November 16, 2009

I’ve been using and watching Grooveshark evolve for almost a year.  Its development is similar to another web-based music player, the slightly older and ever-evolving Muxtape (which I blogged about here,) in that it’s a flash-based web app that’s extremely robust and easy to use – one which allows users to listen to music on-demand and create playlists from any songs they have placed in their queue.  Unlike the version of Muxtape it bears the most similarities to, its primary function is not as a peer-to-peer (P2P) based music-sharing service.  Another marked difference is that the look and feel of Grooveshark is extremely similar to iTunes, which makes it easy to adopt and very intuitive to use, even on first glance.

One of my favorite things about Grooveshark is that it allows me to listen to practically any tune I can name, no matter the level of obscurity.  It’s great for those of us who like to listen to an album before we purchase it on iTunes.  And if that obscure track isn’t out there, I can upload it to the database, so we can all enjoy it.

A few of my Grooveshark playlists have recently gone from 20-something songs down to just one – ostensibly because artists who feel this kind of dissemination of their work is tantamount to copyright infringement may ask Grooveshark to remove the songs I had populated into their database (via my playlist).  This is in compliance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).  I’m still happy to have a service that allows me to listen to entire albums of the latest and greatest, on demand, so I want to make it clear that those bands and Grooveshark have my continued support.

I’ve included a screenshot of my Grooveshark window, complete with a playlist all queued up and ready to go, below:

hipstergeek's grooveshark screen

My Grooveshark screen, showing the queued playlist "M. Ward." Yes, Grooveshark has ads, unless you pay to upgrade to an ad-free Grooveshark. I am neither Christian nor single.

If you’re familiar with iTunes, using Grooveshark should be a breeze.  Simply register a username and password, search the database for the songs you’d like to hear, add them to your queue, save the queue as a playlist, and listen happily ever after!


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