Feeds

Wal-Mart pressured into tune keys life support

DRM servers open 'for the present time'

The essential guide to IT transformation

For digital music vendors, protecting files with digital rights management (DRM) is like a lobster trap. It's easy enough to enter into, but getting back out is another matter entirely.

Like Microsoft and Yahoo before it, US music selling heavyweight Wal-Mart has found itself in the same cagey predicament. Wal-Mart today bowed to public pressure and has reversed its decision to shut down its DRM servers. For now.

Seven months ago, Wal-Mart stopped offering DRM-protected .wma files on its online music store in favor of DRM-free MP3s. But customers who previously purchased the DRM-laden files still needed access to license keys on Wal-Mart's servers in order to transfer their music to a different computer or device.

The company's sudden announcement a few weeks back that it would shut down the DRM servers understandably upset those unfortunates who purchased music before the switch.

On its official blog, Wal-Mart recommended customers burn their DRM music to a CD if they want to back-up or transfer the files to a new PC or music player. The same laborious solution was offered by Yahoo when it closed its DRM servers this July.

An email recently sent out to Walmart Music customers reverses the company decision to kill the servers, "for the present time:

Based on feedback from our customers, we have decided to maintain our digital rights management (DRM) servers for the present time. What this means to you is that our existing service continues and there is no action required on your part. Our customer service team will continue to assist with DRM issues for protected windows media audio (WMA) files purchased from Walmart.com.

While our customer support team is available to assist you with any issues, we continue to recommend that you back up your songs by burning them to a recordable audio CD. By backing up your songs, you insure access to them from any personal computer at any time in the future.

We appreciate your support and patience as we work to provide the best service possible to you. As we move forward with our 100% MP3 store, we'll continue to update you with key decisions regarding our service and your account via email.

Thank you for using Walmart MP3 Music Downloads.

The Walmart Digital Music Team

Props to Engadget for the email. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws
Yep, that one place you'd hoped you wouldn't find 'em
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
Broadband slow and expensive? Blame Telstra says CloudFlare
Won't peer, will gouge for Internet transit
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?