This question arose because I deleted a couple of Rhpasody songs through my file manager instead of the Rhapsody software, and I was concerned that their account system might work something like a lending library. That is, if I “checked out” a song by downloading it, eventually it would have to be checked back by deleting it through the same software, or I might end up being billed for it.
So I sent them that question, and they said don’t worry, when you unsubscribe, you won’t be able to play music through your media player any more. It doesn’t matter how or if I delete the files.
So I did a little experimenting, and these files (WMA format) play just fine through my Windows Media Player. I did find though, that I can’t import them into iTunes in their current format, nor will iTunes convert such “protected” files into Apple’s AAC format.
But what’s to stop me from downloading tons of music, unsubscribing, and then listening to the music for the rest of my life through Windows Media Player?
FYI, I already know how to convert these WMA files into mp3 (if I want to), so this a really a matter of intellectual curiosity and I have no interest in stealing their product. I just want to know why they, and presumably their artists, think the music is protected.