Nothing shocking after their purchase by that evil Cuptertino company, but Lala, the only music website that had a pricing model that actually made sense, is shutting down on May 31st.
For the 2009 best of list, I had this to say:
As if the years of unlimited musical copying and on-demand musical purchasing weren’t bad enough for our overloaded ears, this year (for me, if not others) has been a year defined less by individual bands than by Lala.com and their listen-to-anything once model. On a culture already defined by flitting taste and staggering overabundance, Lala dropped a garbage truck of unbounded possibility. But at the same time, Lala’s model unleashed a counteracting conservative force. In many ways, Lala didn’t make music more available (after all HypeMachine and a dozen other websites had made virtually any song (and it’s seven remixes) available for years): it made, for the first time, albums available to experience, en masse, for free (once). And because of that, I’ve never been more excited about the album format: its death has been greatly exaggerated.
Lala, you will be missed.