UPDATE: Playing Around With Lala – Where Music Plays

lala logo

This is an update to an earlier post detailing my first experiences playing around with Lala. I just came across this informative interview by WIRED’s Eliot Van Buskirk with Lala founder Bill Nguyen. Here’s a brief excerpt regarding Lala’s imminent iPhone app:

Wired.com: I was trying to picture what a Lala iPhone app might look like. Would it require some form of payment, and then you get access to all your Lala music? Or would it only include the songs that you’ve downloaded and purchased, or is it too early to talk about that stuff?

Nguyen: We can talk about that at a very high level. Number one, we don’t want people to have to deal with files, so no syncing. We’re a web-based service; we should be able to push media down to your device, you should be able to pull things on-demand, and you shouldn’t have to worry about how much storage your device has. If it has a connection, even temporarily, the world is going to be a much different place.

Number two, beyond just having your music on the device, what’s compelling about the mobile service is you’re going to discover new music. On Lala today, you’re following other people. We think it’d be really compelling if you could pull up your mobile application and see the top ten songs your friends are listening to that you don’t know about, that aren’t in your collection yet.

Number three, with the carrier relationships and everything else, we won’t be tied to just a subscription [pre-paid songs] model. Subscriptions have been challenging for consumers, so we’ll continue the existing Lala service: pay-as-you-go. Buy things that you want and keep them forever.

Read the full interview here.


I’m playing around with a music service called Lala. I’ve seen the name Lala more and more the past few months especially, most likely the result of Pitchfork using the service to stream music, which was the case again today when I was checking out Gang Gang Dance’s remix of TV on the Radio’s “Stork & Owl”.

I signed up, confirmed my email address (and received 50 credits), filled out some profile information, then created a playlist and got to adding some music.

Lala offers the ability to “upload your whole music collection in a flash” via the Lala Music Lover which allows you to:

  • Add the music and playlists on your computer to your online collection for free. Play it anywhere on the web.
  • Most of your music will be matched to Lala’s catalog and available online in minutes.
  • Any remaining unmatched MP3s can be uploaded to Lala.

However, I currently have 27.33 GB of music in my iTunes Library and, for the sake of time, went with the manual upload instead, choosing six songs to upload via an imeem-like uploader:

lala uploader

My upload timed out however, which was probably the result of the bandwidth of the wireless connection I was on:


But, aside from the final track (Lifelike’s remix of La Roux’s “In for the Kill”), all the songs uploaded properly and formed a playlist which was immediately shareable to social networking and blogging/micro-blogging platforms Facebook, MySpace, Blogger, and Twitter. Since this is currently a WordPress.com blog, I can’t embed my playlist on my blog, however I did test it on a Blogger blog I have especially for these instances. Here’s how it looks:


I hate that when you select any of the menu options like EDIT or SHARE there is no turning back, if you select a menu option your stuck on that path, have a look:


You can only select ‘Embed playlist on a website’ to go anywhere. It’s actually a really annoying user experience glitch. Another issue I’m struggling with is arranging the order of my playlist, which definitely isn’t made any easier by the ability to open FAQs in a new tab. The inability to access these menu options is definitely a hindrance to closing the loop on new users using the service initially and coming back and using it again and again.

I’m still playing around with Lala so I’ll have more by way of a critique soon, but in the meantime, I think I’d like the ability to browse Lala’s collection of songs, find a single song I would like to embed to my blog, then embed the single audio file player, allow for those who come to by blog to click a link on that player and, should this person consume the song, receive a reference credit.

As for that playlist:

Sin Fang Bous “Nothings”

Crystal Stilts “Love Is A Wave”

Surf City “Headin’ Inside”

The Soft Pack “Walking With Jesus”

Bombay Bicycle Club “Always Like This (James Rutledge remix)”

La Roux “In For The Kill (Lifelike remix)”


Lala was founded by serial entrepreneur Bill Nguyen, whose initial intention was, according to Forbes, to “reenergize the music industry. He speaks of Lala only in earthmoving terms: “I want to make the music industry hip again. I’m going to undo the commoditization of music and bring back choice. Everything the industry does, we’ll do the reverse.”

People like Bill Nguyen, and RCRD LBL’s Peter Rojas, is what the music industry needs more of, people who’ve had a sense of the music industry their whole careers, but didn’t come to the present tense selling records in retail stores or tour managing, yet still get music because they love music.

According to SV/SJ Business Journal, “Lala executives have secured agreements with major labels EMI Group Ltd., Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group. They also have support from more than 170,000 independent labels and distributors” and, as a result, the service received another $35 million in venture funding.

1 Comment

Filed under marketing/advertising, music, music 2.0, technology

One response to “UPDATE: Playing Around With Lala – Where Music Plays

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