Read a little. Learn a lot. • Tightly-written news, views and stuff • Follow us on TwitterBe a Facebook FanTumble us!

04 Mar 2011 15:56


Tech: Apple still doesn’t do streaming music yet, or why we miss Lala

  • issue Apple bought this really awesome company called Lala, then quickly killed it, making a few music fans (like us) start crying profusely. It killed a weekly music feature we had, quite sadly.
  • reason Well, Apple has a huge facility to allow this sort of streaming, but no streaming deals with the record labels – but they’re working on it. Note to Apple: Please make albums embeddable if this happens. source

15 Nov 2010 11:16


Tech: iTunes has major announcement in store. We can’t wait.

  • “We’re getting rid of this crappy iTunes Music store and replacing it with Lala.” We can dream, can’t we? That site was freaking awesome. source

22 Jun 2010 11:22


Tech: A Google music store? Apple’s Lala purchase may haunt them

  • first Google launched a music search feature with a number of providers, including Lala and (the now-closed) iMeem.
  • second Apple bought Lala partly because of this competition, and Google now uses iLike, Rhapsody and Pandora.
  • third Losing their key service, Google said screw it and is now building its own music service. It’s all-out war now. source

30 May 2010 15:52


Music, Tech: RIP An obituary to the best online music service ever

  • It was the first truly social music service. While Lala took a little while to get its footing, when it finally did, it was nothing short of magical. With Apple’s purchase of the service back in December, we knew this day was coming, but May 31st will still be a sad day for a lot of music fans like us. Here are some reasons we’ll miss Lala but will remain hopeful about its future as part of iTunes.

A quick history of Lala

  • 2006 Lala launches as an easy way to trade CDs, similar to Netflix in some ways.
  • 2007 Lala adds a free, on-demand way of listening to music. It doesn’t work at all.
  • 2008 The company finally nails its most popular form, a 10¢ cloud music model.
  • 2009 The company runs out of cash and sells itself to Apple for around $20 million.
  • 2010 Apple shuts down the site, possibly to launch a similar iTunes version. NO! *sob*

What Lala had that nobody else did

  • Simple, cheap options With songs available for a mere ten cents a piece and completely free to listen to once, it created a low barrier of entry that encouraged new listening habits.
  • Easy sharing You could put a Lala embed on your site and share music with other people, legally and free; a number of sites took advantage of this model, from the AV Club to Pitchfork.
  • Cloud-based freedom You could put your entire library on the site and listen anywhere. Sadly, Lala never got a chance to do what would’ve really made it a big hit – put it on the iPhone.

Why Lala got away with it

  • We said, ‘consumers shouldn’t have to worry about where their files are, they should be able to play their music.’ It’s actually a huge benefit for the labels, because once Lala knows the music that you listen to, it makes perfect sense to say, ‘hey, Wilco has a new album coming out.’
  • Lala CEO Bill Nguyen • About the benefits of the cloud music service to record companies. They were able to sell the model to them on the idea that they could provide information that might encourage future purchases. One thing that Nguyen noted is that when people were billed by the service, they bought one out of every five songs, most of which they found through discovery. On Lala, people weren’t simply listening to their collections. They were trying to find new songs. The model worked for eMusic already, but they broadened it.  source

So, what’s next, anyway?

  • Well, it could be the next iTunes. Or not. With the service’s recent acquisition by Apple, it’s entirely possible that they’ll take this model and completely make it theirs. Or they might ditch certain parts of it and focus exclusively on the cloud service. Lala was out of money by the end, so they couldn’t see the idea through. But Apple, as you might know, has a ton of money and clout to pull this idea off. Or they could stick with their walled garden approach. We’ll see.

Let’s remember how great it was, guys.

  • Post on Twitter about how much you’ll miss the little music locker that could, and we’ll reflect it here. Might as well, right? The tags #riplala or “” will work just fine. source

08 May 2010 12:31


About, Music: Sad news: The Saturday Mixtape’s taking a break

  • why? Blame it partly on Lala’s closing,
    but we also think it’s  a good
    chance to reconsider our
    short-form musical approach.
  • next We plan on trying different music features in the future. Our first was “Non-Expert Opinion.” We’ll keep you posted, guys. source
  • » Will the mixtape return eventually? Probably, but its form might change. We might also move it to Monday. Who knows? We might get lucky and iTunes will have a similar embed feature that uses HTML5 (hint, hint).

30 Apr 2010 08:28


Music, Tech: Lala is shutting down. Oh God, we need a moment. *SOB*

  • We’re currently out a song-sharing host. OK, we knew this day was coming the second that Apple bought them out, but we didn’t realize it would happen so suddenly. The company is no longer allowing new playlists or web songs to be sold. Is an iTunes equivalent of Lala coming next? We can only hope, guys. This was the only music service that got it right. Being able to sample music – in full – was a revelation. (P.S.: Does anyone have any recommendations for services that we could use for our Saturday Mixtape in the future? Lala was nice because we could stay legal AND share new music. We’ve officially lost that, as of now.) source

07 Apr 2010 10:06


Music, Tech: Do your legal MP3s have “secret” DRM? Some stores play dirty

  • Apple, Lala and Wal-Mart are culprits. Does the record industry have sights on putting the cat back n the bag? Despite the lack of digital rights management in nearly all of the online music stores, some embed your name in the file, something which could lead to backdoor digital rights management down the line – especially if cloud-based services like Lala (which we otherwise love) take off. Will the labels ever learn? And why are Apple, Wal-Mart and Lala enablers? source

11 Dec 2009 22:46


Tech: Dear jerk from CNET: Way to be uninformed about Lala

  • Consider that Apple is now seeking help from a group that cast about the digital-music sector for years, swapped out business models multiple times (without ever finding a profitable one), and basically did little to distinguish themselves.
  • CNET scribe Greg Sandoval • Describing his skepticism on Lala, which Apple acquired last week. Sandoval’s take on the startup is beyond unfair – it’s straight-up uninformed. He wrote about the service as if the current version of the site – which sites such as Pitchfork and The Onion AV Club, and heck, we, regularly use – was nothing special. In our opinion, it reads as if he’s never actually used the service, which was struggling financially but had solid business deals in place. Why is Apple interested in Lala, like Google also was? Simple. Because it has a huge, passionate, cult audience – an audience bored by iTunes. (By the way, Sandoval totally missed Google’s Onebox setup, which TechCrunch was quite excited about.) Write about it when you know what you’re talking about, Greg. source

05 Dec 2009 11:16


04 Dec 2009 23:22


Tech: UPDATE: Apple and Lala now getting married to each other

  • First a rumor, now a done deal. We posted about this two hours ago, and now it’s actually real. Apple, which has the pretty killer iPhone along with a music service which feels a little dated in the wake of services like Spotify and Lala, is ready to take on one of those startups. Lala’s cloud-based approach makes a ton of sense considering the iPhone app that the service has reportedly been working on for months. Lala’s super-embeddable approach (which we use) and Web-based interface also feel infinitely simpler compared to iTunes’ walled garden interface. We can’t wait. source