customers located in the United States.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

Im already using alwaysvpn and even verified with whatismyip to check that my vpn is working and Im using my US ip address.

Headache.. not sure whether to buy the gift card at all or not.

jeffyen said...

Anon, just buy a gift card and mail it to yourself.

crumpler man said...

i was able to buy amazon mp3 using the alwaysvpn method described a few months ago but got the error from amazon about 2 weeks ago.

anyone else has the same problems recently?

jeffyen said...

Crumpler man, what error did you get?

George Seet said...

Hi Jeff, I am also getting the following error msg:

We could not process your order. The sale of MP3 Downloads is currently available only to US customers located in the United States.

Any idea what went wrong?I just bought a gift card and also a alwaysvpn plan this morning to try out.


George Seet said...

It is working ok now. I think it is due to the Singaporean billing address that is causing an issue so I went ahead to create another new account and after that the purchases which was paid with gift card, went thru ok. I think as a standard procedure when setting up a new account, there will be a need to enter credit card details first but can be deleted after that.
Thanks again,

Anonymous said...

I just downloaded from Nokia Ovi - cheaper than Amazon! and less troublesome too! I don't have a Nokia mobile but it doesn't matter, anyone can download as long as you pay of course.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jeff,

I tried your method (using my company VPN) and managed to download a few songs from Amazon yesterday. However, when I tried the same method today, I got the message "We could not process your order. The sale of MP3 Downloads is currently available only to US customers located in the United States. "

Do you know what is causing this?


jeffyen said...

Andrew, perhaps your company's vpn is not working well enough. I use alwaysvpn, and you can sign up for your own account. You can switch it off before downloading the songs; it's only necessary at the point of clicking 'buy'.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jeff,

Thanks for your quick reply.

I tested my company's VPN and it is working fine. I wonder if there is a possibility that Amazon has somehow found out that I am located outside the US.

Is AlwaysVPN a very user friendly programme to use? After installation, do you need to do any settings to your PC? How many songs on average does the 5GB (USD 8.50) VPN get you?

Have you tried the Nokia Music Store Singapore? How would that compare to Amazon if I want ransfer the songs to iTunes?

jeffyen said...

Try going to and see whether it's in the US.

It's quite easy to use, and doesn't involve any settings to the PC.

The 5gb of bandwidth will last you forever because you're not going to actually utilise the bandwidth much, just at the point in time of clicking 'buy'. You'll download the songs using amazon's download software, and at this time, you can switch off your vpn, and download the songs normally.

Anonymous said...

I logged onto my company VPN and tested it with the website you provided and it does show a US IP address.

Strange why Amazon still thinks I am out of the US. It worked perfectly fine yesterday.

I will give it a few days and try again. If it fails again, then I might give AlwaysVPN a try. Just hope that does not end in the same outcome if it is Amazon that is blocking me.

Thanks for your help anyway.

Alex Ho said...

Nice! I didn't know that we can buy music like buying books! Jeff, do you know whether we can rent or buy movies like music? Then, watch it via streaming or downloads?

If it does, I think it makes sense to consider Kindle Fire in the future (bigger version of course).

jeffyen said...

Alex, buying movies requires a vpn but bandwidth issues come into play in this scenario. I'd rather get DVDs from lol There are also issues with apps etc. with the Fire.

I think the ipad is better if we're looking into LCD-based tablets...

Zhongye said...

After buying some songs using alwaysvpn, they will have the error where you are outside of U.S.

I guess what you can do is using their option of giving the song to the recipient (yourself) instead. works for me

Zhongye said...

When you search for mp3 downloads, instead of selecting "buy mp3" under download, select the song and choose "give song as a gift" . hope this helps

Anonymous said...

Thanks Mate.

As for the reason why we can't buy music from Amazon, it has probably more to do with local regulations than Amazon...

Have you noticed that Singtel launched their music shop?! That would have been a shame to have to much competition before they started their own venture...

eskaei said...

Hey Jeff thanks for the informative post. The thing that still dumbfounds me is that, how do I use the gift card purchase towards the MP3s? I believe amazon MP3 gift cards are different from regular ones. Because after redeeming one the balance shows in my amazon account rather in the MP3 account balance. How do I rectify or is something I'm doing wrong? Thanks!

jeffyen said...

eskaei, you can use gift cards to buy MP3. The normal ones definitely work; just click buy?

Another way to get music nowadays is through iTunes. There is a Singapore store now.

Wall Of Sound said...

a big thanks to Jeff !

i chanced upon today's Amazon MP3 albums offers ($1.99) ... particularly keened on Led Zep CELEBRATION DAYS!

