Friday, December 15

Grooveshark Review

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We are in the age of Web 2.0 and the idea of doing things entirely on the web is, I’d say, popular. There are already services providing “portable” (so to speak), online word processors, spreadsheets, todo-list, storage space. So why not listen to your music entirely on the Web? There were already several aproaches, like Last.fm or Pandora, but they allow only to listen to music very similar to the artists similar to what you would really want to listen to. You can’t specify a particular song. And there comes Grooveshark.

The whole process of using that application begins when you type http://grooveshark.com into your browser address bar. And that’s basically it. You type in the band name you want to listen to, later narrowing search results by selecting whole cd’s or particular songs. You click and the song is being played. Just like that. Neat, isn’t it? There are hundreds of artists, almost every popular musician or band is here, unfortunately those who are less-known are missing. Unless somebody uploads it.

Grooveshark’s panel structure looks more or less like typical music software like iTunes. However, while mostly 70% of window space is used to create or arrange playlists, here is used to browse streamable songs. The “real” playlist is actually a wide bar on the bottom of screen, so you can’t see much at one time. On my widescreen notebook it is basically 12 songs at once.

Another important thing are those advertisements. Unless you pay, unless you are a monthly subscriber, you basically have the right side of screen covered by a rather big banner. There were also days when after each song a pre-recorded advertisement would appear adding itself into the playlist. Sometimes irritating, but I would view it as a way to GrooveShark team earn money from those who are not subscribers.

Built-in last.fm support doesn’t exist. That famous scrobbling is yet to come, however it is available to paying members as a beta feature. If you want it very much (like I did) download rumpus (http://rumpus.altervista.org/), download Java and enjoy. There are also alternatives to GrooveShark, but I am a big fan of this site so I doubt if I will ever try anything else. I use GrooveShark almost daily and after I discovered it I removed all my music collection from hard-drive!

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