Honestly, if we hadn't been tipped to this, we probably would've been none the wiser—same as pretty much everybody else on the planet apparently—but it looks like Wal-Mart's video download store caught pneumonia and died on Dec. 21.
The big question for those of you who bravely bought in: Will my bastard child videos still work even with the permanent closed sign in the store's window?
The videos you purchased and downloaded are yours to keep. Yes, you can play your videos as many times as you wish on the computer you used to download the videos. Due to licensing restrictions, you cannot copy or transfer your video files and play them on a different computer.
Hurray, as long as you keep the same computer for life.
The store's sudden death actually isn't too surprising even though it was less than a year old and the first one to sport content from the "big six" studios. Who thinks "Wal-Mart" when they think "video downloads," and wants to deal with a clusterfuck of DRM, WMV files and Windows and IE-only compatibility? (Not Hollywood types!) Besides, its goose might've been cooked anyway when iTunes finally snagged a video rental deal.
On the other hand, its online music store is still going strong, or at least going enough to try to pressure labels to sell MP3s through it, though it looks like Amazon has the upper hand (in more ways than one.) Let's hope they weren't taking any cues from their cubicle mates in the vid store department! [Wal-Mart, Thanks MarktMan!]