A friend of mine wanted to listen to Christmas Carols over the internet here in India. Apparently Itunes wouldn’t allow her to download music. One of the suggestions she got was to use Grooveshark. I noticed the link and causally decided to check it out. Now I can say that I am well and truly hooked on to it. I keep it on every time I’m working on the computer and the internet’s on (which is always). Following is what I love about Grooveshark.com
Here’s are the Pros:
- Songs are TOTALLY free! No requirement to even sign up. Play any song without worrying about piracy and copyright infringements etc.
- Works like a breeze: the user interface is very clean and easy to use, the aesthetics are a pleasure to the eyes.
- Rarely hangs, except if you have a clunky internet connection, i have had problems playing songs only 1 out of 20 times.
- Share: You can post updates to Twitter, Facebook, Stumbleupon etc. about what you are listening to.
- GrooveShark RADIO: When you search and select a few songs to play, the RADIO button when clicked will automattically add new songs to your playlist based on the choices you made earlier. e.g. if you’ve chosen a lot of hip hop tracks, the RADIO will add new hip hop tracks and introduce you to new artists and bands. This is a great way to develop your Music Quotient 🙂 You can also ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ the new song. And GS gets smarter as you go on. This is good use of Artificial Intelligence.
- Only one dedicated pane to ads. The ads are nowhere else on the site. Except when you click on settings that require upgrades.
- If you’d like to purchase the song, you can hit purchase and takes you to the Itunes or Amazon website to download the song after a payment. SO, if you want to check out an album, come to Grooveshark, listen to it, then make a decision and purchase.
- You can add some songs to Grooveshark yourself too. If you have a collection which isn’t there, or a better one, upload it to grooveshark! And the best part is that if someone listens to it and purchases it via the method I described earlier, GS will give you a 50% share of the profit. Really cool!
- The bestpart… POPULAR song list: This list is updated daily and the best songs going on around are played here. So now you don’t have to watch VH1 to check out which is the best song in town 😀
- It takes a fast and consistent internet connection. Like playing a Youtube video, if your internet connection hangs while the song is loading, the buffering gets cut and you have to select the track again. Oh and having unlimited downloads is recommended.
- Its heavy on cache and often your browser will crash. The adobe Air plugin crashes sometimes. My whole browser has to be closed to restart (I’m using Chrome).
- You don’t have readily available varied songlists for themes such as Happy, sad, Rock, Jazz etc. You need to create the list yourself or get someone else’s list.
So that’s about the pros and cons. If you need some other sites Pandora (not in India), Lala (US only) and Last.fm (30 day trial). As you can see GS is the only site available in India. A friend also told me that Itunes radio plays songs for free too. I can’t verify the fact though since for some reason I cannot install It on my PC.
One Major Plus point:
On Christmas Eve, my church had organized a dinner, during which we wanted to play some Christmas Carols for the congregation. No one had any on their mp3 players. I connected my laptop to the Hotel’s WiFi connection and played christmas carols via Grooveshark. No one noticed the difference. And some were happy to hear numbers from Kenny Rogers and Frank Sinatra that evening. It was total customer delight!
Let me know of your experiences and better alternatives if any. Thanks and God Bless you!
P.S. My browser crashed again while writing this article 😉