01 May 2010

Cut Your Ribbon

A sad era in the world of music and business is upon us. It's a time in which we're seeing the dark side of the Apple empire and one can only fear that things are going to get worse from here.

In the midst sending authorities to raid blogger's homes to seize personal property (note to Apple: not cool!), Apple has found time to announce that it's killing off one of the the best music sharing and purchasing sites around.

After purchasing Lala in late 2009, Apple has now decided to completely take down the site and transfer all existing members' credits to iTunes. The reason? To bring Apple and iTunes into the ever-growing world of the cloud.

Not only was Lala great for purchasing music on the cheap (around $0.80 for an entire web-only album), but it was great for members to share new music and expose others to new artists and bands. Lala was also known for letting listeners preview a song or album in its entirety one time completely free (unlike iTunes' stingy 30 second preview policy). It was the place for music novices and lovers alike to discover and consume music easier and more afford-ably. And now what would earn you an entire record on Lala will transfer to equal about 80% of one song on iTunes.

Ultimately, it was Lala that made the sale ($80 million sounds nice, right?), but it's discouraging to see the big (brother?) guy buying out the little guy and crushing everything that was beautiful about it. But, only time will tell how Apple decides to take iTunes into the cloud. My only guess is that it won't be about the music or the consumer. It will be about Apple's bottom line.

Blogger, David Gerwitz even poses the question, "Has our young, idealistic Anakin been seduced by the dark side? Has Steve Jobs become Darth Vader? "


At 10:06 AM, May 04, 2010 , Blogger AAQ said...

The sad thing is that most consumers of music online probably still used iTunes, even after LaLa got some recognition for its innovative model. Most of those people are content to turn and follow wherever mainstream thinking takes them, and that'll be straight to whatever Apple decides to show the world.

People obviously feel like there are inherently enough decisions to be made in life and, to take the edge off, they let companies like Apple, or any other large corporation, charismatic speaker or well marketed idea, make a few choices for them. God forbid you should actually seek the best in all things; just let someone else tell you how good they are (or good enough they are) and follow the herd.


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