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I was recently introduced to this website called Grooveshark which in a nutshell is like iTunes but with an online (free) streaming library. Even more similar is Spotify - which you have to download, doesn't provide unlimited access and as adverts, we7.com which is online also but includes adverts between songs.
iTunes, Grooveshark Spotify all have one major drawback which is the music on their 'database' is limited, unlike youtube which is open to user uploads. iTunes charge artists to sell their music on iTunes - resulting in a lot of 'unknown' music to go amiss, and almost all unofficial songs and artists finding it harder to get known. Grooveshark has the most 'user uploaded' songs as it is quite easy to do that, but not many (young) artists even know about it - yet. And Spotify is the worst of the two, in my opinion. It has more adverts, only allows you to 5 hours per week, has a very limited music database - but on the upside a good Facebook Extension.
Ideally Grooveshark would become more famous, make its facebook extension easier to use and as good as Spotify's and keep its mobile application (Android and possibly Apple) which is actually pretty good to listen to music on :)
Grooveshark enables you to que songs, make playists, have music similar to the music you're listening to be played next and share all of this with other GrooveShark members. However you don't have to be a member of Grooveshark to listen to music. You don't get adverts. Theres no limit. And you don't have to download anything.
For these reasons, its clearly the best.
Ever since youtubecn.com (a Youtube alternative that used to get passed administrator settings) went down, I've been struggling for musical content that works at work, justmusicstore.com is a good option but doesn't load on my network at the moment for some reason, so I decided to research some alternatives.
Grooveshark sounded well.. groovy and I immediately liked the layout, finding the site easy to navigate and user-friendly, I ran a few searches for relatively rare songs and was pleased with the results, it seems that grooveshark has quite a vast database. As an artist it's probably the kind of place you hate - whilst they do pay royalties to certain record labels, anyone can upload any music and the big record labels haven't signed a deal with them which basically means Grooveshark is streaming pirated music.
Pink Floyd recently took action against them and I'm not particularly surprised, despite that there's still a great choice of music for the listener and it makes a good alternative to last.fm for those who have to pay for it (Non UK, Germany and US users) with it's system of recommending similar music and possibility of making playlists.
One of the negatives about the site is that it seems that the songs take a little too long to load, obviously when streaming music is the main point of the site, this is a bit of a weak point. Generally though, I'm rather impressed.
It was a widely accepted fact that I was the loudest person in the office - except when I was writing extensively and needed to concentrate! Since we've merged with another team and moved buildings, I'm working with people who are much louder than I am (!) and also don't have a lot of work to do. As I'm doing a lot of writing for our next catalogue launch at the moment, it's difficult to concentrate.
Where's this going? Well, I decided to bring in headphones to listen to music. Even though I was adament that I couldn't concentrate listening to music, it's a lot less distracting and also helps to lift my mood when work gets too repetitive.
I had the solution and the earphones, so all I needed was the music. I googled around for websites to listen to music through, and grooveshark.com was the one I settled on.
It's an attractive site and very easy to use. Sign up is fast and free, and then I was ready to search for music. You can search by album, artist or song and add them to your own playlists, a 'queue' of music or just play them.
So far every song I've searched for has come up - and I couldn't believe how many covers and remixes etc. are out there. It has definitely expanded my music horizon, as well as being useful for listening to special songs and bonus tracks which have been released in other countries.
You can also flag songs to say they are of bad quality, delete songs from your list, repeat them etc. So far I've found only a couple of songs that aren't great quality.
There's also a small community element as you can search for people, add them to your favourites list etc. I have to say I'm not very interested in this because as I say, I only use it at work to listen to music online. So there are probably lots of other features I haven't scratched the surface of.
The only disadvantage I've found is that by the end of the day, songs will take a while to load and break up a bit due to me apparently not having enough bandwidth. This is a bit weird considering I don't have many windows open and I restrict the length of my playlists and queues considerably - but it may be something to do with the internet at work, I don't know.
Overall, this site is now keeping me sane!!
Grooveshark is a music website which claims to offer an online music community that rewards it users for sharing, reviewing and discovering new music and provides a solution to the controversial subject of sharing music through peer to peer networks. It claims to have a library of over five million tracks and users can listen to any track in its entirety completely for free.
Registered members can listen to any track they choose, earn credits towards free songs by sharing the music with others and discover, share, recommend and download music without restrictions. It basically aims to provide a legal service where users can share, upload and download music for free without feeling guilty about depriving artists and bands of their rewards.
However, in order to use the service you have to download a piece of software called Byteshark which I presume is a form of peer to peer sharing software, similar to Limewire. The download is extremely small at less than 1MB. I must say that I am very disappointed though, as with every computer I've ever used to try and install Byteshark on I have always received the error message 'Byteshark is not a valid Win32 application' which has left me wondering if there is actually any truth in Grooveshark at all. The overall idea of the site does seem like a decent one though and is definitely worth a try.