Walmart Decides To Honor DRM-Protected MP3 Purchases After All, At Least For Now

Last month, Walmart announced it was shutting down the DRM side of its online music store, and too bad if you were a customer, because they were also going to turn off the DRM server that authorized your music for playback. Apparently enough customers complained, because they came to their senses—at least for the time being—and decided to keep the server running. Read their email below.

NOTE: This is a follow-up to our email titled “Important Information About Your Digital Music Purchases” from 9/26/08.

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

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

They could still turn it off in January, or next summer, or hell, the day after Thanksgiving next month, and we’re not naive enough to think Walmart will follow Yahoo’s footsteps and offer DRM-free replacement tracks, so take the extra time you’ve got to back up those tracks if you don’t want to be at Walmart’s mercy in the future.

“Walmart has a change of heart, decides to maintain DRM servers” [Engadget]

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