AfterDawn: Tech news

Wal-Mart shuts down DRM servers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 27 Sep 2008 20:38 User comments (19)

Wal-Mart shuts down DRM servers Just like almost every other DRM-based music store before them, Wal-Mart has announced that they will be shutting down their DRM servers as of October 9th, killing off any music you have purchased from the retailer, unless you burn the music to CD and then rip it back DRM-free.
The full email from the Wal-Mart team is as follows:

From: Walmart Music Team
Date: Fri, Sep 26, 2008 at 7:42 PM
Subject: Important Information About Your Walmart.com Digital Music Purchases
To: xxxxxx@gmail.com

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

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19 user comments

127.9.2008 21:17

Not really a fan of Cruise, but something he said in the movie Rain Man (to Dustin Hoffman) comes to mind:

Wal-Mart sucks.

227.9.2008 21:24

Originally posted by windsong:
Not really a fan of Cruise, but something he said in the movie Rain Man (to Dustin Hoffman) comes to mind:

Wal-Mart sucks.
Wasn't it actually Hoffman to Cruise and wasn't it K-mart Sucks.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 27 Sep 2008 @ 21:25

327.9.2008 21:26
1bonehead
Inactive

Wal Mart has seen the light, the public does not want DRM !

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 28 Sep 2008 @ 7:22

The BPI Are: SONY, UNIVERSAL, WARNER GROUP, EMI.
The RIAA Soundexchange Are: SONY, UNIVERSAL, WARNER GROUP, EMI.
The IFPI Are: The same anti consumer lot as listed above!
The MPAA Are: SONY, UNIVERSAL, WARNER GROUP, DISNEY, PARAMOUNT, FOX.

427.9.2008 22:12
david89
Inactive

another reason not buy DRM music or movies.

527.9.2008 22:44

At least Wal-Mart understands that no one wants DRM. Why can't EA or I-Tunes?

627.9.2008 23:13

This is just like Microsoft's Plays For Sure DRM when it shut down. The sad part is that the people that paid money for the songs are the only ones affected by the DRM, the pirates could care less. DRM only makes the paying customers have to put up with the aggravations and restrictions, making the pirated version actually superior.

727.9.2008 23:27

what a way to kick your customers to the curb!
o alternative option to download a new copy drm free yeah i know burning to cd & ripping isn't too hard but depending on how much you have it can be time consuming! but if i wanted to rip my cd onto my computer i would have bought the cd it self initially!

828.9.2008 6:32
13thHouR
Inactive

DRM Only hurts pirates and ppl wanting to do something illegal with the media!


Here is a great quote from Cory Doctorow.

Originally posted by Cory Doctorow,:
Hey suckers! Did you buy DRM music from Wal*Mart instead of downloading MP3s for free from the P2P networks? Well, they're repaying your honesty by taking away your music. Unless you go through a bunch of hoops (that you may never find out about, if you've changed email addresses or if you're not a very technical person), your music will no longer be playable after October 9th.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 28 Sep 2008 @ 6:33

928.9.2008 10:54

Seriously, some of you guys are NEVER pleased. You complain about DRM and then when somebody gets rid of it you complain that its not supported. When something is stopped support for that product will eventually stop as well. Maybe they should keep DRM so the support will stay, would you guys be happy then?

1028.9.2008 11:18

Quote:
Seriously, some of you guys are NEVER pleased. You complain about DRM and then when somebody gets rid of it you complain that its not supported. When something is stopped support for that product will eventually stop as well. Maybe they should keep DRM so the support will stay, would you guys be happy then?

??? No, people are complaining that when this happens they have to burn all of their music purchased through the service and then copy it back in order to keep it. Major pain in the ass if you have multiple gigs worth of music (especially when you paid good money for it in the first place). You would think they would give a program to their paying customers to circumvent the drm and save them the hassle.

1128.9.2008 13:12
13thHouR
Inactive

Originally posted by club42:
You would think they would give a program to their paying customers to circumvent the drm and save them the hassle.
Because of the DMCA, thanks to RIAA/MPAA lobbyists that is illegal.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 28 Sep 2008 @ 13:16

1228.9.2008 13:21

there are alot of programs that strip the DRM out of music without the need to burn. sure they screwed the not so technically inclined masses by shutting down DRM servers, but dammit people DRM is there to screw you any way. id much rather be screwed by it being gone, then screwed by it still being there.

1328.9.2008 14:35

Wal-Mart should have offered for you to be able to download the DRM-free version, since they are the ones not supporting the old files. They know that you bought the file, so why wouldn't they let you keep a working copy of it? IMO

1428.9.2008 20:38

Originally posted by DXR88:
but dammit people DRM is there to screw you any way. id much rather be screwed by it being gone, then screwed by it still being there.
thank you

1529.9.2008 0:11

Originally posted by sgriesch:
Wal-Mart should have offered for you to be able to download the DRM-free version, since they are the ones not supporting the old files. They know that you bought the file, so why wouldn't they let you keep a working copy of it? IMO
This is a good idea. Has any other place that had DRM tracks and then went DRM free ever done this ?

1629.9.2008 9:18

Quote:
Originally posted by sgriesch:
Wal-Mart should have offered for you to be able to download the DRM-free version, since they are the ones not supporting the old files. They know that you bought the file, so why wouldn't they let you keep a working copy of it? IMO
This is a good idea. Has any other place that had DRM tracks and then went DRM free ever done this ?
I thought I-Tunes kept track of what you purchased from them, but I'm not 100% on that. That not for going DRM-free though. Similar idea.

1729.9.2008 16:14

A) I wouldn't install Itunes on any machine... ever.
B) What people are saying here is ... "I told you so." Not complaining.
C) This is exactly what the anti-DRM community complained about in the first place. Namely that the place who sold it to you can shut their DRM servers down and take their music back.
D) It would be a simple matter to come up with a DRM removal tool, or offer to their customers the ability to "update" their music with DRM free music..
E)Both Wal*Mart and K-Mart suck

So now apply this to the EA issue. EA decides to shut down their DRM servers and Voila... All of those DRM games become cyber-junk.
And EA gets to keep all the money... AND save money by not running the servers!!!

DRM is bad. Kill it whenever you can.

1829.9.2008 21:33

This reminds me of when Sony Connect shut down last year. They suggested that people backed up all of their music on cd when there was a free program called himdrenderer that could do every song in batch mode taking relatively little time. At least Amazon started drm free from the get go. Unfortunately I think a couple of generations down the line there will be people who grew up "renting" digital media their whole lives and just put up with it.

1930.9.2008 9:48

13thHouR, you are saying WHAT!!!??? CAN'T YOU READ!!!???

Or are you just fishing for conflict?

Oh I forgot, maybe you just like to give money to someone than not play the music. If you bought your music from Wall Mart it is no good because of DRMs. The only way to protect your investment is to remove the DRM.

grkblood, you missed the point. The point is if you are going to sell DRMed music you have an ethical duty to allow the users to play the music they bought from you. Is that so hard to understand? Of course maybe persons stupid enough to buy DRMed music deserve to get it taken away from them. itunes is about the only DRM vendor that has not screwed their customers.

Both burning to disk/ripping music and audio capture loses quality. Isn't there an app that just removes the DRM? I though I read about it but that thread has been removed.

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