Grooveshark is a web based streaming music service quite similar to Pandora or Last.fm. However, unlike most streaming music sites you can upload your music collection so you can stream it from anywhere. Grooveshark is free with banner advertising or you can pay $3USD per month to remove the advertising and get access to the newest features before everyone else.
I have been using Grooveshark a lot lately since I decided to get rid of all of the music from my library that was not paid for. I decided to pay the $3/month for the vip service. The legality of Grooveshark is still up in the air, so if you upload unlicensed music to Grooveshark you may be breaking the law. Also, Grooveshark only has licensing deals with a handful of record labels, EMI being the only major one. I would like to know that when I listen to a song on Grooveshark the band I am listening too is getting paid. However, that is most likely not the case given none of my favorite bands are on EMI.
The interface is very iTunes like and is quite easy to use. There are a bunch of different themes you can choose from to personalize the look. Grooveshark claims that you can find any song in the world and listen to it instantly. If you only listen to mainstream music this is probably true. With my preferred genre of music being Melodic Death Metal there have been a few times where I have not been able to find what I was searching for. Also, since the library is mostly user built there are a lot of incomplete albums and duplicate songs.
Grooveshark also has a suggestion engine. If you add a few songs to your playlist and then hit the Radio button Grooveshark will continue to play similar songs once your playlist ends. In my experience the suggestions were pretty similar to what I like.
If you don’t want to keep your browser running you can install Grooveshark Desktop which is based on Adobe Air. Also, Grooveshark Mobile has just been released an is available for Blackberry and Android phones. Their website says that the iPhone and Palm Pre apps are coming soon (pending approval probably).
Grooveshark is sleek, fast, and is constantly being improved. However as it gains in popularity it is getting a lot of attention from the music labels which could be good or bad. The labels will either decide to partner with Grooveshark or crush it. As it stands now Grooveshark is my favorite streaming music site. I have pretty much given up Last.fm, and Pandora has not been available in Canada for quite some time. I am going to continue purchasing music that I love, but for me Grooveshark is a great way to discover new music and listen to music I already own when I am away from my own library.
Has anyone else been using Grooveshark? What are your thoughts?