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10/21/2008
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Lala.com's Online Music 10 Cents A Song

Users can store the tracks on the Web for unlimited playback, or pay extra to download them to an MP3 player.

An online music site will allow users to purchase songs for as little as 10 cents.

Lala.com said Monday that deals with EMI Music, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group will allow it to offer songs at discount rates through its Web site. Lala's music service also has support from 170,000 independent labels and distributors.

Lala's price structure is three-tiered. First, the Web site allows users to play for free any of its 6 million songs, or entire albums, once. Users can then pay just 10 cents to buy a song and store it in a Web "locker" for unlimited playback online. The first 50 songs stored on the Web are free. For 79 cents, users can download the MP3 version.

The songs are free of digital rights management software, so they are compatible with both Apple's iTunes player and Microsoft's Windows Media Player. Song bit rates average 250 Kbps.

Unlike RealNetworks' Rhapsody service, users do not have to pay subscription fees or make any other commitments for the DRM-free music.

The ad-free music service works with Windows PCs and Macs through Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari. It allows users to create playlists and store them on the Web. Music fans can add songs and playlists that they already own to the Web locker, or online catalog, through a feature called Music Mover.

The Web site allows users to "follow" other users and receive updates notifying them of what music their friends or favorite music experts have purchased. Users can also choose to block followers.

Lala began as a CD-trading site before it began offering Web-based music browsing and shopping.

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