Lala, presumably on behalf of Apple, has just announced that it’s music-streaming and CD-trading service will be disconnected in just one month:
Lala became Apple’s property a short while back, and in most situations when large companies buy smaller companies, one of two things happens to the products or services of the smaller company:
- It becomes better and more focused.
- It becomes stagnant, loses focus, and eventually ceases to exist.
Unfortunately, in this case, #2 is occurring, but I’m hopeful Apple will replicate the same type of functionality with it’s iTunes service.
iTunes vs. Lala
The problem with iTunes is that it’s desktop-based, not web-based like Lala. I personally do not care to install iTunes on every computer I use, and even if I did, I’d have a hard time accessing my music library from each and every computer.
A web-based service is so much easier to use and access.
iTunes also doesn’t allow streaming full songs – you can only listen to 30-second samples, then choose to download the entire song. Personally, I like the streaming model as it puts less responsibility on me to host my music files on my own.
Mourning the loss
Lala was that service that provided streaming songs and web-based access to your entire music library, and they did a great job. I, along with a lot of people I know, used Lala on a daily basis, so this news is terribly sad.
I’ve been using Lala since 2006 when it was a CD-swapping service only, so seeing the service disappear is going to be tough. After all, it was less about the service itself, and more about music. Lala helped me discover loads of new music, and revisit music from my past that I never gave full attention to previously.
Out with the old; in with the new
Although I was shocked to read this news, I also realized that this is typical Apple fashion – “out with the old, and in with the new.” They don’t waste time leaving dormant products or services around collecting dust.
Light at the end of the tunnel
It’s possible Apple has new plans for iTunes that will include many of the features of Lala. I could see a possible announcement involving this at WWDC in June.
If not, and if iTunes remains desktop-based, I’m gonna be very disappointed. I’ve spoken about iTunes overload before, and it’s one of the reasons I refuse to use the software, other than for syncing my Apple devices. There’s just too much going on in the software, when all I want to do is access my music library and stream songs.
So I’m hopeful, but I will definitely miss Lala. Rest In Peace, buddy.