It is indeed a time of changes. There was that election thing, and now I’m changing music services. I’m moving to Lala. A previous post explains what I like about the service. I’ve used it, and have been happy with it, during the subsequent couple of weeks.
That’s not to say that I’ve been unhappy with Rhapsody Unlimited. It offers music dial tone on very reasonable terms: a 14-Day free trial, then only $12.99 per month. I’ve had to call support a couple of times, and it was pretty good each time.
I’ve dabbled in other services, such as eMusic. But I prefer dialtone for most of my music.
Having said that, the metaphor that works best for LaLa’s model is perhaps one of… computing. The music is on a server farm, where I can sample it for free. To bring a track on to my own personal virtual music server, I pay a dime, and I can then listen to it as often as I want. If I want to cache that track, so that I can put it on my MP3 player, burn it to a CD for the car, etc., I buy the MP3, and pay about the same or a little less than I’d expect to pay elsewhere.