LALA.COM today announced a new web-based service that enables users to store their iTunes music library online for free at LALA.COM. With LALA.COM, users can play music from anywhere, share it with anyone, and purchase music for their iPod digital devices from a Web-based interface.

“Before today music was ripped and trapped on PCs and Macs with desktop applications like iTunes. The iPod is the greatest portable music device ever invented, and as avid iPod fans we wanted to create a service that blends the convenience of the Web with the portability and functionality of a truly universal platform,” said Bill Nguyen, a founder of LALA.COM, in the press release. “Lala unleashes the Web’s power for playing music and safely sharing songs without the threat of PC viruses, spyware and other risks that are present on illegal P2P sites.”

A beta version of LALA.COM is available immediately for hosting, playing or discovering music. LALA has reached an agreement in principal with Warner Music Group (WMG) to make WMG’s content available on the site.

“Deploying more effective and creative strategies to drive music sales is of the utmost importance for the music industry today,” said IDC analyst Susan Kevorkian, in the press release. “Next-generation online music services like LALA.COM add a fresh twist to the online music shopping experience by combining the reach and flexibility of the Internet with compelling music discovery options and addressing the massive installed base of Apple’s iPod.”

In addition, LALA.COM will allow music fans to:
• Host an iTunes or any other digital library and have them universally accessible from any PC or Mac with an Internet connection.
• Fill an iPod from the Web – a technological first in turning the iPod into a connected, online device with loading from any Internet-connected computer.
• Share a library with friends or stream others’ playlists.
• Try before they buy and listen to full albums without limitations and purchase music in either CD or digital form for iPods.
• Future-proof their digital music purchases with the assurance that they can get the physical CD for a small convenience fee starting at $2.99.

LALA.COM’s lalaPlayer includes support for Mac OS X 10.4 and iTunes 7 and requires a compatible web browser including:
• Safari 2.0 or newer
• Firefox 1.5 or newer
• Camino 1.0.3 or newer

More info and download link:

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “oh my” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Note:
Installation Locations
Files are installed in three places on your hard drive:
1. In a new folder for holding the lalaPlayer: /Applications/lala media/
2. In the default location for web browser extensions: /Library/Internet Plug-ins/
3. In a new folder for holding temporary files created by the lalaPlayer: ~/Library/Preferences/lalacollection

Software Removal
If you choose to uninstall the lalaPlayer, you will need to take the following steps:
1. Quit all web browsers.
2. Delete the lala ‘bundle’ files located in “/Library/Internet Plug-ins/”
3. Delete the “lala media” folder located in “/Applications/”
4. Delete the “lalacollection” folder located in “~/Library/Preferences”