Sunday, November 16, 2008

Lala now tops my list of the best online music sites. Reasons:
  • a huge collection (lala claims 6 millions tracks, but I've found a number of albums missing).
  • stream any tune in its entirety once for free; after that one listen, you will be limited to the 30 second tease.
  • Pay 10 cents to purchase the right to stream any of these songs with no limitations on number of times. When you sign up you get 50 free songs for streaming, a $5.00 value
  • Purchase for download any of the songs for an additional 79 cents (89 cents total). The tunes are DRM-free mp3s. Most of the MP3 files are encoded using variable bit rates (VBR), aiming at an average of 256 kilobits per second (kbps)
  • will scan the collection on your computer and match them to's catalog (this "matching" is less than perfect). You can listen to your music collection on lala at no cost. If lala can't match the tune, it will upload your copy. (again, this feature is not perfect).
  • there are some sharing features which I haven't fully explored yet, but I have noticed that several lala users have become "followers" of my collection, which means they are exploring it to discover new music based on what I have listened to.
Lastly, you can embed tunes or albums in a blog, which I'll now do with favorite artists from time-to-time. I assume that you, as a reader, will be able to listen to the tunes once, per the listening restrictions described above, but of course you can go to Lala, become a member, and either add a tune to your online listening collection for 10 cents or download the tune.

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