In a completely unsurprising move, Walmart has announced plans to shutter the doors of its MP3 store. The most stunning part about this news is learning that Walmart actually had an MP3 store to begin with. Word of its demise comes via a leaked memo over atDigital Music News
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, but thankfully, Walmart's streaming music service Soundcheck -- yes, they have one of those too -- will stay in business.
According to the memo, the store is due to close on August 28. The company will continue to support its online-checking Digital Rights Management attached to its pre-2008 WMA formatted files even after the closure, which should be welcome news to anyone still listening to WMAs on that free MP3 player their bank gave them in 2005.
While Walmart was one of the first to launch a full-fledged web store back in 2003, the site never caught on with mainstream consumers, partially because it was never particularly easy to navigate or use. Plus nobody really ever equated Walmart with tech-savvy digital downloads. When the company ditched the DRM in 2007, it was also one of the first to offer MP3s without copy protection. But still, no one seemed interested in the Wally World music party.
Like the physical store, the MP3 store made its claim to fame by offering slightly cheaper prices than its competitors -- five to eleven cents cheaper, to be exact. As you'd likely expect, all the downloads were the strange, available-almost-nowhere-else clean editions -- but at least they were actually carrying Nirvana in the store.