Lala's Potential

Having a huge iTunes library is great... what's not great is having to select what I take with me on my iPhone. There are definitely ways to stream my iTunes library to my iPhone, but that typically requires that I have my home computer connected to the internet (not always possible when it's a laptop).

I've also had a friend tell me about Lala lately, which sounds decent, but nothing has really sparked interest with me until I read the article below about Lala streaming your library to your iPhone via their new iPhone app. If Lala can pull this off and do it well, this will be a very tempting service. I'm still not a fan of "renting" music, which is essentially what you do when you "buy" a 10¢ web-only track from Lala, but that may change. And of course they're also more appealing (and probably more stable) because of the additional exposure because of Google.


Streaming From Lala Land

Hey, kids! Wanna stream your iTunes library to your iPhone? Lala’s got your app. Music service Lala showed off its yet-to-be-approved iPhone app, giving users the ability to listen to songs almost instantly and not have to wait for time-consuming downloads.

The idea is simple. Assuming you already own the tracks in your iTunes library, Lala places copies in your digital locker for streaming to your iPhone. Each track you stream comes with a one-time-only charge of 10 cents, after which, you can stream the tunes ‘til the cows come home.

“There’s no downloading, no links to click on, it’s just there,” said Lala co-founder Bill Nguyen, who called the app “the end of the MP3.”

Like Rhapsody’s iPhone app, users are streaming the music from “the clouds.” Unlike Rhapsody, the Lala app identifies the tracks a user listens to most and then stores those songs on the person’s iPhone to allow listening when data connections are weak or nonexistent.

The Associated Press reports it takes about two seconds for songs streaming from Lala to play on iPhones, considerably less time than the two minutes or more it takes for music downloads to land on mobile devices.

There is a catch. Lala is streaming as little as 32 kilobits per second – not quite the same quality as the 256 kbps tunes sold on iTunes and found on most music files already stored on mobile devices. But Nguyen says streaming bitrates will improve as cell phone data networks become stronger.

[From Streaming From Lala Land | Pollstar - The Concert Hotwire ]

...and while writing this article I noticed Lala's embed options, offering to embed the entire track (very important). I went back and re-posted the previous Drummer tracks from this service. I typically use Grooveshark, which has been good to me, but they didn't have Drummer and Lala did. Looks like they get another point.

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