The Day The Music Dies

After the end of August, music purchased from Microsoft’s now-defunct MSN Music store will no longer be able to authorize itself for new devices. Put more simply — if you get a new player or computer, or you decide to upgrade your operating system (which isn’t something I’d advise), your music won’t be able to come with you. Once September rolls around, you’ll be stuck with your music on the five computers you’ve previously authorized.
This serves as painful reminder of the real ways in which DRM is bad for consumers. When faced with situations like this, it is impossible to speak of DRM as being part of ‘rights’, when it only serves to restrict the very people who supported the store in the first place. Of course, you can go and buy all your music again from the Zune Marketplace, but that has another, incompatible DRM scheme… and who’s to say Microsoft won’t pull another stunt like this when they
finally realize the Zune is doomed to failure.
Instead, buy music from services which don’t set themselves up to restrict you if they fail. Check out ‘A guide to DRM Free Living‘.