I have to say: so far I've been really unimpressed with the recent efforts to paint Apple as the new "Big Brother". But to purchase a company which is pioneering new methods of music distribution, and almost immediately shut them down and force their purchases to fit your distribution model is anti-innovation, monopolistic, and completely contrary to the kind of "different thinking" that has gotten Apple to where it is today. Utterly depressing.
Don't purchase streaming services for a one-time cost. Streaming services should be subscription services. Just don't do this. Let the industry know that if you're to purchase something, you should have infinite access to it — otherwise it should be a subscription service.
Btw, Apple probably wouldn't buy a streaming service unless they're planning to offer one themselves. Not that it changes your situation in any way. Just saying that they probably didn't do it just to shut it down.
$10/month for 30 DRM-free downloads. Only downside is it's only independent labels, so no Rolling Stones. Lots to choose among, though. Their website says they've got 6 million tracks from 60,000 record labels.
That was the contract lala made with their customer.
This exact same scenario - users losing access to music they've paid for due to a service being killed - has happened multiple times due to DRM. I think it's clear that whether the reliance is on a DRM key-server, streaming, or whatever, consumers shouldn't "buy" music that stops being available when servers disappear.
I am still a bit skeptical that this would hold up in court. There are laws about what you can hide in the fine print, and often judges will hold the transaction to be for things that that a reasonable person would expect, not what is stated in the contract.
I have the feeling that if you hold on that credit for few months you might be able to buy back your 75 on a cloud version of iTunes.
People are mad at Apple for shutting LaLa down when it was clear LaLa was not a capable of functioning as a profitable venture in the format the founders pivoted to.
Online music is glamorous; yet, not that profitable and few ways to differentiate your business.
No, they're giving him $100 in store credit to a store that he doesn't want to shop at. If they gave him a $100 cash refund, he'd probably have fewer complaints.
edit: seriously people, read todd3834's comment bellow [ http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1307514 ]; unused credits can be refunded - USED credits (i.e. the money one had spent to practically rent the music) are given back as iTunes store credit;
Does it have any mention at all of what happens if lala shuts down?
Maybe he can demand cash, since he is no longer getting what he paid for.
Also, can you sell itunes credits?
> 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 song 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.
Upon first read, I though maybe the web song credit could be refunded on request. On second read, I'm guessing no. But it's probably worth a shot.
Consider the possibility that the lala-buyout/close-down is prelude to Apple's next quantum leap in streaming service. [remember the huge NC data center that's nearing(?) completion]
The "store he doesn't want to shop at" may soon leap-frog what he lacked at lala. I understand that it's probably aggravating at time point to anyone with a substantial investment in lala service, but... the broader implications for overall media streaming/services may surprise us all.
I think in a lot of cases if you request a refund instead of the new service you'll get one.
1. use BitTorrent to download the relevant albums.
2. resolve never to buy anything from Apple or any RIAA company ever again.
3. inform all your friends of (2), and warn them never to part with any money for any DRM-crippled service.
4. Join your local Pirate Party -- see http://www.pp-international.net/
If enough people do this, we'll get our revenge on the shits who want to destroy our freedom.
In this scenario, the only person who has ended up without something they initially had is the consumer. At worst the artist lost a potential future sale, which very likely wouldn't have been made due to the consumer having paid for the content previously. The consumer who paid for the ability to listen to their music, had it taken away, and pirates it as a result, is simply regaining access to content they had been deprived of.
Now, if the artist got an insufficient or unfair cut from the original Lala purchase, that's between the artist and their publisher. Also not something the consumer is responsible for.
When laws are bad, civil disobedience is morally justified. It's arguably a moral obligation.
> negatively impacting the artist who created the music you like
The guy has already paid for the music. Downloading it will make no difference to the musicians. If someone likes a band, thy can go to their gigs or give them money directly; enriching the likes of the RIAA or Apple is morally wrong, because these people will use that money to restrict everyone's freedom.
> because you dislike a business model
Some business models are evil.
> FYI, in case you missed it, music purchased from ITMS is DRM free.
Irrelevant; music on streaming services such as Lala has DRM, since the whole point of a streaming service is that the listener isn't supposed to get control of a copy (obviously there are ways round that).
My point was that the original poster paid money to listen to some music, but then the service closed. Therefore he has a moral right to use technical means available to him to continue to listen to it.
I disagree. While it sucks in the short term, it'll actually cause the opposite effect in the long term.
By Apple doing this, it makes it more attractive for new startups to join this space, because there a likely exit. If Apple intends to keep cleaning them up by buying and shutting them down, it'll just attract more until it is no longer economically feasible for Apple to suppress them.
It'll become prohibitively expensive for Apple to maintain a monopoly by doing this indefinitely.
The non-evil thing to do would be to convert Lala web albums into iTunes Cloud albums or whatever they eventually offer.
The point is that the parent seemed to think Apple was just killing off an innovative business model that threatened its own, but I don't think that's the case.
This is an automated message. Please do not reply.
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 Lala.com/support for more information, or to view Lala's Terms of Service.
©2005-2010 la la media, inc. All rights reserved.
Anyone know of an itunes-like client which you can point to your server or S3? I'm happy to host things myself.
As more such virtual goods (video, audio, books, etc) companies will fail to offer reliable long-term service, customers will force them to switch to a model where you get something better than a temporary database record for your money.
Meanwhile, I'm only paying for service subscriptions.
I don't know if anyone else noticed this, but in the past few weeks when I would Google a song, a Lala box would be at the top of the page allowing you to stream the song. Obviously now there is no way to stream the song directly from the Google search page.
Now that it's war between Google and Apple, I can see this bringing Lala to Apple's attention.
Also, do lala users need to know about the change in advance? why not transfer them over to the new service and send a message saying what's changed?
This is kinda looking like myspace/imeem
At the moment I'm stuck with a UK VPN. I've been really happy with the service, it just feels like the future.
For everyone pissed about being forced to have iTunes credit: You can also have a check instead. Log in and read the fine print. You just have to fill out your mailing address on a form.
This is not the scrappy, innovative underdog Apple we all used to love. This is a nascent suffocating and abusive monopoly that deserves an organized boycott.
Just like the founders killed Jaiku, MeasureMap, Dodgeball, etc. and any number of other web services we've used and loved... til they got bought.
If you want to be angry at somebody, be angry at the founders for "selling out" - for going for the big payday.
That, after all, what most people here on HN are aiming for, right?
So how can you begrudge them for getting what they wanted?
While it is true there is the offer you can't refuse type deal I'm not a fan of some founders who you hear a lot about their big plans and the quality of the product or service they are providing, you get interested in purchasing and the next second they are gone.
Jobs is a dangerous, megalomaniac demagogue.
Again, if Lala hadn't sold, they'd still be open.
Again, blame the founders who sold the business, not the buyer.
I may be slow to get to market, but the entire online music market is still stupid, and nobody is doing what I will.
A company that raised $35.1 million in funding was sold for $17.