As I write this, there are slightly fewer than 22.5 hours left to go before 2008 is history. I promise I’ll stop looking back at the year momentarily–I already summed up its twelve biggest stories–but I’m in the mood to document a few more noteworthy items that made the year what it was. I’m calling this Technologizer’s Most of 2008, and it begins after the jump…
Tag Archives | Lala
On Monday evening, when Harry published a review of the newest incarnation of the Lala music service, I opened a new Firefox tab and headed there to see if his praise was justified. After over 72 hours of using Lala, I can say that I’ve found the music store I have been looking for since the Internet began.
Lala looks like it’ll meet success just the way it is. But it still lacks some features that could take it from a valuable Web 2.0 newcomer to a household name in digital music distribution–one that could be just as powerful and popular as Pandora or Last.FM. It is in that spirit that I offer these ideas for an even better Lala.
For a couple of months now, I’ve been using a music service that’s been in a quiet (but open) beta period. It’s been kind of amazing. That service is the all-new version of Lala, and it’s officially throwing its doors open to the public today.
Among other things, Lala is:
–a service that sells MP3s (DRM-free, natch) for 89 cents apiece and streaming-only versions of songs (“Web songs”) for a dime (which can be applied later to the purchase of an MP3). Entire streaming “Web albums” are typically eighty cents. And most downloadable MP3 albums are aggressively priced–ones that go for $9.99 on iTunes are typically $7.49 on Lala, less than even the price-slashing Amazon.com download store charges. (Any download you buy includes a streaming version at no extra cost.)
–a service that will let you listen to scads of new music without paying even that one thin dime per streaming track, since you can stream any song that Lala has–and it has millions, from the four major labels and 170,000 independents–for free the first time you listen. (New members also get their first fifty Web songs for free, period.)
–a service which scans the music on your computer’s hard drive, identifies the songs, and puts them into your online library at Lala for free, so you can listen to them in any browser on any computer. Yes, this is a modern version of My.MP3.com, the nifty service that was killed by the music industry back in 2000. But this time around, Lala is paying the music companies so it’s all kosher. (I’ve wanted MyMP3 back since the day it went away, so I got kind of emotional when I saw that Lala had essentially replicated it for the moden era of digital music.)
–a social network that lets you discover new music by seeing what other folks are listening to, then listening yourself–again, for free if you’ve never heard a track before, and for a dime if you’ve listened once and haven’t already bought the Web version.
–an iPhone application that lets you stream your entire music to your phone; as long as you’ve got an Internet connection, the effect is a little like having an iPod with infinite capacity. (The iPhone app isn’t available yet, but I saw a preview and liked it; the company says it’ll arrive soon.)