35 Days Against DRM -- Day 5: Yahoo and MSN Music

This year we've also seen some significant closures of various DRM services -- first MSN Music, then Yahoo Music. Yahoo offered refunds in the end, but it highlights the very real problem of DRM services closing down. Yahoo and Microsoft aren't even going out of business, yet they've closed DRM services. Google has done the same thing with its video store.

Who is to say what will happen to Apple, or others in the future? Will people one day wake up to find their entire music collections refuse to play because Cupertino's fortunes take a plunge? Jobs's health was in question earlier this year, and should Apple's charismatic leader ever leave the company again, will Apple mismanage itself once more?

For now, the safest way to future-proof your music purchases remains to buy CDs and rip those to your computer and portable music player.

Services like MP3.COM and AnywhereCD have tried to bridge this gap before, and have been taken down by the record companies, who, it would appear, really would like you to repurchase all your music every time the format changes.

More recently, Magnatune have begun offering all-you-can-eat music downloads -- a few dollars a month and you can download as much as you like from their catalog, in whatever format you desire, including CD-quality WAV and lossless formats like FLAC.

Take action!

Browse our handy guide to alternative stores, and boycott those still hanging on to DRM.