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  • Apple Shuts Down Lala Music Service, Members Lose Songs


    What's that saying?

    "All good things must come to an end"?

    As if Apple needed another reason for people to dislike them after the recent Gizmodo fiasco, it appears the saying reigns true with Apple's recent acquisition, the Lala.com music service.

    Lala will be coming to an unexpected end on May 31st, 2010.

    After Apple acquired Lala some months ago while they were in the midst of trying to release an iPhone app, many of us wondered when, or if, Apple was going to do anything with Lala's cloud-based music library technology. It appears their decision isn't all that surprising after all - shut the competing service down.

    Upon logging in, Lala.com users receive the following message:



    What this "means for you" as a Lala user is that you're getting shafted. Any songs purchased on Lala by existing members will be wiped out, and they will be issued iTunes Store credit for any money they've placed in their wallet. This may seem like a fair trade to someone who hasn't used the service, except that Lala's web-only (non-downloadable) songs are just .10 cents each, while their iTunes counterparts are .99 cents, a full 10 times more. In other words, Apple is issuing monetary refunds, NOT giving you your equivalent songs on iTunes. I personally had a library of several thousand songs available on Lala, and will be receiving a refund of $5.00. Yes, 5 iTunes songs. Apple is also giving members the option to receive their money back in the form of a check, but that's hardly consolation for the loss of legally playable media.

    Full-song previews, cheap "web song" prices, and even the ability to sync your entire existing music library up to the cloud were just some of Lala's fantastic features. With the addition of a portable version for mobile devices, our need for iTunes would be almost nil.. certainly the reason Apple was quick to snatch up the company.

    It's unclear if Apple has future plans to implement any of Lala's great features into the iTunes Store, but it's looking unlikely with yet another competitor out of the way.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Shuts Down Lala Music Service, Members Lose Songs started by reanimationxp View original post
    Comments 43 Comments
    1. arco123's Avatar
      arco123 -
      That sucks,

      Apple has been working too much on shutting down/******* over concurrents and enemies..

      I'm afraid that we'll be stuck with iTunes for ever :s
    1. reddawg's Avatar
      reddawg -
      Apple has become the "Big brother" establishment which they stood so firmly against in 1984.

      Microsoft became the evil giant using its muscle to bully the manufacturers that sold M$ products. Apple was the company of principle and good. Who would have thought that the roles would have reversed?

      I never thought I would say that I have more respect for Bill Gates then Steve Jobs, but it is true. Don't get me wrong, I love Apple products but I am not feeling the love for Apple. Every company has the right to do what they have to in order to survive and grow in today’s market, but not squashing the competition. I hope Apple changes it practices.
    1. Amraam's Avatar
      Amraam -
      Really getting sick of Apples domination ********...
    1. extremzocker's Avatar
      extremzocker -
      jesus apple needs to stop buying competition...
      ffs apple, competition is healthy
    1. politicalslug's Avatar
      politicalslug -
      We all saw this coming. I for one would be more than happy to pay $5-10 per month for a service where Apple hosted my entire library (47,000 songs, 200 audiobooks, and countless movies and tv shows) and allowed me to stream any track or video over 3G or broadband to either my iPhone or computer (either through iTunes or a browser portal). This presents Apple with a unique decision: either continue to sell high capacity iPhones/iPods/iPads in order to subsidize the cheaper models, or make more revenue over the life of the contract ($5/10 per month over 24 months). The streaming model is likely a more costly one for Apple, as they would have to maintain huge server farms with massive bandwidth costs.

      AirVideo is currently the best solution for streaming video. It utilizes your computer as a server to stream video with live encoding. It's fantastic, but my upload bandwidth (computer is uploading while iPhone is downloading) is substantially less than what Apple could provide with a dedicated service, and this compromises video quality.

      There are a couple choices for streaming audio from your computer to your iPhone. Orb's solution is less than elegant and lacks many features. Simplify Media had a comparable solution, but has since removed it from the AppStore.

