Saturday, May 01, 2010

Death of Lala

It was announced yesterday that the music service Lala would be shutting down at the end of the month. Lala was bought by Apple in December 2009, and it's clear now that they bought them in order to shut down a potential competitor. Lala allowed you to purchase MP3s at less than Apple's price, and purchase streaming albums at ten cents a song.

I didn't care about that aspect of Lala. I was more interested in the way it allowed websites to embed players that allowed users to listen to songs and albums. Pitchfork used it to post the albums it reviewed, so that you could listen to it while you read the review. Lala didn't allow users to download songs to their computer, and you could only listen to a song in its entirety without buying it. After that, you'd get a thirty-second snippet, which is enough to get a sense of the song. I liked Lala because it allowed me to legally share music I was excited about with my friends, without screwing the artists. If someone was interested in the music, they'd have to purchase it. There are a lot of albums that I purchased based on listening to them on a Lala player posted on Pitchfork.

This is all coming to an end on May 31st. Now I will have to research another platform to stream songs, which is a pain. This all goes to prove that despite the great products they produce, Apple really are bastards, just like most businesses. Steinbeck had a quote in one of his novels to the effect that the qualities that make you a good businessman don't make you a good human being.

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