Friday, September 28, 2012

Really - it is me

I have mentioned previously the difficulty of using iTunes if you want to access it outside the country in which you reside.

I can of course use iTunes in Austria without any difficulty. The problem is that they don’t have a lot of the music that I want – and if I want to buy an iBook it is course in German.

I can speak a bit of German but I am a long way from reading books.  

So in practice I buy music and books from iTunes stores in Australia, the UK and the USA. This is not easy.

The stores in each country will only accept registrations with local addresses and that is fine for Austria – and for Australia I have simply kept my old account open with the address at which I no longer live – but as Apple does not send mail by post this is not a problem.

I also have Austrian and Australian credit cards – so that is another problem solved.

There are two problems with Australia. Firstly they do not have much of the product that the UK and USA have and it is usually more expensive. Secondly – if I try to buy direct from Australia they will tell me that I have an Austrian IP address and will just redirect me to the Austrian store.

The latter problem I can overcome by using a proxy server service to which I subscribe – but it does tend to slow downloading.

So because of the unavailability of a lot of stuff I have to use the USA and UK stores.

Now it is easy to open an account in the USA and in the UK by providing dummy details  - but the credit card problem is insurmountable.

What you have to do is acquire US and UK iTunes gift vouchers and get the numbers by email and punch them into your accounts to establish a credit balance.

This used to be not that hard to do – but is expensive. A £25 gift voucher online will cost you at least £33.

Then of course you have to use the proxy servers for the UK and the USA to do the downloads.

Are you with me so far? Please feel free to stop reading – it does not get any better.

But in recent times the purchase of gift cards online has become more difficult – I think because of massive amounts of credit card fraud.

Cate has recently decided that she wants to watch movies on her iPad. She particularly wanted to watch one last night. This is easier than it sounds.

Theoretically the movies will be available in the Austrian iTunes store but of course – unless they are major releases – they will probably not have the same titles as the English versions.

I spent a lot of time searching fruitlessly for US movies which had been renamed. And – experience has shown that the smaller independent films may not be available at all.

So perhaps I could use Australia. Nope. Of three films I tried to rent -  none was available in the Australian store.

Which leaves me with the UK or the USA – for which I had to obtain gift vouchers.

The sources I used previously for these have disappeared – or have no UK vouchers available. So I decided to use a supplier I used some time ago – but my account had ‘expired’ so I had to start again.

Really - it is me!
After going through the purchase I got an email saying I needed to provide copies of a passport and other ID – which I did.

The next email told me that they still did not believe me and that I had to provide a photo of me actually holding the ID - which I did.

After three hours I got my gift voucher.

By the time I got the voucher and downloaded the films - Cate was well asleep – but I have proved it can be done.

But – amazingly – I can download films for the UK without using a proxy server. There are apparently not the same regional copyright restrictions on movies as there are on music. Or maybe I just got lucky.

Here endeth the lesson on downloading from multiple iTunes accounts.


  1. You are tone commended on your patience - I would have given up ages before you did (one of the reasons we landed up going with a prepaid SIM card in NZ on A's phone instead of using the iPhone - it was just to hard !
    Have a great weekend !

  2. And then they all wonder why online piracy is so prevalent.

    It's so much easier to illegally download stuff compared to trying to legally purchase the same items because of all the hoop-jumping for the latter.

  3. Mr. Woody's at the corner was one of the best things about Shanghai. We had good luck with Amazon delivering to China, yes we had a US credit card, but I could not reliably watch TV shows over the VIP, and that was when the PRC was not messing with the Internet.

    I guess I can watch movies on my phone but I have not found a good reason to give that a try.

  4. I think someone should get eXtremely rich by solving this problem. I don't understand why things can't be as simple as here is my money, please give that, -click-, and -click, resultant -poof-. I was totaLLy unimpressed with how long it took to download a movie to my iPad for viewing on my Apple TV. The movie was John Carter from Mars, and I thought later, I must be depending on the movie actuaLLy arriving from Mars by the slow bandwidth NASA link.

  5. You're free to use my address, if you want to. That is, if the post code won't embarrass you.

  6. Do I need to send a care package? What a mess.

    Is Netflix available there?

  7. Me: Ah but I had Cate to drive me on.

    nzm: Yes it is much easier to steal films than buy them.

    fmcgmccllc: Yes and Mr Woody had them at the right price!

    esb: Well it works finer unless you are a foreigner living in Austria.

    SK Waller: I have stolen my Brother in Law's address so I won't need yours but thanks.

    smedette: Not yet - but it is on the way - we hope.