Feeds

Apple to acquire music streamer Lala?

The future of music may be cloudy

Top three mobile application threats

Updated Apple is said to be in acquisition talks with online music-streaming service Lala.

This rumor comes from Bloomberg, which reported it on Friday, citing none other than the ever-gabby "people familiar with the matter."

The music-delivery method used by the Lala service is radically different from that employed by Apple in its iTunes Store - which may account for Cupertino's interest in the privately owned Lala.

On the Lala website you can listen to a song or album in its collection of 8 million songs for free - once. After that, one thin dime "buys" each track - meaning that the tune is kept on Lala's servers for you to stream and listen to at your future convenience.

You don't "own" a ten-cent Lala tune in the traditional sense - that is, it never downloads to your local computer's hard drive. Your ownership is the right to listen to those tunes from the cloud. You can, however, choose to spend an additional 79¢ to download an actual MP3 file of a dime-acquired tune.

You can also choose to take advantage of Lala's Music Mover feature, which matches songs you already own and reside on your computer to tunes in the Lala catalog, thus allowing you to access those tunes from any browser, anywhere.

Apple's iTunes is straightforward - or, to put a different spin on it - crude in comparison: you pays yer money, you downloads yer tunes.

Of course, Apple does have significant strengths over those of Lala. At 11 million tunes its catalog is larger than Lala's, but more importantly it has significant clout both with consumers and with music labels due to its position as, according to Apple, "the world's most popular online music, TV and movie store".

What it doesn't have - at least, what it hasn't announced as having - is the technology for tracking and monetizing a streaming-music service that resides in the cloud and is available from any browser, anywhere, including on an iPhone, iPod touch, or a future iWhatever such as a tablet or media pad.

If the Bloomberg rumor is accurate, Cupertino might be planning to save a chunk of internal-development change by acquiring both the technology to do just that and the brains that developed that technology. ®

Update

On Sunday, Apple's corporate spokesman Steve Dowling confirmed Cupertino's purchase of Lala, but declined to give further details. "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time," Dowling told the Associated Press, "and we generally do not comment on our purchase or plans."

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple ran off to IBM
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.