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mangamuscle



Joined: 23 Apr 2006
Posts: 2379
Location: Mexico
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 2:33 pm Reply with quote
Oh my GOD! I thought Oda Nobunaga had proven that being closed minded is stupid to no avail. Now it makes sense that most anime songs are not subtitled by streaming sites, why bother when the owners of the songs will not bother to release their wares for sale outside japan.
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Vee-Tee



Joined: 12 Aug 2015
Posts: 58
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 2:35 pm Reply with quote
Thanks for explaining the alternative options. I had no idea those were available.

It's interesting to me how K-pop labels have almost totally embraced worldwide audiences through streaming (Spotify, YouTube, etc) and distributing K-pop albums overseas (HMV in London's Oxford Circus has a fairly decent selection), and the Japanese labels are still throwing their weight around and insisting upon physical copy loyalty.
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DmonHiro



Joined: 06 Jan 2007
Posts: 3278
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 2:40 pm Reply with quote
Honestly, that's far too much trouble to go through just to stay on the legal side. It's just not worth it.
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omiya



Joined: 21 Sep 2011
Posts: 1490
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 2:44 pm Reply with quote
Noticed on Chiaki Ishikawa's twitter:

https://twitter.com/ishikawachi_FC/status/674433222596427776

【配信情報】
石川智晶NEWアルバム「物語の最初と最後はいらない」
iTunes,Apple Music,レコチョ ク,music.jp,mora,LINE MUSIC,AWA,OTOTOY、KKBOX,SPOTIFY他。#石川智晶

I'm not sure if these work outside of Japan.
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Kusachiho



Joined: 10 May 2008
Posts: 14
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 2:48 pm Reply with quote
Occasionally I've had good luck finding Japanese song MP3s to purchase on Amazon - there was a particular song I couldn't find anywhere else, legal or illegal, that I managed to find and buy on there. I haven't really spent a lot of time looking other than for the occasional specific thing, but it can turn up sometimes surprising results.

The search function was working against me though, it has to be said. There was one song I found not by searching for the title or artist in Japanese or English, but eventually by finding the label the song was produced on, and searching for that. I feel like some of them were thrown up on English-speaking regions without much thought so they're not as immediately simple to find as anything else, but it is possible to find them. In my case I was largely looking for anime music as opposed to huge commercial J-pop pieces, but, still.
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Greed1914
It's Over 9000!It's Over 9000!


Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 3362
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 2:52 pm Reply with quote
I didn't know about that trick with Japanese iTunes, so perhaps I'll use it. I'd prefer not to illegally download if I can avoid it, and it is rare for me to consider a full soundtrack to be worth the cost of importing it, so at least it sounds like there is something to try, even if it isn't at all convenient.
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Utsuro no Hako



Joined: 18 May 2012
Posts: 958
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 3:08 pm Reply with quote
omiya wrote:
Noticed on Chiaki Ishikawa's twitter:

https://twitter.com/ishikawachi_FC/status/674433222596427776

【配信情報】
石川智晶NEWアルバム「物語の最初と最後はいらない」
iTunes,Apple Music,レコチョ ク,music.jp,mora,LINE MUSIC,AWA,OTOTOY、KKBOX,SPOTIFY他。#石川智晶

I'm not sure if these work outside of Japan.


I just checked Amazon, and the album is available for download in the US, along with a couple EPs. If you search Amazon, there are actually quite a few J-pop artists available.
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leafy sea dragon



Joined: 27 Oct 2009
Posts: 7163
Location: Another Kingdom
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 3:10 pm Reply with quote
While I don't go seeing out Japanese pop music (boy, the word "J-pop" has become confusing to me as of late due to me being in another fandom where the word "JPop" means something else entirely), I have seen some stores around Little Tokyo selling CDs they've imported in, such as the Kinokuniya there. They also import merchandise.

mangamuscle wrote:
Oh my GOD! I thought Oda Nobunaga had proven that being closed minded is stupid to no avail. Now it makes sense that most anime songs are not subtitled by streaming sites, why bother when the owners of the songs will not bother to release their wares for sale outside japan.


This applies to ALL Japanese businesses, not just music. Not all of them have the controlling attitude Japanese music executives have, but the general idea is to not make a move until you're absolutely sure it'll work.

Because of that mindset, some of them have issues with western organizations sending them requesting information for research purposes. Transparency is just unheard of there.
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Shaterri



Joined: 03 Jan 2008
Posts: 161
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 3:24 pm Reply with quote
I actually purchase digital music from Amazon Japan pretty regularly, and it's - well, convoluted but at least feasible (or was when I started, at least). I got my account set up to purchase all of the music in the *monogatari series (which AFAICT has only been released digitally from Neko Shiro forwards); what I did was:

a) Set up a new account on Amazon Japan (this assumes that you already have an account on Amazon JP that has your US shipping address and a credit card; if not, then you'll need that for a future step). This is essential since if your shipping address is in the US that's what Amazon will look at and they won't allow you to buy the music (as the original questioner found). Use a different e-mail address than your primary (obviously) and use a fake Japanese mailing address (this is the only point at which you actually have to lie to them); the mailing address doesn't matter since nothing will ever get shipped to it. (I used the address of Aniplex's main offices, because why not?) Do NOT provide credit card information - if you do then Amazon will look at the (presumably US) address on your card and determine that you're overseas. Make sure to log out from your main account before you do this - I'm actually paranoid enough that all of my interaction with my 'overseas' Amazon JP account comes from an incognito window in an entirely different browser, but you may not need to go that far.

