Fa La La La La

30 04 2010

I admit. I am confused. But then again, so is everyone else. Apple is a riddle wrapped up in an enigma. And no matter what they do, they somehow manage to come out of it smelling like a rose garden.

Just last December, amid all the speculation back then about what would eventually be the iPad, Apple bought online music service LaLa.com, ostensibly for the ability to better leverage iTunes and streaming music.

But now news has leaked that LaLa us shutting down at the end of May. Users will be issued credits at the iTunes store, but the whole idea of LaLa is going away. Poof.

So the big quest is this: What the heck is Apple up to? Did they purchase LaLa simply to make it go away? Or do they plan to roll LaLa’s engineering into iTunes to make that a better product/service offering?

Good questions. I, for one, will miss LaLa, because I love being able to access my music library via the cloud. As a LaLa user, my library is uploaded on their site. I can also purchase listening rights to other songs for a dime. At the College of Business holiday party last winter, I played DJ by hooking my MacBook to a PA system, and streaming my Christmas mix into the room.

The geek in me loved the technology that was being deployed, but I’m afraid it was lost on everyone else. They just wanted music. Of course, I had to complicate things.

But I digress.

My hope is that Apple will one day soon incorporate LaLa’s key features into iTunes so that we can not only share our library across computers in our homes, but also access them from anywhere. And I also hope that Apple adds an inexpensive listening-only option.

Why? Because ownership is really not the issue these days. We have so favorably bought into the notion of legal music downloads that having tangible product in our hands is no longer important. No, all we really want to do is listen to the music, and if we have to pay a small fee to rent it, the so be it.

As for Apple and their snarky business practices, I hope they are not killing LaLa for good. Because to do so would leave a soft, mushy bruise on an otherwise perfect piece of fruit.

Dr “Download This” Gerlich


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3 responses

1 05 2010
BlueBKLYN

Once you buy something, you shouldn’t be restricted to when or where you listen to it or whether you can share it or give it away. Which is why I don’t do iAnything.

2 05 2010
gnumedialab

Yes, Apple does impose some limits. But we must also remember that it was the Big 4 labels who pushed for DRM (digital rights management). It is DRM that keeps you from doing what you really want to do.

2 05 2010
BlueBKLYN

DRM is exactly what I’m talking about. I haven’t come across any company yet that imposes limits the way Apple does.

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