Virgin Mobile (Secretly) Announces New BB2Go Plan

I logged into my Virgin Mobile Broadband2Go account the other day and noticed something new. Previously, I had two plan options: $10 for 100 megabytes (or 10 days, whichever comes first) and $40 for unlimited data (lasts for one month). However, there is now a third option in the list.

It seems, since I bought my MiFiĀ from Wal-Mart, I can get one month of service with 1 gigabyte of data for only $20. Obviously this plan wouldn’t work for me as my sole source of broadband (I know I use a lot more than 1 gig each month), but it is probably a great deal for people that just use the MiFi occasionally or strictly for Web browsing (no downloads).

I initially thought you could get this deal if you simply bought a new top-up card at Wal-Mart, but this article seems to indicate that it is only available to customers that bought (or buy) their MiFi devices at Wal-Mart. Sadly, at this point in time, Wal-Mart seems to be charging $40 more than list price (and Best Buy is charging $50 more; both according to their websites – Radio Shack is still selling the device at the $149 list price) for the MiFi devices, so you’re most likely going to have to decide how much you think you might use this mid-tier plan before you decide whether to buy the device at Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart Dropping Support for its DRM Music

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.

Good luck with it.