Apple Shuts Down Streaming Service Lala

Apple will shut down the recently acquired Lala.com on May 31, 2010, according to a message on its website. The announcement has prompted speculation that Apple is ready to make use of Lala’s staff and technology to roll out its own cloud-based service. Apple acquired Lala in December 2009.

Lala allowed users to access their music content from a Web-based interface. Songs could be listened to one time for free and users could purchase Web-only, non-downloadable versions of singles called Web songs at 10 cents per song, and purchase mp3 music downloads. At the time of its purchase by Apple, Lala boasted more than 8 million songs in its catalog.

Current Lala users will be able to log in until the end of May, and any credit in the form of Lala web song purchases will be applied to purchases at the iTunes Store.

Although Apple has not announced plans to offer its own music-streaming service, the shuttering of Lala is being  interpreted as the next stage in the creation of a rumored web- or subscription-based upgrade to the iTunes Store.

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