Alternatives to Lala

May 1, 2010

Lala will shut down at the end of this month. Since I do much of my music-listening through Lala, that’ll leave a gap. So what are the alternatives?

Frederic at ReadWriteWeb discusses five alternatives, and mentions a few more, and yet more are mentioned in comments. I mentioned Frederic’s post in my own post of yesterday, but forgot to link to it.

Posts I didn’t mention or link to, because I hadn’t seen them at the time, include: Peter Kafka on why you shouldn’t hold your breath a streaming service from Apple; Pitchfork, which makes extensive use of Lala amongst its reviews, and is exploring other media options.

Talking of exploring other options, I’d like a table, or some sort of graphic, to compare alternative music services. Here is such a table. Note that MOG is one of the music services in the table, as well as one of Frederic’s five. MOG is also the source of the table, as you may have guessed from how well MOG seems to compare with the other services.

  MOG Pandora iTunes Rhap-sody MySpace Music Groove-shark
Instantly play any song Y N Y Y N Y Y
Non-stop artist radio Y Y N N Y N N
Community-based recommendations Y N N N Y N N
CD-quality audio streams Y N N N N N N
Mobile app Soon Y Y Y Y N N
Comprehensive music library Y N Y Y N Y N
Legally licensed music Y Y Y Y Y Y N
Free access Y Y N Y Y Y Y

The Free access line is rather misleading. If I were to switch to MOG, I’d pay $5/month. Given that services differ with respect to what you pay for, how you pay for it, how much you pay for it, etc., it’s hard to provide a good comparison of the services in terms of cost.

Are there better comparison tables or tools out there for those of us pondering life after Lala?

11 Responses to “Alternatives to Lala”

  1. Martin Rigby Says:


    For online music storage and access from anywhere, try Psonar ( I must declare an interest as co-founder but I do ‘eat my own dog food’!

    Once uploaded, you can download your music to any of your players (PC, phone, iPod etc) or stream to any PC or web connected device. The service is free and there are no storage or streaming limits. That said, there’s no sharing (because of copyright) and you cen’t currently upload from a Mac (that should be remedied shortly).


  2. Andrew Says:

    Thanks for the comment, Martin.

    Psonar looks like a music locker, but you seem to be avoiding that term. Am I missing something, or do you dislike the term?

    Certainly Psonar/Song Shifter looks like something one might turn to as Lala/Music Mover goes away…

    • Martin Rigby Says:

      You’re quite right – the core is a locker service but with better synchronisation onto personal music players than most of the competition. Our research shows that a lot of music fans are unlcear about the term ‘locker’ which is why we use the generic ‘storage’. The SongShifter / Music Maker comparison is dead right too. Thanks.

      • FS Says:

        Lala closing down was a tragedy, but your site looks very promising. I’ve signed up! Can you consider setting up a Page instead of a group on Facebook? That’d be great. Thanks for making this site! I can’t wait to see what other features you have in the future!

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  5. Bill Says:


    In your comparison table, does ‘comprehensive music library’ refer to the site’s capacity for matching/storing the music in my iTunes library?


  6. Andrew Says:

    I think it refers to how much music is availale… see post for link to source of table.

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