By Erin Scottberg & Billie Hadley
We're really into music, but constantly buying songs and albums can quickly become pricey. We'd rather not do anything illegal, but we probably buy at least ten albums per year. With iTunes prices hovering around $10 per album, that's easily $100.
Normally, buying Lady Gaga's album The Fame Monster on iTunes would cost us $14. Instead, we only paid $2. How? Lala.com.
Buy a "web song" on Lala for only 10 cents, and you'll be able to listen to as often as you want by streaming it over the internet. Plus, your first 25 web songs are free! If you'd rather own a "hard copy" of the song as an MP3, you can still buy it for only 89 cents. That usually beats iTunes' prices, which are between 69 cents and $1.29, depending on popularity. So, Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" will cost you $1.29 on iTunes, whereas Lala's 89-cent price remains stable.
How It Works
Unlike iTunes or Amazon, Lala allows you to stream an entire song once prior to purchasing it, so you know exactly what you're getting. While we love Pandora for discovering new music, it doesn't give us ownership or control over which song plays next.
You don't have to worry about your web songs being siloed from the rest of your MP3 collection, since you can add your full music library and playlists to your online Lala library. Your Lala music library is accessible from any computer with an internet connection, so you can access your whole library (not just the Lala songs) when you're at a friend's house.
It took us a very frustrating ten minutes to figure out how to sync our personal library with our Lala library, but once we found the "Music Mover" software (which required a quick download and installation), the process was simple.
Our Favorite Part? Lala has extensions to other social networking and music sites such as Billboard.com. And, any time you like music you found through Lala, you can share it on Twitter and Facebook. You have an incentive to share, too: You receive five free web songs for each friend who signs up.
Also, Apple recently acquired the company, which we hope means that an iPhone application will soon be approved to make web songs available on our phones! Lala has also incorporated with the new Google Music Search.
Pardon the pun, but talk about well-connected!