1) i already had a free VPN (HotSpot Shield ac)
2) i chose to create a new Amazon ac than to risk screwing up my present one. this new one specifically for MP3 purchases only.
3) registered for Cloud Player ac (just hantam US address as u would for US iTunes ac) and your local cc (initial fears of this being the giveaway were unfounded)
4) bot gift card (can choose any amt, i started with $10 in case cannot work lol) ... recipient email : my own
5) redeem gift card to my new amazon ac
7) so after step 6, only got US address left ... plus the gift redemption (which i at first couldn't locate lol)
8) bot my Led Zep album ... and finally found the link to my "View Gift Card Balance"which was right next to the "Manage Payment Options" link ! hahaha

so hope these helps those who still wondering if Jeff's method works since then ...


Wall Of Sound said...

alamak ... step 6 additional details
no show ...
luckily i CTRL C b4 posting lol

[Payment ... Manage Payment Options ... Delete]


Thanks Jeff (again)

Clarissa clare said...

Thanks for sharing this great content About Singapore music MP3 , I really enjoyed the insign you bring to the topic, Wonderful stuff!!!


Anonymous said...

for some reason methid no longer works. can someone verify if it still works for them?

jeffyen said...

Anon, what error message did you get?

Anonymous said...

now even with vpn, i cant buy mp3 anymore from amazon, anyone else having this issue?

jeffyen said...

Well I just used Alwaysvpn and bought a Piano Guys song. No problem...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your post, very helpful.

BTW, wonder if you know Amazon Cloud Player (online) is available in Singapore. I tried to register an account, failed, so wonder if the service is not available in Singapore.


jeffyen said...

Hmm... what sort of account are you refering to? An Amazon account?

Anonymous said...

i found out why i was unable to buy evenwith vpn, i turn on 1-click settings, after i switched it to off, i could buy an album =D

just in case anyone else has the same problem, can try turning off 1-click

Anonymous said...

have they changed it recently, cant seem to buy it anymore.

whatever I do, i keep getting this

" We were unable to process your order with the current payment information. Please click 'Continue' to select a default payment method and 1-Click address"

Anonymous said...

"We were unable to process your order with the current payment information. Please click 'Continue' to select a default payment method and 1-Click address."

Yes, I am getting the same message. So something must have changed.

jeffyen said...

Anon, maybe you can buy gift cards and send to yourself?

Anonymous said...

I am also getting this error
"We were unable to process your order with the current payment information. Please click 'Continue' to select a default payment method and 1-Click address."

I tried using a proxy, entered a valid US address based on the proxy settings, and purchased a gift card. Sent the gift card and applied it to my account. My CC is of my local country since it requires a card setting for the 1-click.

When I tried to purchase, I got the above error.

Any ideas on how to make this work?

jeffyen said...

Anon, why don't you erase your local credit card information and try again? Then add it back in when you need to use it in future.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jeff,
Just wanted to let you know that I tried a different proxy - for some reason mine had traces of Europe. Thanks.

Anon23 said...

Thanks to Jeff and the other commenters on this page :) I set my browser to a US proxy and used the "give song as a gift" option. There were errors a few times along the way but I think it was coz I had another local address in the address book, once I deleted that it worked perfectly.

Anonymous said...

You will keep getting this error message, "We were unable to process your order with the current payment information. Please click 'Continue' to select a default payment method and 1-Click address."... i've tried all ways and means and live-chatting with amazon reps for hours, nothing works...

You'll just have to remove all your existing Singapore addresses and credit cards details (setting default to us address and turning on and off the one-click etcetcetc just didnt work)

Anonymous said...

Yup, need to remove all Singapore addresses and credit cards, and make sure your VPN is not somehow tainted. I used pureVPN, and the USA server did not seem to work. Although the IP check indicated that my IP was in the US, Amazon seemed to detect that it was from another unsupported country. I then tried the Canada server and then it worked.

Poppy said...

I'm faciing the same problem too.
Using AlwaysVPN
Only 1 address left, that's comgateway.
No credit card
Using Gift Card

Same error, and when I went to google, google thinks I'm in Thailand.

Just can't buy songs from amazon anymore. GRRRR.

jeffyen said...

Poppy, try clearing your cookies, exit the brower, switch on the vpn, and start the browser again.

Check your IP address>

Reuben said...

I was doing some testing with regard to purchasing mp3s from Amazon.

I realised you don't actually need a VPN.

You just need to add an address, set it as the default address for payment, and make sure that no Singapore credit/debit card is tied to that address.

Then, use the gift card and it should work.