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Wal-Mart Allowing DRM Files To Remain Listenable After All

October 10, 2008 2:09 PM ET

Wal-Mart has had a change of heart about dismantling their DRM services, meaning users who bought songs from Wal-Mart's digital music store before February 2008 will still be able to listen to their music. In an e-mail sent out to customers yesterday, Wal-Mart said "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." The retail giant had initially planned to do away with their out-of-use DRM technology and its help desk to make way for their "100% MP3 store," which essentially would have prevented listening to DRM-filled WMA (Windows Media Audio) songs in the future. Customers complained that Wal-Mart should replace the obsolete WMA files with shiny new DRM-free MP3s, but Wal-Mart opted instead to just keep DRM alive. Still, the company recommends "you back up your songs by burning them to a recordable audio CD," just in case they change their minds again.

Related Stories:
Wal-Mart Closes Down DRM Operations, Makes Music Unplayable
AC/DC Relax Wal-Mart-Only Policy, Give Indie Stores Black Ice Vinyl
Report: AC/DC To Go Wal-Mart Only

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Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

More Song Stories entries »
 
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