Nokia launched its ‘Comes with Music’ service (now called Ovi Music Unlimited) in the UK in 2008 to many a raised eyebrow. In those pre-Spotify days, it was a radically new and exciting way of accessing music. However, people didn't bite and the service never really took off and it now seems as if it’s destined for an early grave.
According to e’s Phoneblog, Nokia will discontinue the service in its home territory of Finland and in all likelihood, in the rest of the world too. No new OMU handsets will be shipped from the Nokia factory and you will not be able to extend your one-year OMU licence from now on. However if you have purchased a handset, which came bundled with a one-year OMU licence, you will still be able to activate this.
Ovi Music Unlimited allowed users unlimited downloads from a library of millions of tracks from Universals, Sony, EMI among others - and it allowed you to keep the music after the year was up. However your could only play the music on your mobile and your PC as Nokia used Microsoft's PlaysForSure DRM. The failure of Nokia to provide a DRM-free service seems to have been one of the major stumbling blocks for this service taking off. Of course it was the music labels rather than Nokia which prevented the service becoming DRM-free. Nokia did indicate in June 2009 that it was going to make OMU DRM-free but this never transpired - except in China that is. Last September though, Nokia did make individual downloads from the Ovi Music Store were made DRM-free.
So if you have a current unlimited download licence from OMU, enjoy it while you can as you won’t be extending your contract once it expires. No official word is coming from Nokia thus far but we’ll keep you updated about what it says in the coming days.