Lala web albums, Nov. 2008

Before I get around to writing a more detailed review about my user experience, I just wanted to jot down the purchases I made from the site. Lala is unique in the way it allows listeners to put a down payment on a song or album, allowing them to listen online. If you want to download, you pony up the balance. The site even offers a test drive — the first listen is free.

I like this idea. It’s better than tossing random things in a queue, just to burn through a quota, as I did last night on eMusic. Thank goodness Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea turned out to be a lucky grab.

For my inaugural Lala investment, I paid $15, which is equivalent to my current eMusic subscription level. So far, I’ve bought only "web albums", to which I can listen online. I may need a few more spins before I commit to a purchase. With the way I’ve been watching my pennies recently, it may take a while.

Here’s what I’ve bought, organized by familiarity:

Albums I’ve not heard by artists I know

  • ABC, The Lexicon of Love
  • Aterciopelados, El Dorado
  • Emmylou Harris, Luxury Liner
  • Emmylou Harris, Quartet Moon in a Ten Cent Town
  • R.E.M., Fables of the Reconstruction
  • The Police, Zenyatta Mondatta
  • The Replacements, Let It Be (Expanded Edition)
  • The Replacements, Tim (Expanded Edition)

Albums by artists into which I have not previously invested

  • Exposé, Exposure
  • Last Forever, Trainfare Home
  • The System, Don’t Disturb This Groove

Albums to which I’ve listened in other formats

  • ABC, How to be a Zillionaire!
  • Hiroshima, East
  • Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam with Full Force, self-titled
  • Nena, 99 Luftballons
  • R.E.M., Reckoning
  • Toni Childs, Union
  • U2, Wide Awake in America

Yes, there’s a strong nostalgia trip going on there. When Amazon MP3 launched, I made a bunch of private wish lists of titles I wanted to download. But I didn’t want to buy a download, then realize later I want a CD as well. So I’m using Lala to preview those titles.

It’s working out nicely.