According to this New York Times article, Apple has agreed to buy the in-browser music streaming service Lala. This move, should it be finalized, will mean Apple customers can now synchronize their music collection across all devices and would not necessarily have to download music they buy in order to enjoy them. This should come as a good news to Apple customers, in particular those ‘fanatic’ iTunes users.
Edit:- It is now a confirmed deal- Apple has purchased Lala according to this Reuters news article.
However, reading the above article tells one that Apple is more interested in the ‘brains’ behind Lala than the service per se.
“One person with knowledge of the deal, but who was not authorized to discuss it, said that the negotiations originated when Lala executives concluded that their prospects for turning a profit in the short term were dim and initiated discussions with Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice president in charge of iTunes. This person said Apple would primarily be buying Lala’s engineers, including its energetic co-founder Bill Nguyen, and their experience with cloud-based music services.”
It seems Apple is looking to take the iTunes into the cloud as that is the norm today. This move would be a big gain for iTunes should it succeed, seeing that it is a bit out of date with the times where people want instant access to their music from anywhere and at anytime irrespective of their devices. Moreover, lots of people don’t see why they need to download music they purchase in order to enjoy them.
This purchase should also been looked at keenly by the Ubuntu developers who are looking to include a music service in the next release of the distro come April 2010 code named Lucid Lynx. Since the biggest competition any music service will face is the iTunes, the earlier close attention is payed to this move by Apple, the easier it would be for them to develop a more competitive service.