Feeds

Virgin unplugs music download service

Apple swipes away Branson

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Virgin has closed Virgin Digital, its Windows Media-based alternative to Apple's iTunes. It stopped selling one-off downloads on Friday, though subscribers will still have access to their collections until their next monthly payment is due.

After that, their songs will no longer be playable, thanks to the limitations placed on playback by the DRM technology built into each track.

Virgin announced the move this weekend in an email sent out to all its customers, all of whom have presumably been busy backing up their tracks or - in the case of subscribers - burning them to CD so they can be re-imported as MP3s.

The service will formally close on Friday, 28 September - coincidentally the day Apple's new iPod Touch is due to arrive in the UK - and finally shut down on Friday, 19 October.

Virgin have no reason for the shut-down, simply offering its "apologies for any inconvenience this might cause".

The company said it would offer subscribers a free month's usage of "Virgin Media's music streaming service" - a new service the broadband, cable TV and mobile phone network will be announcing this week.

US subscribers, meanwhile, are being punted toward Napster, which is now honouring Virgin Digital pre-pay cards and vouchers.

Virgin Digital launched in the UK two years ago, in September 2005, a major revival of the music store chain's early service. Rival High Street chain HMV updated its download service in the same month.

But neither was able to seriously challenge Napster UK, let alone iTunes - Apple's ownership of the portable music player market quickly cemented its domination of the download arena too. And Russian site AllofMP3.com proved rather popular with UK consumers, accounting for more sales than all but iTunes by April 2006. It closed its doors in July this year.

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.