It's a long-familiar story: innovative start-up gains traction, gets major search deal, earns attention from bigger companies, is gobbled up... and then takes down the primary service that got it so much buzz in the first place. Google acquisitions Etherpad and Jotspot, welcome your new club member from the Apple side: Lala is shutting down its streaming and music purchase operation on May 31.
Lala's site notes that users "will be able to access and play all music in your Lala collection through May 31, 2010. Any mp3 songs purchased and downloaded from Lala will continue to play as part of your local music library. You can continue to purchase mp3 songs through May 31st using your wallet balance or other payment methods." No new purchases can be made at this point and the service is no longer accepting signups. Outstanding credit balances on the site will be transferred to iTunes store credit, and loyal users are due a bonus: "In appreciation of your support, you will receive a credit in the amount of your Lala web song purchases for use on Apple's iTunes Store." How thoughtful.
As we bid farewell to the Lala of yesterday, what's coming for the streaming-enabled iTunes of tomorrow? Check out our past Lala posts for the rest of the story.
Thanks to everyone who sent this in.
[H/T to Ars Technica]