Hey! Why Did Apple Kill Lala?

A time to mourn and speculate

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On Monday, the Internet lost LaLa.com—one of the few legal music streaming sites available in the U.S. The decision to scrap the service ultimately came down to Apple, which acquired the company in December. Many expected that Apple would unveil a cloud-based version of iTunes to replace Lala but that hasn't happened yet. In the meantime, bloggers are mourning the death of Lala and hypothesizing about what Apple will do next.

  • Why Apple Pulled the Plug  Paul Boutin at Venture Beat speculates: "It’s possible that Apple shut down Lala not as a precursor to a new version, but simply to appease the record labels whose wares it sells in the iTunes store, the world’s busiest music retail outlet. It’s also possible that Apple CEO Steve Jobs will unveil a new music thing at his June 7 keynote address to Apple developers. But unlike the I-can’t-talk-about-it tension that built in tech industry circles in the weeks before Apple’s iPhone and iPad launches, there’s no nervous giggling among music industry gossips."

  • This Is a Very Sad Day, writes Nate Jackson at OC Weekly. He opened up his comment section to disgruntled Lala fans. "Right now we can't help but mourn the death of Lala land. Typically, Tuesdays were spent surfing and streaming away on this cloud-based site for our next record review. Occasionally, we'd partake in a few dirt-cheap 89-cent downloads, a relief from the overpriced tyranny of iTunes. Alas, we though we'd take this time to let anyone who feels like venting (if there's anything left to vent) about Lala going the way of the Dodo."
  • The Future Doesn't Look Bright, writes Eric Slivka at MacRumors: "Apple has been rumored to be tapping the Lala team for assistance in rolling out a cloud-based version of iTunes that would allow users to upload their media collections to Apple's servers and stream the content to their computers and portable devices, reducing local storage requirements and eliminating the need to specifically sync content between devices. Such a move would require, however, that Apple strike new deals with content providers, and music industry sources indicate that there has not been much activity on this front, suggesting that an announcement of a cloud-based iTunes is likely some time off."
  • This Is BS, frowns Geroge Ou at Digital Society:  "I had grown quite fond of renting music for 10 cents a pop and owning them for 89 cents at lala.com.  Not only were the prices better, I didn’t have to deal with running iTunes on my computer which was a nonstarter for me because of the amount of bloat and security problems they added to my computer.  Unfortunately, Apple just bought out that company and shut them down and I’m quite upset about that.  Now I’m back to looking for other alternatives other than stealing music over the Internet just because I can."
  • Apple Still Might Replace It, writes Jonny Evans at 9 to 5 Mac: "One key signal that something is planned is visible within iPhone OS 4.0 -- the current beta of this is finally capable of delivering a smooth streaming audio experience, according to some reports. Accessing streamed audio on an iPhone, users 'can scrub and it re-buffers and keeps playing flawlessly. You can stop it and come back hours or even days later — even after using the iTunes app to search for other things or the iPod app to play different audio — and it still knows where you left off and starts playing again instantly without missing a beat.'"
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.