Julia Belle Swain

Ok so maybe I spoke too soon when complaining about Lala being shut down by Apple. (hold tongue while saying the name of said company for a decoded super secret message) I discovered Grooveshark the other day as a pretty good replacement for Lala. It seems like Grooveshark actually has a bunch more stuff available for your listening pleasure.

The interface leaves a bit to be desired, but it seems that users have the ability to upload their own content which leads to some interesting live shows being available. They also give the user the opportunity to make a “widget” and hopefully sooner or later I will figure out how to embed that over here. For the time being I’ll have to live with the link above, a good old John Hartford tune, Julia Belle Swain.

Lala closing down!!!

Lala's front page as of today.

Well I guess it was inevitable, all good things must come to an end, is closing down.They say all the purchased MP3 files will be usable, duh, but your “web only” files are toast. I never purchased any web only credits or files or whatever. But I know it was very tempting for me. I found myself wondering, if you can buy web rights for an entire album for $1, why would you pay ten times that just to keep the files on your computer, or burn them to a CD? Well I guess the answer is that when they go under and close the doors you actually have something instead of paying for absolutely nothing. I loved the idea of a cloud based music player, and hopefully Apple will adopt the cloud based model and pricing structure for the iTunes store. But my guess is that the record companies final had enough of Lala’s model and finally pressured Apple to close it.

At Lala you could listen to just about any album ever made, within reason,one time through for free. I’d been checking out CDs I will never own, like older Rounder albums, and old Blues records that I would never spend the money on, if you can actually find them. A lot of them are things that are great to listen to once but won’t ever really contribute to my collection beyond the one time listen, for a buck I’d like to own them, but $10, there is no way.

I was hopeful that Lala would come out with an Android app that would allow access to my cloud purchases while in the car, which would totally end my addiction Pandora. I would have gone crazy and bought a whole bunch of stuff for web only, but now, who knows. Apple is officially evil, unless of course they come out and say that they will be adopting the Lala model for the iTunes store in which case they are only slightly evil.

I also was looking forward to figuring out how to incorporate Lala tunes into the blog over here, and have a song by song review of new albums with embedded music. But with iTunes integration you can kiss that good bye. I hope the folks that started Lala are stupid rich, because if all they got was apple stock, all they got is an ownership stake in Dr. Evile’s empire.

I think its ironic that when you hold your tongue and say Apple, it sounds like Asshole!

The Lala service will be shut down on May 31st.

In appreciation of your support over the last five years, you will receive a credit in the amount of your Lala web song purchases for use on Apple’s iTunes Store. If you purchased and downloaded mp3 songs from Lala, those songs will continue to play as part of your local music library.

Remaining wallet balances and unredeemed gift cards will be converted to iTunes Store credit (or can be refunded upon request). Gift cards can be redeemed on Lala until May 31st.

Click here or visit for more information, or to view Lala’s Terms of Service.

Thank you.


For the record I’ve been using Apple computers for a long time and I’ve been a supporter my entire professional career. As a graphic designer I used to work on the single screen B&W little Macs with Pagemaker way back when. I was thrilled when they came out with OS X, because it was “part of the open source movement”.  But my support is officially over. My opinion of their business strategies was erroded by the App store approval structure, the lack of flash support and general Adobe bashing, but this is the last nail in the coffin. Apple is officially just as evil as microsoft. Next time I need to buy a new computer, IT WILL NOT BE AN ASSHOLE – er I mean Apple.