A few months ago, I cancelled my Rhapsody subscription and switched over to Lala. The site used to be a middle man for physical CD trading, but now they're all 0s and 1s.
On Lala, you can download MP3s for 79 cents... or add songs to your 'web collection' for 10 cents. You get unlimited plays of songs in your web collection. Lala's 10 cents per song fits my music listening style much better than Rhapsody's $14.99 a month.
You also get 1 full listen to any song free, so you can explore and discover new music. You can permanently add any songs you already own to your web collection for free using Lala's Music Mover.
The service's only downside (which is a big downside in my book) is that they are missing a ton of good music. Here's my running list of artists / albums / songs that aren't on Lala, and should be (I'll try to keep adding and updating):
- Joanna Newsom or (anything on Drag City)
- A bunch of M.I.A songs
- Emperor X, who simply needs to get his digital distribution shit together (* see mini-rant below) and signup for Tunecore or CD Baby. If you use CD Baby for your digital distro, and want your stuff on Lala, see this Artist Info FAQ.
- Underworld's Beaucoup Fish
- Prefuse 73
- Low's A Lifetime of Temporary Relief
- Max Tundra's Mastered by Guy at the Exchange
- Midlake's The Trials of Van Occupanther
- From Here We Go Sublime by The Field
- Daniel Johnston
- Illinois by Sufjan Stevens
- The Eagles
- ... and how much more?
* Mini-rant to my friend Chad Matheny / aka Emperor X:
Chad, your music needs to be heard. Its brilliant stuff. You can keep it on your amazingly cryptic and ever-changing website... but you really should get it on the online stores, especially iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, and Lala. I'm saying this partly out of my selfish desire to listen to your music in Lala's nice web browser interface, but most because I think you're shooting yourself in the foot.
You can keep giving your all of your songs out for free. You can keep your cryptic website online. You don't need to sign up for Twitter. You don't need to actually use your email list... but you should seriously get your music distributed digitally. Its not hard.
If you don't... fine... We'll still let you crash our parties. We'll still sing along. We'll still come out to your shows. We'll still hold your music near.