Yahoo Music Store shutting down DRM servers

It was way back in February that Yahoo announced that it's music service was to be transferred over to RealNetworks' Rhapsody.

Now the fall-out has actually started.

All Yahoo Music Unlimited subscribers are being offered the option to transfer their accounts over to Rhapsody.

For a limited time they will pay Yahoo's subscription fee of $8.99 per month but will then be required to stump up the extra for Rhapsody's costs - currently dearer at $12.99 a month.

But, more worringly, Yahoo is going to take down its digital rights management servers severely limiting the use of the files that people have already downloaded.

According to Information Week, Yahoo is promising to reimburse customers who bought music that can no longer be easily played because of the move to Rhapsody.

Yahoo is going to shut down the servers on 30 September, it told customers in an email, and as a result, the DRM files will no longer play if the user moves them to another computer or to a portable music player, or makes changes to the operating system in the original computer.

Carrie Davis of Yahoo Music told Information Week that customers will be offered compensation.

"You'll be compensated for whatever you paid for the music", she said. "We haven't said exactly what we will do, but we will take care of our customers."

Davis said customers could be reimbursed could be offered the money that they paid for the music or be sent MP3 versions of their tunes without DRM technology.

Yahoo has now put a "contact customer care" button at the bottom of the FAQ page on the Yahoo Music Store website.