Lala.com’s going through a transformation in the coming days. Right now the site specializes in letting users trade used CDs online. Next on its agenda is to become an iTunes Store competitor and it has penned a deal with Warner music to stream nearly every one of its songs online. For users, this streaming is totally free, but lala.com will pay through to nose to offer the service. Its main goal is to get users just like you to hear a stream and say “gee whiz, that tune is terrific, let me purchase the whole album now.” Will it happen? Unlikely.
Lala.com does do something a little different, though: when you purchase digital music files through it, the files are stored directly on your iPod. No passing through iTunes or any other management software, just straight to the iPod itself. This is done to thwart piracy since the files don’t come with any DRM, which is nice, though that still doesn’t mean you’ll be able to share them all willy nilly.
So good luck to Lala.com. I still think it’s a little pointless going up against iTunes nowadays, but if we can tune in a stream a few Warner songs for free here and there, why not?
Warner Group in Deal to Offer Free Music via Internet Site [New York Times]