I've been furious about the Lala.com shutdown since the announcement came out yesterday. 

With the many irate Facebook and Twitter postings (most of them referencing Steve Jobs) now out of my system, I have had time to reflect more thoughtfully on why the Lala shutdown has been so difficult to accept.
Perhaps like to a lot of Lala users, I took full advantage of option to purchase unlimited web streaming rights for $0.10/track. I used it to expand my library to include exciting new genres and artists that I had discovered on my favorite alternative radio station, the Current (http://thecurrent.org), as well as music I was stumbling across on Pandora, Lala, and the like. 

The ease and affordability of using the $0.10 streaming option allowed me to grow my catalog in a way that was incredibly fun and enriching.

And now it's gone. 

I knew Lala disappearing was always a possibility (albeit a remote one), and I knew that buying rights to stream a track carried risks that buying the actual mp3 or CD doesn't. But that didn't stop me from attaching myself to the music in a way that made me feel as though it really was mine.

And therein lies the rub.

As more of our digital lives move to the cloud, more and more products can be delivered through a subscription model that provides you with access but not ownership in the traditional sense. 

As long as the company is around to provide the service, and as long as you're willing to pay for it, the distinction between access and ownership means very little. But as soon as either of those things cease to be true, the difference between access and ownership becomes glaring. 

Steve Jobs had every right to shut down Lala. Apple has no obligation to pay me back for all of those $0.10 acquisitions (though, in their one graceful move in all of this, I will get iTunes credit). And nobody is required to help me re-create my (yes, MY!) Lala catalog somewhere else. And that just sucks.

Posted via email from Human Ventures