Wednesday, June 06, 2007

LaLa Back in the News

I've been using LaLa for a full year now to swap some of my older unwanted cds for older wanted cds and have been really happy with the service. Yesterday, LaLa was back in the news and in a big way. They've added online radio (WOXY among others), they've added an online store and now they're giving users a chance to listen to full albums FOR FREE. This is huge for obvious reasons. WSJ ran an article yesterday which also was the launch of this new service. I've included the notable news below. Almost sounds too good to be true.

"It's like a subscription music service, but without the monthly subscription fee. Lala is betting that in return for getting all that free access to music at home, listeners will pay to buy the songs they want to take with them on iPods and other music players. The prices will range from $6.50 to $13.50 for an album. (For now, Lala plans to sell music only by the album rather than song by song.)"

" Rhapsody and its competitors charge users $12 a month for "all you can eat streaming," will charge nothing. And where Rhapsody and its competitors require users to load special -- and occasionally glitchy -- programs to access their offerings, Lala will work through a normal Web browser. Users of Lala's Web-based service can create and save playlists, send them to friends and browse the virtual collections of other users -- all for free."

"More important still, the new service will work with Apple Inc.'s iPods -- something no iTunes competitor featuring major-label content has been able to do."

When a user plugs an iPod or music-enabled mobile phone into a PC, he or she will be given the option of loading music directly into the device -- for a fee. The service keeps tabs on a user's music collection -- even songs they acquired from iTunes or elsewhere -- so if someone's home hard drive contains a particular song, Lala will enable that customer to download the song to an iPod for free from any computer connected to the Web. The company believes its business model will succeed because the ubiquity of mobile phones and other gadgets that can play music provides such a growth market."


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