Amazon, MP3 and Vaporware

Here is the the current official status regarding selling MP3 recordings outside of the USA. In case this disappears, I will transcribe it here:

At this time music downloads are only available to customers using a credit or debit card issued by a U.S bank with a U.S. billing address. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you. We're working to build a successful store on and hope to adapt it to our other Web sites in the future. Please continue to check back for additional information on supported locations.

It took some searching just to find this piece of information; when I found it, I was less than amused. I have sent Amazon the following feedback:

Considering the number of people who want to use this service (myself included), is this all we get? Most unhelpful – it's just as bad as those "under construction" pages that used to plague the web. (You know, the ones that pretty well guarantee that visitors won't return.) Please provide DATES – we want to know WHEN the service will be available, or even WHEN you will be providing status updates (even if that means "sorry, still no news").

It also took me a LONG time to track down even that little snippet of information. Please, do try to get with it – don't go alienating a huge market by making it look like you don't care. There ARE quite a few people buying music who don't live in the USA and currently they are having to throw all their money at your competitor, Apple, whether they like it or not.

Exactly what is Amazon playing at? Are international MP3 sales just some form of 'Vaporware'? Back in January (2008), the blogosphere was alive with 'Amazon to sell MP3s internationally'. Here we are in the third quarter of 2008, with nothing more than that silly little message.

I will append Amazon's reply to this post – if I get one.