The New York Times is reporting that Apple has purchased music streaming service Lala, a four year old startup from Palo Alto, California. Lala's tagline "all the music your could ever want, playable in a Web browser" pretty much sums up what they do. It's not hard to see Lala re-branded as iTunes streaming, or iTunes cloud, or something along that line.
If Apple introduces its own cloud-based streaming music service, it would let people skip having to download music they buy or synchronize their music collection between their computers and mobile devices.
Web streaming sounds like a good complement to the existing iTunes music portfolio, it's just not the subscription service I was hoping for.
The NYT piece has a lot of good background on Lala and how it has re-invented itself over the years. Here's how the service works today:
Lala scans the hard drives of its users and creates an online music library that matches the user’s collection, making it painless (and free) for people to get their music in the cloud.
TechCrunch has an excellent piece on the inevitable move of iTunes to the cloud.
Is Apple's Lala acquisition a game changer or just another evolutionary step for Apple and iTunes?
Take a stab at a name for the new service in the TalkBack. iCloud?
Update 2009-1208: TechCrunch estimates that Apple paid about $3M (net) for Lala.