PureTracks.com Review

Figured I’d see what PureTracks was all about during lunch today. For those who haven’t heard of it, it’s basically a Canadian (only) online music store. This means nothing to those in the states, who have things like iTunes to purchase their legal online music from, but as a Canuck who wants to buy legal online music, this is important. Read on for my review.

Based on initial impressions, PureTracks gets 0/10. Why? Well, when I went to the site I got the following message:

Thank you for visiting Puretracks.com

Our website is available to Canadian residents only and requires
Windows Internet Explorer version 5.0 or higher.


Hmm….. I am a Canadian resident, coming from a Canadian IP address, so that can’t be it. I’m using a Mozilla based browser which is as good or higher than IE 5.0, so that can’t be it. Must be something wrong with their site then.

Nope, I fired up IE under wine and got the site. Hmm…. that’s interesting. I then went to a sub-page and got the URL and copied it into my Mozilla based browser. It worked, and go figure, looked the same as it did under IE. What a shock!

So they get 0/10 for flatly denying access based purely on the users browser. If I can’t see the site I can’t see what they have to offer, and I can’t tell my friends anything good about it, or even find things I want to buy when I get home and have a Windows system in front of me.

Now since I could get in I can give a second rating, based purely on a very non-scientific way I have of testing any online music stores. I simply do a couple of searches for common but not “top 40” artists and see if there are any hits. In this case PureTracks gets 5/10 based on my search for Johnny Cash (hits) and U2 (no hits).

However, their score is affected by not having Great Big Sea (no hits) or Spirit of the West (no hits). For a Canadian music site that’s pretty lacking for Canadian content. They do have Matthew Good Band (who I’m told are Canadian but I haven’t heard them before) and Barenaked Ladies.

So their selection isn’t complete, but has 3 out of 6 of the Canadian weighted searches I did. Not great, but not terrible, as they are a new site. So once I got in they stay at 5/10.

I’m still pretty pissed off about the lack of being allowed to see the site, so I threw off an email to their feedback email.

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