Sep 28, 2008

Walmart drops DRM... and your music files too

As announced about a year ago, Walmart's music store is shifting to 100% DRM-free files, which in itself is a Good Thing. So would be support for Firefox BTW, but that's not my point :)

Problem is, how do you manage DRMized songs if the DRM server is gone? Well, you don't (original post on BoingBoing):

From: Walmart Music Team
Date: Fri, Sep 26, 2008 at 7:42 PM
Subject: Important Information About Your Digital Music Purchases

Important Information About Your Digital Music Purchases
We hope you are enjoying the increased music quality/bitrate and the improved
usability of Walmart's MP3 music downloads. We began offering MP3s in August 2007
and have offered only DRM (digital rights management) -free MP3s since February
2008. As the final stage of our transition to a full DRM-free MP3 download store,
Walmart will be shutting down our digital rights management system that supports
protected songs and albums purchased from our site.

If you have purchased protected WMA music files from our site prior to Feb 2008,
we strongly recommend that you back up your songs by burning them to a recordable
audio CD. By backing up your songs, you will be able to access them from any
personal computer. This change does not impact songs or albums purchased after
Feb 2008, as those are DRM-free.

Beginning October 9, we will no longer be able to assist with digital rights
management issues for protected WMA files purchased from If you do
not back up your files before this date, you will no longer be able to transfer
your songs to other computers or access your songs after changing or reinstalling
your operating system or in the event of a system crash. Your music and video
collections will still play on the originally authorized computer.

Thank you for using for music downloads. We are working hard to make
our store better than ever and easier to use.

Walmart Music Team

Kudos to Walmart for (a) getting rid of DRM *and* WMA, (b) trying to help out their customers, (c) demonstrating why real-life DRM is cumbersome, inefficient and just plain evil.

Next time someone praises DRM, show them this email!

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