I have no idea how many people use the Wal-Mart music download service, or, for that matter, how many used it when Wal-Mart was still selling DRM-protected WMA files.
However, if you are one of those people, you are in for some bad news. Those files will do nothing but take up space on your hard drive this time next week.
That’s right; Wal-Mart has finally decided to shut down its DRM server, which is where those files acquire their licenses. If a license cannot be located for those files, they won’t play. Further, if you have them on your digital media player (iPod, Zune, etc.), they’ll most likely be automatically removed next time you sync.
What can you do to save these files? About the only thing you can do is to burn those files to a CD, then rip them back off of that disc in mp3 format. Be careful; if you rip those files back off of the disc into WMA format, chances are that the files will still have the DRM protection.
There are probably various semi-legal applications out there that allow you to digitally convert the files without the need for blank CDs, but those apps are usually only semi-reliable and often difficult to configure and use properly.
Although it slipped under the radar with everyone getting ramped up for the release of Firefox 3; the folks at Opera released a new version of their browser a few weeks ago. On June 12, Opera 9.5 was released, and apparently includes quite a few updates.
Celldweller, an artist I have followed for close to 15 years, through multiple aliases, has come up with another innovative way to promote his music. In partnership with a group called trueAnthem, along with video game publisher ubiSoft, is giving away 16 free tracks from various sources, including his debut album from the Celldweller project, fan remix contests and his forthcoming sophomore release.
For those of you that don’t know, Celldweller is just one of many projects/alias for a man generally known as Klayton or Klay Scott. For a while, he was known as Scott Albert (possibly his birthname, although confirmed biographical details are extremely difficult to come by), Buka, Dred, Circle of Dust, and many more. He has collaborated with many different artists from all walks of life. Some notable collaborators on his various projects include Tommy Victor of Prong — Prong is now signed on Klayton’s “fixt” record label — Mark Solomon of Outer Circle, The Crucified and Stavesacre, Living Sacrifice, Klank, Criss Angel and many more. He has been credited with inspiring other great industrial artists including Stabbing Westward.
He has provided music for countless video game and motion picture soundtracks (including the Spiderman movies), the theme song for MTV Sports, the three-part (over three hours of music) soundtrack to Criss Angel’s live “Angel Dust” (a combination of Angel’s last name and the last word in Klayton’s original project Circle of Dust) stage show, much of the music from season one of Mindfreak (Criss Angel’s TV show), and so much more.
After my unfortunate adventures with the bandwidth limitations of my Internet connection, I decided to search the Web for some sort of utility that would help me monitor and hopefully limit my downloads and uploads.
While I didn’t find anything that would actually limit my downloads and uploads (no utilities that would temporarily disable my Internet connection if I got close to my limits), I did find a really nice utility for monitoring my connection.