Apple to shutter acquired streaming music service Lala on May 31

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Lala announced this week its website will no longer be operative as of May 31, and users who bought songs through the site will be credited with songs from Apple's iTunes.



Lala users will be able to access and play all of the music in their collection through May 31, 2010. As of Friday, WEb songs, wallets and gift cards are no longer available for purchase on Lala. Users can no longer upload their own songs, and new users are not being accepted.



Users who bought Web songs through the service will receive an iTunes Store credit in the amount of Lala song purchases. Those who have an outstanding wallet balance on May 31 will also be issued an iTunes credit for that amount. Lala said it will also write customers a check if requested by May 31.



Any unredeemed Lala gift cards must be utilized by May 31. The money will be added to the wallet balance, and can then be transferred in the form of a credit at the iTunes store.



Refunds will be calculated on May 31, and will be issued no later than June 14.



Late last year, Apple purchased Lala for $85 million. At the time, it was said that Lala's executives were set to play "significant roles" in Apple's iTunes strategy going forward.







In addition to selling songs and offering free streams of content, Lala allowed users to upload their own, separate music from their hard drive. If the content matched with licensed songs to which Lala owned the rights, the service allowed users to stream their music from the service, even though it was acquired elsewhere.



Just before Apple bought Lala, it introduced iTunes Preview, a browser-based list of content available from iTunes. Weeks later, iTunes Preview was expanded to offer song sampling within the browser, without running the iTunes desktop client.



Some expect that the acquisition of Lala will lead to an iTunes cloud that allows users to stream and access their purchased content from anywhere. Such a service could allow users to listen to their music from a variety of Internet-connected devices, even without a copy of iTunes installed.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    smiles77smiles77 Posts: 668member
    Wow. A few thoughts on this. First, I signed on with LaLa when I heard Apple bought them and have been loving the service, so it's sad to see it go. But, I will be very happy if Apple replaces it with an even better service (maybe still with web songs?). I'll misss the abilities of Lala when it's gone and hope Apple has something really great in store for us. That said, the iTunes gift card offer was a very nice gesture, and here's toasting to the future!
  • Reply 2 of 33
    spotonspoton Posts: 645member
    This should be a taken as a lesson, buy and download your songs immediately in a neutral DRM-free format and make plenty of backups.



    Who knows who or what will happen with your digital music, subscriptions, gift cards or accounts, it´s a changing environment.



    People should be reminded that at the RIAA request, Apple has been tagging one´s iTunes purchased music with user identifiable information.



    Does anyone know if Apple extends this to pre-existing music or cd rips?
  • Reply 3 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpotOn View Post


    This should be a taken as a lesson, buy and download your songs immediately in a neutral DRM-free format and make plenty of backups.



    Who knows who or what will happen with your digital music, subscriptions, gift cards or accounts, it´s a changing environment.



    People should be reminded that at the RIAA request, Apple has been tagging one´s iTunes purchased music with user identifiable information.



    Does anyone know if Apple extends this to pre-existing music or cd rips?



    So how many people have been prosecuted with help from the metadata linked to Apple AACs? Seriously. If you don't aggressively share your music, what's to worry? Sending a file to a friend is not "aggressively sharing". Linking your entire library to your eDonkey client or indiscriminately creating torrent files can be, depending on your bandwidth and the popularity of the tracks. If you're uploading entire new albums en masse to Rapidshare with public access or posting links in HTML, perhaps you should worry.
  • Reply 4 of 33
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,743member
    Ok.



    Was there any real point for Apple to keep the service going?
  • Reply 5 of 33
    sheffsheff Posts: 1,407member
    Hm... i tunes cloud to listen to YOUR own songs without them being on your device.



    1. Either for mobile users or those who don't have iTunes.

    2. For mobile users, iProducts offer itunes and wasting data to listen to your own collection on the go is not very productive.

    3. There is pandora and last.fm that are very popular and allow you to listen to the "radio" and discover new music.

    4. That leaves android devices that don't really have a default music store, but then again are not very likely to use iTunes.



