Bandcamp is pissing me off

27 Oct 2022

I've been posting a lot of updates to the blog recently about bad smells and I guess this is sadly another.

My enjoyment of music is common knowledge and I generally float around the net looking for new artists to download into my ever-growing music folder.

One usual place I download music from is some artists who offer their music for free through Bandcamp. I like Bandcamp for what it is, they let you buy music and stream it from their servers but also let you download it in many formats like MP3 or WAV or FLAC or even Ogg Vorbis but one main problem I've started encountering with free downloads is them asking for your e-mail and post code (ZIP code to Americans).

They don't always do this, it seems kinda random. I downloaded Druaga1's albums ISLAND 2.0 and A New Beginning and it asked for my e-mail and post code for ISLAND 2.0 but not for A New Beginning. You are forced to enter your e-mail and post code to download it but you are also signed up to a mailing list.

Who actually wanted this? Who realistically will want to give Bandcamp their post code (which can narrow down your location to at most like 30 houses or if you live in a rural area it can narrow down your location to your exact address) to download some free albums? I've experienced this on free and name your price albums.

Of course it doesn't do verification so I end up just putting in my e-mail address and then putting my postcode literally as just the word NO and it works. Yet I still wonder why this is needed for a free music download, I don't even have an account with Bandcamp.

Despite also stating you'll be put on a mailing list, in the download e-mail it says "P.S. If you did not request a download, someone else must have entered your email address on our site, and you may completely ignore this message (we won't re-send it or contact you again). Or hey, click the link anyway and check out some great free music!" so which one is it Bandcamp? Am I on a mailing list or not?

I feel like Bandcamp shouldn't even need to collect your e-mail address if they literally provide you an option to just click a link and go to the download page without this information if they feel like it? I've seen some people floating around saying that this is to "prevent bots from eating up tons of download credits" but you could literally just put NO as a postal code and then a disposable e-mail address and get the download link so it just seems like Bandcamp getting information for the sake of getting information at this point.


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