So, Walmart is to pull the plug on its DRM servers and leave all the
suckers customers who bought DRM-encumbered music up a creek without a paddle.
Here's the email sent out to customers:
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 Walmart.com. 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 Walmart.com for music downloads. We are working hard to make our store better than ever and easier to use.
Walmart Music Team
So, you choose to buy something legitimately, despite the fact that it's shackled by DRM, and the company decides to pull the plug on the life support system of the DRM servers in order to save money. Sheesh. And this system is supposed to prevent piracy.
Something that I do find interesting from the email is how Walmart are encouraging users to make use of the analog hole in order to carry out a little damage limitation.
But why not take the simple approach to solving this problem. Give everyone who bought a DRM-time-bombed song access to the DRM-free version. Problem solved.