      I believe Google has the storage capacity to provide similar solutions for video and audio, and they don't have the record companies to appease, so that shouldn't be a constraint. Apple should get the ball rolling on this sooner rather than later. I might even consider $15 per month if unlimited video and audio was provided, with guaranteed reliability and quality service (high bandwidth/low latency).
    1. Jahooba's Avatar
      Jahooba -
      Quote Originally Posted by lolcats1 View Post
      This would bother me. If i actually bought music
      Lala was a great place to find new music, though, even if I never bought any from their website. There's not many other places to listen to tracks before you buy them. The 30 second samples on iTunes is a joke, there's something wrong with Deezer (stuff doesn't play anymore), Pandora only gives you songs that sound similar (as if we all want the same damn song repeated over and over) and everywhere else has poor song availability.

      I knew it spelled bad news when Apple bought out a service that was much better than theirs. Of COURSE Apple doesn't want you listening to an entire song, they make their money from people that assume the song is actually good after the first 30 seconds.
    1. quidam_brujah's Avatar
      quidam_brujah -
      sounds like Lala users need to sue -- if there were enough of them and they could prove they lost something that has a measurable value.
    1. Jahooba's Avatar
      Jahooba -
      Quote Originally Posted by politicalslug View Post
      We all saw this coming. I for one would be more than happy to pay $5-10 per month for a service where Apple hosted my entire library (47,000 songs, 200 audiobooks, and countless movies and tv shows) and allowed me to stream any track or video over 3G or broadband to either my iPhone or computer (either through iTunes or a browser portal). This presents Apple with a unique decision: either continue to sell high capacity iPhones/iPods/iPads in order to subsidize the cheaper models, or make more revenue over the life of the contract ($5/10 per month over 24 months). The streaming model is likely a more costly one for Apple, as they would have to maintain huge server farms with massive bandwidth costs.

      AirVideo is currently the best solution for streaming video. It utilizes your computer as a server to stream video with live encoding. It's fantastic, but my upload bandwidth (computer is uploading while iPhone is downloading) is substantially less than what Apple could provide with a dedicated service, and this compromises video quality.

      There are a couple choices for streaming audio from your computer to your iPhone. Orb's solution is less than elegant and lacks many features. Simplify Media had a comparable solution, but has since removed it from the AppStore.

      I believe Google has the storage capacity to provide similar solutions for video and audio, and they don't have the record companies to appease, so that shouldn't be a constraint. Apple should get the ball rolling on this sooner rather than later. I might even consider $15 per month if unlimited video and audio was provided, with guaranteed reliability and quality service (high bandwidth/low latency).
      Apple is building a giant server farm in North Carolina. Presumably this will be for just such a service. Probably what's going to happen is, Apple will offer streaming music to any of your devices, assuming you're connected to the internet, and you actually own the music (it will probably be limited to iTunes purchases). I think that's just a theory I read somewhere.

      Apple Building $1B Server Farm For What? | BNET Technology Blog | BNET
    1. lolcats1's Avatar
      lolcats1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Nineways View Post
      Limewire...?
      no dude. that crap gives you viruses

      just search the album name, and the word "blogspot". works all the time
    1. whereswaldo's Avatar
      whereswaldo -
      Last time i checked, most iTunes songs cost $1.29 now, not $.99
      Quote Originally Posted by glassJAw View Post
      How does "several thousand songs" add up to 5$ credit from iTunes. wouldn't 50 songs add up to a 5$ credit?
      Good Point
    1. mr117's Avatar
      mr117 -
      This is basic business (just like what car companies do, cola companies do, information companies do), and it doesn't make Apple the AntiChrist. Apple is in business to make money. they have shareholders to satisfy (I own 5 shares, so I guess I'm one of them), why be surprised when they do things to increase profits? They are NOT in some sort of touchy-feely enterprise to make consumers happy (though most of us love our Apple products). They want us to buy Apple stuff, and then buy more Apple stuff. The iTunes store is competing with BestBuy and Target and other brick and mortar outlets for YOUR dollar. If someone comes along and has a better deal, and Apple buys them out, is Apple the bad guy? I may not like it, but it makes sense to them. I'd be madder at the other company for selling out their ideas and responsibilities TO Apple. Apple is no different than any other company, and to assume it is is foolish, and shows that their advertising works. I'm not a fanboy, and I'm sure some fanboys here will flame me for this, but accept the fact that all Apple wants is your money. I saw a quote recently from a coworker of Jobs saying, in effect, he has utter contempt for anyone he can't control. And it doesn't say how he feels about those he CAN control. The world is a cold, dark, scary, mean place. Oh, and torrents and Rapidshare are excellent ways to get music or other media for free. The only problem is that you can't see/hear if you like it first. When I was a kid, you could go to a record store and listen to a record before you bought it. Or it was played on the radio and you could hear it that way. Now, pig in a poke.