    One use can see is ability to download (pay for) music without the need to download iTunes, but that could have been done without Lala. What am I missing?
  • Reply 6 of 33
    I'm guessing they are closing the lala.com domain as they prep the launch of the new Apple branded online streaming with the announcement of the new iPhone. Remember Apple said they were keeping the lala people on staff to run the new site.
  • Reply 7 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    Ok.



    Was there any real point for Apple to keep the service going?



    How about the reverse question: If it was making money, was there really any point for Apple to shut it down?
  • Reply 8 of 33
    adamiigsadamiigs Posts: 355member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by caliminius View Post


    How about the reverse question: If it was making money, was there really any point for Apple to shut it down?



    How about the real answer: They bought the technology and 'staff'.
  • Reply 9 of 33
    galleygalley Posts: 971member
    I have nearly 30,000 lossless tracks on my iMac, and would love an easy and legal way to stream them to my iPhone and iPad, even if it's 192Kbps.
  • Reply 10 of 33
    Apple reports sold over 1 million iPads!
  • Reply 11 of 33
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpotOn View Post


    This should be a taken as a lesson, buy and download your songs immediately in a neutral DRM-free format and make plenty of backups.



    Who knows who or what will happen with your digital music, subscriptions, gift cards or accounts, it´s a changing environment.



    People should be reminded that at the RIAA request, Apple has been tagging one´s iTunes purchased music with user identifiable information.



    Does anyone know if Apple extends this to pre-existing music or cd rips?



    There are ways to do things, and there are ways not to. Everyone knows this, and everyone knows how to manage their own music...thanks though!
  • Reply 12 of 33
    I'm predicting that iTunes streaming will be a major announcement at WWDC. Closing down May 31? So soon? WWDC early June? Fits.
  • Reply 13 of 33
    benicebenice Posts: 382member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpotOn View Post


    This should be a taken as a lesson, buy and download your songs immediately in a neutral DRM-free format and make plenty of backups.



    Who knows who or what will happen with your digital music, subscriptions, gift cards or accounts, it´s a changing environment.



    People should be reminded that at the RIAA request, Apple has been tagging one´s iTunes purchased music with user identifiable information.



    Does anyone know if Apple extends this to pre-existing music or cd rips?



    What the?? I never knew that. How ridiculous. It makes me want to push every iTunes track through a purging process to remove the smell of RIAA flavoured crapola.
  • Reply 14 of 33
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,205member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpotOn View Post


    People should be reminded that at the RIAA request, Apple has been tagging one´s iTunes purchased music with user identifiable information.



    Does anyone know if Apple extends this to pre-existing music or cd rips?



    how exactly do you think they would pull off that move. in a technological sense. Since the file was never in their system



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tmoore44 View Post


    I'm guessing they are closing the lala.com domain as they prep the launch of the new Apple branded online streaming with the announcement of the new iPhone. Remember Apple said they were keeping the lala people on staff to run the new site.



    I'm thinking the same thing.



    And since it will be directly linked to the itunes system, if you buy something it is in your cloud right away. And correctly (I have a slew of false titles in Lala, about half of which were itunes buys). AND perhaps they will give you an option to upgrade. So like you could buy for the web at like 10/20 cents but then you decide you want a copy for offline so you can get it for the difference, not a full purchase. like they did when they went 'plus' and you could get old buys for 30 cents
  • Reply 15 of 33
    chris_cachris_ca Posts: 2,543member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpotOn View Post


    People should be reminded that at the RIAA request, Apple has been tagging one´s iTunes purchased music with user identifiable information.



    Does anyone know if Apple extends this to pre-existing music or cd rips?



    How do you know it was done at request of the RIAA?

    Your iTunes account info has always been embedded in every iTunes purchase since day one.

    It is not in any RIPs or other imports.
  • Reply 16 of 33
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,743member
    Wasn't LaLa doing poorly before Apple acquired them?



