I have been using Lala for about a week and the service turns out to be one of the best ways to get all of your music from wherever you are. The concept is quite simple, allow access to songs you already purchased and also bring a music store to the cloud for 10 cents a song. You can further purchase songs for download at around 90 cents per song. The best part of the service is you can listen to a full album prior to purchasing it online. That’s right, full quality MP3s for free, as long as you are listening to them on Lala.
The library is over 5 miillion songs and is updated every Tuesday when new content comes out. Lala also allows you to import your entire purchased collection of music from iTunes or any other music folder you may have on your current Mac or PC with a downloadable importing utility. There is no monthly fee and all you need to do is sign up and you’re in. You can then invite people to join and network, sort of like Facebook or Myspace, but it keeps track of what you and your friends listen to and gives suggestions based off what they listen to. The whole thing seems too good to be true, but it certainly doesn’t disappoint. This is one site that could provide itself as the next big thing in music as long as the RIAA continues to think it okay.
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The e-commerce giant Amazon.com has launched their own music service: AmazonMP3. AmazonMP3 now offers DRM-free tracks in the MP3 format from a variety of artists on their website. Amazon has chosen the widely supported MP3 file format which ensures comparability with iPods, Zunes, most modern cell phones, and virtually any computer or digital audio player users wish to use.
The MP3 files weigh in at 256kbit so they won’t sound quite as good as iTunes 256kbit AAC files, but certainly will sound good enough for anyone but the most golden-eared audiophile. The fact that the MP3 files are DRM-free ensures not only broad compatibility, but also that users won’t ever have to worry about authentication or license revocation. It is currently unknown if Amazon will be adding audio fingerprints or other watermarks to the music to tie an individual file to the downloader to help cut into piracy.
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