Customers who are still
using listening to their tracks from the now dead MSN Music service have gotten a (close to) last minute reprieve. The tracks are wrapped in Microsoft's "PlaysForSure" DRM, which in itself is kind of ironic, since they almost stopped "Playing For Sure" as of August 31, 2008.
However, in what seems like a change of heart, Microsoft has announced plans to offer extended support for those tracks through at least the end of 2011. Of course that really means that it just gives customers who gave their money a few additional years to enjoy what they paid for before it gets taken away.
While former MSN Music customers may have gotten a break, at least for a few years, it does make you think about investing in any tracks in the future that are wrapped in DRM. Consider this, MSN Music was one of several attempts Microsoft made with digital music, and this was put to rest so Microsoft could focus on the Zune. While I really enjoy my Zune, the thought will always be in my mind, that Microsoft could decide they have a better project in the works, or that the Zune is not successful enough and move on to something else.
Keep in mind, I do not support pirated music in any way, but this makes me understand (at least a little) why someone would choose to download tracks for free. Because when it comes down to it, users who pay and do the right thing really have no guarantee. Hopefully Microsoft will continue the support for the MSN Music tracks long after 2011, and hopefully the Zune will continue to perform well enough for Microsoft to keep it around.
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