Apple has just announced that it is shutting down Lala, the streaming music service it bought last December. This comes a little over a month before the developers conference in San Francisco at which Apple often announces major news. There is a lot of speculation among analysts that Apple may intend to offer a cloud-based music service soon.
Currently, iTunes users pay to download songs to their computers, then sync these new songs to mobile devices. But an Internet-based service would eliminate both the need to download songs and the need to have them on a computer first—users could stream them directly to their phones.
Some people believe that a cloud-based music service offered by Apple is nothing more than a rumor because Apple has not spoken with music executives about its plan, and a streaming service would require new licenses to be set up.
If Apple does eventually offer a streaming music service, it could have huge implications for the industry. Users would not need to download songs anymore, which could spell the end of the MP3. Storage space would no longer be an issue either, since the songs would be stored on a remote server. Though I would be willing to try out a streaming music service, I would like to have the option of downloading MP3 files of songs that I really like.
Via The Associated Press, image via Apple.