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Lala.com: The Cloud in the Sky

October 22, 2008

Lala.com, another music service which sells digital music is changing the game by offering 10 cent tunes. It has the blessing from the major labels and 170,000 indie labels according to Wired magazine. It also claims to offer no advertising according to Cnet.

Lala sounds like a pretty good deal, until you hear the last bit.

You can only STREAM the songs!!!

Would you pay 10 cents to stream a song as much as you’d like??? I certainly wouldn’t.

I want to own the song, DRM free, and you probably do too.

Man, I was totally stoked on this until I heard the streaming part. Not only that, you pay 10 cents/song for them to store it on their site. What if they go under and you spend $200 on their site???

Let the people download!!

10 cents is soooooooooo cheap for a download. I think that would make P2P an avenue for those who are dead broke and have nothing else to do.

Enough venting regarding this whole pay to stream music crap.

Take Control of Your Music,

Hoover

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 22, 2008 3:39 am

    I definitely understand your position on the restrictive nature of streaming a song versus downloading it DRM free and listening to it on your iPod, but I think this is business model is quite innovative for a couple reasons.

    First of all, the beauty of this system is that unlike downloadable copies of your content (ala iTunes & Amazon) your purchases are stored in the cloud. What this means for the consumer is they have the freedom to take their music collection and identity to any computer and use it. For example, if I purchase a web song at home at home this evening I can go to work tomorrow, log into LaLa and play it there…no questions asked.

    This is also compelling to the consumer since they do not need to worry about user mishaps (aka your iPod getting erased or your computer crashing). When this typically happens you have two options: re-download all your tunes or plead with Apple to reinstate your purchases – something I’ve heard rarely ever happens.
    Secondly, while the inability to put your LaLa purchases and an mp3 player & listen to them wherever is a huge detraction for today’s consumer I think LaLa is basically planning for the future. How is that you ask? Well consider this:

    When Apple launched the original iTunes in 2001 the concept of downloading music was limited to services like Napster and BearShare – no one had ever conceived an online music store, because broadband was still in its infancy and pricey, and mp3 players were huge, hideous beasts. However, Apple realized that in the future broadband would be cheaper and better components would make more portable players. Nowadays, we have tiny, fantastic mp3 players…but the next big thing (like broadband before it) is mobile internet. With the onset of smart phones (namely the iPod/blackberry) and plentiful Wi-Fi & 3G coverage we can access our data anywhere, making a cloud service like LaLa make perfect sense!

    I believe LaLa sees (rightly so) that in the next few years there is going to be a huge proliferation in mobile internet…so why not take advantage of it. To their credit LaLa has already developed an iPhone application so you can take advantage of mobile internet (which I have tried and it works flawlessly) and application for the Android & Blackberry platforms are forthcoming.

    Lastly, I think the pricing model warrants some accolades. Ten cents is definitely a great price point for the consumer in order to get downloads flowing (especially when there is no obtrusive advertising) but the real beauty is how if you choose to go ahead and purchase an offline version of the song – something you can put in your ipod – you are also free to!

    Not only that, but if you have already purchased the song as a “web song” and want the downloadable version the ten cents you previously paid are credited toward the song…so you only pay 80 cents! That is incredible incentive for a customer since you can essentially purchase 10 web songs for the price of a single iTunes/Amazon download and listen to it a few times until you find out the ones you REALLY want to purchase…how cool is that! As an added bonus, when you sign up with them you get 50 free web song downloads so you can try it out – I personally found it really addicting.

    Phew….wow, this has really turned into a rant haha…I love music & technology. Similarly, I would love to hear any feedback you have on the topic the author might provide, this is a great blog!

    -Chris

    Oh jeez, I almost forgot this neat tidbit I read about LaLa:

    “…LaLa can scan your iTunes music library and add every song you already own to your LaLa web library, essentially giving you online streaming access to any song you already have on your computer. And best of all: LaLa will give you free, unlimited streaming access to every song in your library, even the ones you’ve acquired in ways that weren’t quite legal. Ralston says that the record labels resisted this at first (”why should we give them access to something they stole”), but eventually came to the conclusion that users weren’t going to buy something they’d already downloaded.”

  2. October 22, 2008 4:46 am

    Hey Chris,

    Yeah I know that cloud computing seems to be the way of the near future. We’re active participants in the movement as we’re writing the book on Google docs. We can edit in real time over skype if we need to. It’s pretty cool.

    The only reason we are going with Google docs is that we trust Google. I don’t see them going out of business in the next little while. It’s also free.

    I don’t doubt some people will latch on to LALA.com. People buy digital tunes off Itunes. I still have yet to. I either get it on CD or Vinyl (if I know the artist is worth it), stream it on myspace, watch it on youtube, and/or torrent a song.

    http://www.BlueTunes.net is doing something similar but it’s more like an online hard-drive for your tunes.

    Hoover

  3. October 24, 2008 10:37 pm

    All of that was longer than the post it self, lmao. I was just gonna comment on the rancid video. I used to love them so much when i was younger, but who could stop loving Ruby Soho, that song is just awesome.

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