once you’ve made the sale, you take the money

I’ll tell you how I know that the magnificently insane yet ballsy new download store at Lala.com is not going to make it. I fell in love with an album (“album”? “compilation”? what do we call these things in their online iteration?) via their wonderful free sample site, and I would gladly fork over the stupidly expensive $13.78 they are asking, but they won’t sell me anything I can play, because their downloads will only work on an iPod.

They won’t work in iTunes, they definitely won’t work in a Unix shell window, and they would fucking come alive and laugh at me if I tried to get them to play on my cell phone. “hahahahahahahahahah” say the little downloads. “You’re going out of business,” says the grumpy blogger.

It’s like selling bread which only toasts in one brand of toaster. Or butter which can only be spread with a Land O’ Lakes ® brand knife. You can call these B Read and spUtter or whatever else strikes your fancy, but they aren’t bread and butter.

The album, by the way, is Mambo Sinuendo by Ry Cooder and Manuel Galban. Check it out — Lala makes it easy to *play*, but good luck *paying*.