    Oh wait, yes they were.



    http://techcrunch.com/2009/12/04/apple-acquires-lala/



    A few other interesting things to note. This acquisition comes a little more than a month after Lala was integrated into Google’s OneBox and Facebook’s gift store. Lala may well have been viewing these launches as last-chance efforts to find a path to profitability. Given these reports that Lala’s “prospects for turning a profit in the short term were dim”, it looks like those launches may not have gone as well as Lala hoped.
  • Reply 17 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by universeman View Post


    I'm predicting that iTunes streaming will be a major announcement at WWDC. Closing down May 31? So soon? WWDC early June? Fits.



    Agreed. I didn't expect to see an iTunes overhaul/cloud version until September, which is when the iPods are usually refreshed.



    Apple shutting down Lala on May 31, Steve Jobs appearing at All Things Digital on June 1, and WWDC starting on June 7 make me think Jobs will drop some iTunes hints at All Things Digital and make an announcement a week later at WWDC.



    I think we're going to see:



    1. iTunes Preview morphing into a web-based iTunes that will allow for direct purchase of tracks without launching iTunes.



    2. Wireless syncing of purchased tracks to iPhones and iPod touches (possibly limited to WiFi but probably not).



    3. Wireless syncing of playlist changes across multiple devices.



    4. An announcement that searches for songs on the major search engines will pop up a link to directly purchase the track, which was Lala's revenue driver.



    5. Direct purchase on Facebook of tracks that people "Like," which will kick off a huge wave of Facebook-based e-commerce.



    6. In September, the TOTL iPod nano getting limited WiFi capability for wireless syncing. I think Apple would love to add track purchasing from the nano, but I don't think they'll be able to get the interface simple enough to satisfy themselves unless they limit purchasing to things you can easily scroll -- top 10 lists, Genius recommendations, captures from a Shazam-like feature, etc.



    EDIT:



    WSJ says not so fast.



    Quote:

    Sources tell me that in the past few weeks, Apple has started signaling to the labels that it’s interested in a Web-based version of iTunes, its dominant music retail platform. But those conversations are preliminary at best.



  • Reply 18 of 33
    -cj--cj- Posts: 58member
    I created a Lala account when I heard Apple bought them just to check out the service. It seemed like a nice idea to have my music available anywhere I could access the internet. It was only a matter of days before I was craving the app for my iPhone.



    Then, I started to see how people were influenced by the music in my collection and started following some folks. Before I knew it, I was discovering new music like crazy and, yes, even purchasing music over Lala.



    I really do hope that Apple adds the cloud service to iTunes, but Lala is bigger than that. They have effectively created a robust social network around music. I will miss that aspect.



    Pandora incorporating Facebook sharing is not the same. And I don't want to hear about what folks i went to high school are listening to. I want to find new music, often from people I don't know, but appreciate their taste. I'm not sure that's part of Apple's plan which could be a hugely missed opportunity. I'm still experimenting with Last.fm and blipper.com to see if one of those has the same potential.
  • Reply 19 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by -cj- View Post


    I created a Lala account when I hear Apple bought them just to check out the service. It seemed like a nice idea to have my music available anywhere I could access the internet. It was only a matter of days before I was craving the app for my iPhone.



    Then, I started to see how people were influenced by the music in my collection and started following some folks. Before I knew it, I was discovering new music like crazy and, yes, even purchasing music over Lala.



    I really do hope that Apple adds the cloud service to iTunes, but Lala is bigger than that. They have effectively created a robust social network around music. I will miss that aspect.



    Pandora incorporating Facebook sharing is not the same. And I don't want to hear about what folks i went to high school are listening to. I want to find new music, often from people I don't know, but appreciate their taste. I'm not sure that's part of Apple's plan which could be a hugely missed opportunity. I'm still experimenting with Last.fm and blipper.com to see if one of those has the same potential.



    Apple knew what they liked about Lala when they bought it, so hopefully they'll have a way for users to follow other users based on music tastes. The Genius feature in iTunes already does an aggregated version of that, which is a good sign.
  • Reply 20 of 33
    mactelmactel Posts: 1,275member
    So I expect to hear of a Lala replacement from Apple soon then. iTunes as-is is not it.
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