|Some people ask "where can I buy
these CDs?". The fact that a local music store may not have Ayumi
Hamasaki music in stock does not justify downloading and keeping mp3 files.
Another important issue: bootlegs that appear regularly on e-bay - from
my point of view that's the worst kind of music piracy. Everyone did some
mp3 downloading but decent people (as I am sure you are) delete them after
listening and then either buy or not buy a particular music release. Producing
illegal CDs and actually profiting by it should be stomped out, I reckon.
A complete discography with description of every official release is available here. The "black list" of bootlegs that should be avoided is posted here.
An important note on mp3 files:
Downloading mp3 files and keeping them is not much different from actually stealing a CD from the store. Sure, there is only a slight chance that you will get caught with mp3 files but think about this:
1. Will you actually tell your friends and relatives: "It was a good day yesterday, I've managed to get out of the [insert your store name] with two CDs under my shirt." Imagine what a low life you will be in the eyes of everybody.
2. Now, how is downloading mp3 files and burning CDs different...?
So, do not forget to delete them after listening.
A 2013 follow up
Sadly, what I was very much afraid of has happened - there are almost no CDs anymore now, in 2013. Due to immensely improved Internet speeds the sharing of stolen mp3 files appears to be rampant and much more 'accepted' than it was before - when one was getting something to hold in his/her hands. If before there were forums offering 'CD for download', now people offering 'iTunes editions for download' - and it would take about a couple of minutes to download a CD and about 15-20 minutes to download a DVD.
I am very happy to have my Ayumi collection complete - as per the website front page comment: I do have everything until mid-2010, plus the 'Love Songs' album from December 2010. Sure, I did download and listened to each Ayumi release since then - but I have not kept anything, did not hear any songs that have caught my attention... Plus I much more prefer to listen to the music from the actual CD or watch an actual DVD...
Naturally, the best choice of CDs and
DVDs is in large shops (like 'Tsutaya') in cities like Tokyo, Osaka,
Fukuoka... - in Japan. The variety is also quite good in Singapore,
Hong Kong, Beijing and other cities in China, and in other places in
Asia like Kuala Lumpur, for example. It is, however, virtually impossible
to obtain them in 'normal' music stores in Australia, Europe, Americas
and some parts of Asia as well. Some 'special interest' stores may have
the products but one must know where they are... And it is quite likely
that the prices on the Internet will be better (at least it appears
to be correct for Australia, where the price for a single may be more
important note - no matter from which source
you buy the products, collecting Ayumi Hamasaki music is a VERY
expensive hobby. The following is offered as a generic guide for a "12-year
All albums (including remixes) will cost about US$900 ($1,300 including rare ones), most singles ~ US$800 (over $1,200 if you want all of them), then there are video products that would cost another US$800 (more than a thousand for the full collection). And, if you are interested in collecting vinyl 12" records - they would cost at least US$1,700 (without extremely rare items that could cost up to $400 for one LP).
So, the 'basic' collection of most albums, some remix albums, singles and DVDs will cost close to two thousand US dollars. The price of the more or less full collection will be about 4 thousand dollars; and an absolutely complete one will require an investment of about US$8,000 (and will probably take 3-4 years).
Part 1 - Price comparison for different online stores
1.The information on these pages is not
intended to be considered as an endorsement of any online store - it
is simply a comparison from which everybody can draw their own conclusions.
however, should be noted as the preferred supplier of many people (myself
Part 2 - Other important issues
If you are planning to do some shopping it is quite important that you read the notes below.