Lala.com was the only music service besides 7digital I ever bought music from. Why? Because Lala was fecking AWESOME! Until a fruity company with a bunch of money bought them out and shut them down, of course. At the time I was angry and heartbroken, and the internet's reaction disgusted me ("ZOMG, maybe they'll use the tech to make iTunes better!! Squeee!!"... barf...). Well, now some insider broke some news about how it all went down, and while I agree that Apple's motives were to squash some competition, there's apparently more to the story:
Lala was founded by Bill Nguyen, who went on to found Color. Both companies were purchased by Apple. Aubrey Johnson, a designer who worked with Nguyen at Color, wrote a blog post a few days ago in which he spilled the beans about the Lala deal. The post has since disappeared, with no explanation, but not before it made it into search engine caches. (Sorry, @aub, the Internet never forgets.)
So, after reading the whole piece, I've come to the conclusion that the reason Nguyen came up with such a killer service in the first place, was he wanted
to be bought out; he never even intended to be the Web Mogul That Killed iTunes. Nope, quite the opposite:
He called in a few favors and got a meeting with the leadership at Apple. He explained that he had offers from the largest mobile OS competitors and that they wanted to acquire his music startup. Cue knew if Google obtained Lala the ownership of the service coupled with search dominance could be disruptive to their stronghold. Bill was notorious at getting great deals with the music elite, usually through Lala's investor, Warner Brothers Music.
So there you have it. At least I've still got Grooveshark
from an email from a friend, who got it from his aunt from Peoria, who thought it was spam and sent it to her nephew, but really it's from Mongolia or something. J/K.