b) Use my 'main' account on Amazon Japan (the one that has a credit card associated with it) to buy digital gift cards and gift them to the secondary, faux-overseas account. This works because Amazon will let you buy gift cards from anywhere in the world, so the fact that your (real) mailing address and your credit card address are in the US doesn't matter here.

c) Use the gift cards to purchase digital music from the secondary account. This works since the only address that Amazon has affiliated with this account (remember, it has no credit card info) is in Japan, so you meet all the restrictions that have been put on the music. The downloader itself doesn't (AFAICT) check IP addresses to make sure that it's downloading the music to a Japanese IP address.
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rizuchan
Collector ExtraordinaireCollector Extraordinaire


Joined: 11 Mar 2007
Posts: 827
Location: Kansas
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 3:56 pm Reply with quote
I've used iTunes Japan many times to get music I couldn't uh... find elsewhere. It's pretty effortless apart from getting a Japanese iTunes card. And now that you can buy gift cards online that's barely even a hassle. But yeah, it would be even better if they would just include them in the US iTunes store. There has been A LOT of Japanese music added recently, compared to what was available just a few years ago.

Strangely, my library used to offer MP3 downloads (can't remember the service) and most if not all the artists were owned by Sony... there was a ton of Japanese music! It was so weird, but I managed to grab a few singles that way.

Shaterri wrote:
I actually purchase digital music from Amazon Japan pretty regularly, and it's - well, convoluted but at least feasible (or was when I started, at least). I got my account set up to purchase all of the music in the *monogatari series (which AFAICT has only been released digitally from Neko Shiro forwards); what I did was: [...]


It lets you purchase the music without having a credit card attached? Is it not one-click? I tried desperately a while back to purchase a digital movie from Amazon.co.jp and it wouldn't let me use one click without a credit card attached, even though I had a gift card that covered the full amount. Sad
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Vaisaga



Joined: 07 Oct 2011
Posts: 12883
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 4:09 pm Reply with quote
So far as digital media goes, I buy doujinshi from Melonbooks and DLsite all the time. While DLsite has an English version a lot of content is missing from it. Nothing special I have to do with the Japanese site except occasionally use Google Translate. They accept my Canadian credit cards just fine.
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Blanchimont



Joined: 25 Feb 2012
Posts: 1892
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 4:16 pm Reply with quote
DmonHiro wrote:
Honestly, that's far too much trouble to go through just to stay on the legal side. It's just not worth it.

Agree.

Though unfortunate it may be, for situations like these, there's the 'other' option. It IS digital goods we're talking about here, after all... If our money's no good, they can go blame themselves when we take to creative solutions...
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Cutiebunny



Joined: 18 Apr 2010
Posts: 1419
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 4:25 pm Reply with quote
I haven't had any luck using LINE. They have a lot of downloadable manga, but usually I'm informed that the titles are only available in Japan. I'm not sure if that's true for the music, though the stickers seem to be the exception and can be purchased for use outside of Japan.

I use the iTunes Japan card trick all the time. It's annoying, but if the song you want is new, it's cheaper going this route than importing the CD. Besides, I find I usually only like a couple of songs on most CDs anyways, so buying the whole album for a couple of songs doesn't make much sense.

You'll encounter the same problem if you want to purchase off Yahoo Japan. Regardless of your fluency in Japanese, Japanese sellers don't like to send overseas, which means that you're stuck using a deputy service and paying their fees. I've been purchasing items through a deputy service for well over a decade. The extra fees do add up, especially on items under 2000 yen, but it's worth it if it's something you want.
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Lemonchest



Joined: 18 Mar 2015
Posts: 1770
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 4:35 pm Reply with quote
I know this topic is relating specifically to major label Japanese music, which is buried behind a mountain of arrogance & myopia. However, it's worth mentioning that outside the big pop & idol music machine Japanese artists & independent labels have been much more enthusiastic in embracing digital distribution & getting distributed in international markets, if only because they don't have the clout or the rabid fanbases to sustain an outdated business model on the backs of whales.

& now & then some Japanese acts do make the effort to go international. I'm sure a there's people who remember Mad Capsule Markets being played ad nauseam on Kerrang, Scuzz & MTV2 in the early 2000s (in the UK, at least). Bands like Polysics made a real effort to exploit Myspace (remember that?) to build an international fanbase & every now & then you get a BabyMetal or the like with a more internationally minded producer/manager at the helm. Goth Trad has been releasing on Deep Medi for so long I image there's still some dubstep fans who think he's from London rather than Tokyo. & you'll find a lot of music from independent Japanese producers & musicians on Bandcamp & Soundcloud, at least if you know where to look.

So while the complaint is accurate, it's not true for Japanese music as a whole.
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Beltane



Joined: 16 May 2015
Posts: 24
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 5:05 pm Reply with quote
Lemonchest wrote:
However, it's worth mentioning that outside the big pop & idol music machine Japanese artists & independent labels have been much more enthusiastic in embracing digital distribution & getting distributed in international markets...

...So while the complaint is accurate, it's not true for Japanese music as a whole.


I second that. There are bands who have made their albums available on iTunes outside of Japan, and they have been touring internationally as well. The ones I can think of right now are L'Arc〜en〜Ciel, Vamps, Dir En Grey and X Japan.
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