• 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.
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