There was a high chance that when Apple bought Lala.com they were going to shut it down. It now had been officially announced that Lala’s last day is May 31st. I will reserve my judgment on Apple till we see what they do with future versions of iTunes. I am going to miss the service as it was how I played music on my work laptop without running afoul of IT. Now my last tool is 8Tracks which is a very different service that does a great job of music discovery but lacks the ability to buy and store my music in bulk.
Music is at the core of my life. It just makes me happy. So, it has been great to recharge this holiday weekend by playing with 8tracks and lala. A co-worker introduced me to 8tracks which is this very simple tool to upload MP3’s and share playlists. It’s brilliant way to discover new music. It has some severe limitations in that you can’t skip more than three songs in an hour and the track uploading can be tedious. I can live with these limitations easily as now I have a simple tool to share and discover new music. In some ways it brings me back to the nostalgia of High School when I spent countless hours making mix tapes.
The other service that I finally got to play with is lala. Which is a much more sophisticated tool as you can easily upload all your playlists and music to the cloud. Out of the 12,352 tunes in my iTunes library lala had some 8,300. It took about 8 hours to do the match but now a decent chunk of my music is accessible to me on the road. As someone who travels most weeks and can’t load your music on the company laptop I always get these random cravings for tunes not carried on my iPhone. Now when I need to hear the White Album or the Jackson 5 I can just jack into the cloud and listen to lala. I have found lala much harder for unaided music discovery than 8tracks. 8tracks will just take you from one great mix to another effortlessly. Lala is better than iTunes in that you can play a full track once and buy the rights to listen to a song on the web for only .10 which means a lot of music that you might not pay .99 becomes readily available. You can still buy tracks/albums and download them but we will see if this replaces my iTunes usage anytime soon .
Now if only they could merge the two services I’d be in paradise by having the easy discovery of 8tracks with the web album ability of lala. If you are into music I strongly recommend checking both tools out and I look forward to listening to your mixes.