Lala used to be a CD exchange site until pretty recently. Since its launch, more than 500,000 CDs have been traded on the site. Now, the site has reinvented itself and has turned into a music store.
Songs bought on Lala can be played on your iPod which makes Lala pretty unique as of now. Lala also has its own music player that can go through your entire digital music collection and upload whatever songs are missing on the site to its own library. This makes your songs accessible to you whenever you are logging in from a different computer.
Much like lastfm, Lala also allows you to create your own playlists and share them with other users. The best thing about Lala is the preview feature. While other sites offer a preview of only a few seconds, Lala actually lets you listen to entire albums. The idea is to entice listeners to go ahead and purchase tracks for their iPods or computers after they are done.
Lala mostly supports independent artists but there are quite a number of mainstream ones on the site too. This is thanks to its tie-up with the Warner Music Group. To listen to songs, you need to signup, which is pretty easy.
I don’t know of too many other sites that let you listen to complete albums. I think this site has great potential though. What do you think?
Update: Lala has been shut down its cloud-based music service in 2010 after acquiring it in December 2009. It is likely that the company was after the technology and has now worked it into its own cloud based offerings in the vertical.
Lala featured song-identification and upload technologies that Apple may have used for iTunes Match, a service that matches local music against Apple's online music database to make that music available without uploads.
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