It’s not much of a surprise, but Apple has officially shut down the streaming-music service Lala. Is a streaming version of iTunes just around the corner?
If you never had the pleasure of using Lala, it allowed you to upload your tracks to its servers and stream these from any Internet-connected computer. You could also purchase songs directly from them or you could buy web access to them. For a discounted price (like 10 cents or a quarter), you would have unlimited streaming access to a certain song, as long as Lala was in business.
Apple purchased the company late last year and many dedicated Lala fans dreaded the day the service would shut down. Sure, they’ll get iTunes credit but there’s no immediate replacement for the type of service that was provided. But, we all expect Apple to roll out some form of streaming iTunes service and this may debut as soon as next week at WWDC.
Early reports indicate this will be more of an online storage locker: your purchased songs and media will be accessible from the cloud on Apple’s devices. That way, you wouldn’t have to worry about the amount of storage on your iPhone or iPad because all your media content is just a few clicks away. There’s no word if this would work over 3G networks, or how good the quality would be, but this could be a really good value-add to Apple’s products.
It only seems natural for Apple to get into the streaming music business, as competitors are already offering multiple streaming services for Apple products and rivals. Rhapsody’s app gives iPhone users streaming music, as well as the ability to cache tracks for offline access. Microsoft’s Kin phones can get access to millions of streaming tracks via Zune Pass and future versions of Android will let you stream your home music collection.
We’ll know a lot more about this service this time next week, so keep it locked on IntoMobile.