PSA: Grooveshark is amazing

A few months ago, I was a faithful Pandora listener. I had my favorite stations, and I had given enough songs the thumbs up (or thumbs down) that my stations were perfectly suited to my musical tastes. I kept track of the new musicians I discovered while listening… but sometimes I’d get frustrated that the same 2 or 3 songs from that artist would play over and over again without any new discoveries being sent my way. Eventually, some of my stations started sounding too redundant, and I got a little bored.

Then… Nick’s cousin told me about Grooveshark. And I cheated on Pandora.

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Basically, Grooveshark is an online music search engine, where you can stream music for free, with no limit on how often you can listen before having to pay a monthly or annual fee, and there are no ads thrown in between your songs (take that, Pandora). You can search for an artist and choose to listen to everything by that artist in the database, or narrow your search to just a particular album… and then listen to the whole thing. FOR FREE.

There is no iPhone app for Grooveshark yet (apparently Apple pulled the app they released over the summer), but I listen to Grooveshark constantly while I’m working at my computer. It’s an awesome way to test out a new album before I may want to buy it, rather than being restricted to just the songs that Pandora chooses for me or the 30 second snippets that iTunes allows me to sample before buying a song. You can also go back and listen to a song as many times as you want (unlike Pandora). I’m picky about my music, and I’m also on a tight budget, so I like to make sure an album isn’t sucktastic before I buy it, ya know?

I don’t know how long Grooveshark will realistically be around, given that it has already seen a few copyright infringement lawsuits, but as long as it’s online, I’ll be listening. And in case you were wondering, I haven’t given up on Pandora for good — I still like a good mix some days — but Grooveshark now holds a more special place in my heart.

I have not received any kickbacks for writing this glowing review, nor was I asked by anyone at Grooveshark to do so. I just think it’s so flippin’ awesome that I had to share.

comments

  1. I just landed on Grooveshark yesterday and loved it, and I didn’t even know of all these cool features :)

  2. Grooveshark is AWESOME!
    And I’m not paid to say it either. I might be a little bit biased though as the group who put this whole thing together are acquaintances of mine here in Gainesville, FL. My favorite part of the whole idea is their stand-alone player. Simply put together a playlist from songs on their site and you can embed the code right into the sidebar of your own blog so that your visitors can stream the songs for free while they browse.
    Might be a great addition to your Monday Music posts – a player with all the previous songs!

  3. I was reading your blog post during an (annoying) ad on Pandora. Thanks for the recommendation. I’m off to try it out now.

  4. You know, Pandora used to be 100% free too and free of ads. But then they had to pay their employees to load all of the music onto their servers, and they had to pay music royalties, too. They tried fund raising for a long time to avoid advertisements, but when that didn’t make enough money they had to switch to running ads to cover the bills.

    I believe 60 Minutes did a show on them last year and how they’re still not making a ton of money and most people that work at Pandora work there out of love and with no hopes of making big bucks.

    I still support Pandora and the work they do. Pandora has made it so sites like Grooveshark can exist. Nothing’s totally free, right?

  5. @Lisa – I definitely understand the need for advertising on Pandora, and I still think it’s an awesome concept. While the ads are a slight annoyance, my main beef is that there is only one way to listen — to stations that have a mix of certain genres — and that they haven’t built on the concept by allowing people to choose to listen to several songs from a single artist/album, maybe go back and listen to a song one more time, etc. While I respect that they stuck with their original concept and have stayed true to that, it is sometimes limiting, which is what sparked my interest in Grooveshark.

  6. catching up on your blog, i came across this post — have you tried slacker radio? it’s a great alternative to pandora too!

  7. I LOVE grooveshark. In the car, we have a trial of Sirius XM, which I am absolutely crazy about, but at work I have grooveshark on all day long. :)

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