Now Shutdown and Discontinued

I was sorry to see get shut down by Apple on May 31st. I had been a user, trader, listener, since it was back in Beta testing and it was only a few guys trading CD’s with no jewel cases or artwork, back when their logo was red, not blue. That was back when LaLa was great. Bill Nguyen started with an invite beta phase on March 6, 2006, for the purpose of being able to trade physical CD’s.

It was great, I had stacks of CD’s I didn’t want or didn’t want to listen to any more, I just threw them up there and looked for CD’s I did want (the original Swaptree but only for CD’s).  All for $1 a trade.  I got to meet new people who were also interested in music, and added to my music collection quite a bit during that time.

That led into a new phase called LaLa 2.0, which totally killed the trading on the site. To me, this was the beginning of the end for LaLa because I was there for the trading. They moved everyone over to Swaptree but it just wasn’t the same at all. The site then moved into live streaming music and really became a totally different site at that point. After a while, I came back and really began to like the new format of streaming music and the ability to listen to virtually any album via stream, or any of my own music, synced to their servers. I could listen to an entire album before I went to purchase the album on iTunes or Amazon, and the format was totally different from Pandora or (both of which I like for different reasons).

But then… Apple bought, and as much as I like Apple, LaLa’s day were numbered. It was very clear Apple was going to shut down the site. Many of us were just hoping for an Apple version of LaLa, but so far, that has not come to pass at all. Of course they could be just shutting down to reload at this point but who knows. See ::

… and so on… There are all kinds of speculation saying that Apple will now lead the way in music in the cloud (and Apple Sees New Money in Old Media from the WSJ). Those saying Apple will be…

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…

I know Apple is powerful and all, but the music industry has been trying, really hard, to kill itself for years, and Apple would have to completely rearrange their agreements with the music industry to make this cloud stream happen.  I guess Apple could be the one, they have to announce something at WWDC next week that hasn’t been blown by Gizmodo.  In the mean time, the consumer is the one who looses, along with the artists, and especially the Indie artists who can thrive in the world of online music streaming.

Now if we could only get Spotify to open up their service to those of us in the United States (without having to use a proxy server, bit torrent, tor, IP address changer, i.e., just open up your international servers) we could get back to the business of discovering new music, and listening to the artists, not the businesses fight back and forth for the almighty dollar.

Looking for an alternative to LaLa in the mean time? Try Pandora,, or Spotify (if you can get on), all good sites, but just not the same as of old.

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