Apple Buys Lala Music Service - InformationWeek

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Apple Buys Lala Music Service

The service enables customers to buy tunes for 10 cents each and stream them on their PCs or Mac.

Apple has bought the Lala music service, which enables customers to stream purchased tunes to their PCs or Mac.

Apple confirmed the purchase Friday to the Reuters news agency, but declined to disclose details. The company did not respond Monday to an interview request by InformationWeek in time for this writing.

Lala makes it possible for people to buy songs for 10 cents each, store them in an online digital locker, and then listen to the tunes as many times as they like through a browser on their Windows PC or Mac. The first 25 songs are offered at no charge.

Lala's downloadable "Music Mover" software makes it possible for people to upload music from their computers. Customer also can buy MP3s on Lala, with the majority of tracks costing 89 cents. The music is sold without digital rights management technology, making the tunes playable on any media player.

Lala, headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif., claims to have a catalog of more than 7 million songs. The company is privately funded.

Apple's plans for the service, or how much it paid for Lala are not known. The company does not offer a streaming music service on iTunes.

Apple could choose to use Lala to stream music to the iPhone on a subscription basis via an Apple-offered application. The company, however, has never expressed an interest is offering such a service.

In September, Apple released a new version of iTunes that made it possible to manage iPhone applications within iTunes itself. Previously, iPhone users who had applications spread across multiple home screens had to use a tedious drag-and-drop method to arrange the positioning of apps.

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