- You can add your entire music collection to your lala collection for free. With a free lala account, you can download their Music Mover utility. It scans your music, matches your songs to ones in their database and adds your music to your lala collection. This means that when I'm signed in at work, I can listen to the music that I own on my home pc, absolutely free. I only got a couple errors when it scanned my music, mainly due to improper metatagging on my songs. The Music Mover also imports your playlists from iTunes. It got most of mine, but not all. The software obviously isn't perfect at matching, but I'm still happy to have most of my music available to listen to in the office without having to transfer via portable hard drive or having to listen to my iPod with earbuds in.
- Its easy to share your music. For any song in your collection, you can embed the song in a blog post, tweet it, facebook it, or even email or IM a link. Your friends get to listen to the whole song once for free. After they've listened to it once, they can only hear a 30 second sample when they push the play button again. lala also enables you to share playlists in addition to individual songs.
- Listen to whole songs and albums for free. Most all of the music on lala can be played once for free. This means you can queue up that new Gorillaz album like I did yesterday and listen to the whole thing for free before you buy. This pwns Amazon and iTunes and their 30 second samples. You even have a queue where you can add all the songs (there's a button to add a whole album to your queue as well) you want to listen to and they'll play uninterrupted. As with the sharing, you get one listen for free, then its a 30 second sample when you push the play button.
- Adding a song to your collection for unlimited listens costs you 10 cents. You don't own the mp3, but its a cheap way to experience a song/album if you're not ready to buy it or it you just want to be able to blog about it or something. lala also offers mp3 downloads, and if you've already spent the 10 cents to add the song to your web collection, the 10 cents is taken off of the mp3 price if you decide to buy it later. The mp3s seem to run at 89 cents, but I haven't explored that much since I primarily buy from Amazon and iTunes. I've no idea what the DRM situation is on mp3s you buy from lala.
I'm sure lala has many other features that I haven't mentioned here, but I'm still trying it out and these are just the ones that have pleased me thus far. And just for fun, here's one of my playlists: