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Nokia to drop its free OVI music service - report

Nokia is about to drop its troubled free music service according to a report from Finland.

The Ovi Music Unlimited (OMU) service, which originally launched as Nokia Comes With Music and was plagued by restrictive DRM and a poor uptake by Nokia owners, has been discontinued in Finland, sparking fears that the service will also become internationally extinct.

Finnish blogger Jonne Eilimö writes in his E's Phone Blog (opens in new tab) that no new OMU-bundled devices will be shipped in 2011 and that previous licenses cannot be renewed after January 10the this year.

Anyone who has an existing unactivated licence will still be able to get a year's worth of free music for the time being but once that year has expired you'll have to pay for tuneage from the OVI music store which will continue to operate as usual.

OVI, née Comes With Music, allowed Nokia users a year's worth of unlimited access to millions of tracks from Big Music's Gang of Four (Sony, Universal, Warner, EMI) but tracks could only be played on the phone in question or a single DRM-hobbled PC.

The service never really made an impact, probably because it relied on Microsoft's hated PlayForSure DRM, and Nokia's failure to negotiate a more user-friendly deal with technophobic record label dinosaurs seems to have helped hammer the final nail into its coffin.

Although the discontinuation has only been confirmed in Finland, it's highly likely that the end of the service will soon be announced internationally. monitors all leading technology stories and rounds them up to help you save time hunting them down.