      Oh, yeah- $.10x10= $1.00x5=$5.00. 50 songs=$5.00. Several thousand songs would be several hundred dollars. Let's not let someone use emotion to color our thoughts.
    1. Luppin's Avatar
      Luppin -
      This is why cloud-based services are a flawed technology, all it takes is one completely misguided move by an over-controlling company and thousands (millions?) of people lose their music library.
    1. fishbone's Avatar
      fishbone -
      Sorry, but this article seems biased by the particular interest of it's author. First of all, Apple has put every technology it bought(or almolst) in to good use for the benefity of it's user base. Second, everybody is aware that Apple is about to do a big jump into cloud computing with it's big-*** server farm, at whicht Lala tech will probably be put into good use.
    1. billchase2's Avatar
      billchase2 -
      I was wondering when this story would finally be posted here...
    1. JacquesChirac's Avatar
      JacquesChirac -
      woah hold on now... a song from itunes is nothing like a song from Lala. of course an itunes song is going to cost ten times more. You can download that song, import it onto an mp3 player, burn it to a disc (typically), etc. lala is nothing different from listening to a song on youtube or grooveshark, except it costs money for no justified reason.

      I'm all for shutting down this silly service and providing the same money back you paid, not give one itunes song for each lala song. doing that would be crazy.
    1. reanimationxp's Avatar
      reanimationxp -
      Quote Originally Posted by glassJAw View Post
      How does "several thousand songs" add up to 5$ credit from iTunes. wouldn't 50 songs add up to a 5$ credit?
      As I mentioned in the article, you can sync the music you already own up to the cloud for free.

      I wasn't inferring I paid for every song I had up there via Lala, but I still no longer have access to them on the go. This was one of the best features of the service.

      Quote Originally Posted by JacquesChirac View Post
      I'm all for shutting down this silly service and providing the same money back you paid, not give one itunes song for each lala song. doing that would be crazy.
      Giving everyone the boot without the value of their music - what they ultimately care about and purchased - is wrong in my opinion. Apple just effectively un-made all the progress Lala worked for to provide cheap web-only songs to folks. If they don't have an equivalent service, fine.. it doesn't cost them anything to front some free Apple songs.
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      Quote Originally Posted by fishbone View Post
      Sorry, but this article seems biased by the particular interest of it's author. First of all, Apple has put every technology it bought(or almolst) in to good use for the benefity of it's user base. Second, everybody is aware that Apple is about to do a big jump into cloud computing with it's big-*** server farm, at whicht Lala tech will probably be put into good use.
      Then they should tell LaLa users soemthing along those lines, not give them a "sorry, here's five bucks for your troubles" message when they log in. Even if they do use this tech. to good use, the previous subscribers just got effed.
    1. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      raw deal for sure
    1. romeo_herman's Avatar
      romeo_herman -
      Ha..ha..ha...oh...lala.
    1. martinrigby's Avatar
      martinrigby -
      It is galling to lose your online music collection - I hope Apple give Lala users sufficient opportunity to recover and save their music.

      I'm co-founder of Psonar (www.psonar.com) which offers unlimited music storage in the cloud. Once uploaded, users can download their music to any of their players (PC, phone iPhone/Pod etc) and stream to any internet connected device.

      The service is legitimate - so there's no sharing of whole tracks but users can search the entire cloud and listen to samples. I'd love to find a way to get round that constraint without breaching copyright!