There are some of us just love music – we couldn’t do without it. I’d definitely count myself in as one of the music crazy group; in fact, I’m listening to music as I’m writing this post, using my favorite music streaming service, Grooveshark.
Grooveshark is one of the most popular online music search and streaming services, and it has a beautiful web app and extensive catalog of music. The team behind Grooveshark recently updated its interface with a bunch of cool new features, and today I’ll show you the changes. Continue reading to find out what’s better, what’s not, and what should be worked on!
The Main Interface
The new frontpage of Grooveshark, the search section, is much more minimalist. The left sidebar has been removed, leaving your queue of songs hidden at the bottom, links to different sections of Grooveshark at the top, and the giant search entry box in the middle. It could be turned back on in the settings page, but the interface looks much nicer without it. Putting attention on the search box is a really good idea: you can immediately type in any song you want to find, hit enter, and bam, you got a list of all matches. Also, more focus is given to the beautiful theme backgrounds – there are a variety, some being simple and others being complicated artistic patterns.
As mentioned earlier, the queue for your currently playing music is always at the bottom of the screen, ready for you to interact with. To view it, simply click and drag the grey bar in the middle bottom of the screen. You can view any songs in your queue, change the order they play in, and favorite songs or add them to your library. Handy.
Another of the changes made to Grooveshark is the new popup sidebar: if you click and drag a song to the far right side of the screen, a sidebar will appear that’ll allow you to access a range of basic actions, such as adding a song to your library or sending it to a friend via email.
Explore: Find New Music
Moving along, we have a completely brand-new area dedicated to helping you find new music. I’m a fan of the idea, but the execution wasn’t as great as I’d like. Under the explore section, there are three tabs: Featured, Popular, and Stations. While the latter two work as expected, the Featured section only shows a rather small selection of artists and new releases, and there’s no way to customize this to your own music tastes. However, if the Grooveshark team was aiming for keeping things tight and focused, they did an excellent job with it: there’s no unnecessary cruft.
Music: Your Library
The cool thing about Grooveshark (and other similar online music streaming services) is that even with all the music out there, you can add the music you like to your own personal library; so no matter where you go or what computer you’re using, you can log into your Grooveshark account and your full music library will be sitting there waiting for you. Grooveshark deals with handling your online music collection by diving all your music into groups: all your songs, your favorites, and playlists. I find that this system works very well and allows you to easily find songs you’ve listened to in the past.
Community: Share with Friends!
One of Grooveshark’s strong points is social integration. The community section shows a complete feed of what songs, albums, artists, and playlists your friends on Grooveshark are listening to. Also, you can send any song to social networks like Facebook, Reddit, or Twitter by simply right clicking a song or playlist and clicking “share.”
As cool as it is, Grooveshark isn’t perfect; it has its problems. Chief among these problems is that Grooveshark doesn’t have a consolidated selection of music. This means that when you search for a song, you may likely come across duplicates, and some songs might have lower audio quality. There may not be correct album artwork for all music, and there may be minor differences in a way an artist’s name is spelled or capitalized. I believe this problem could be solved if Grooveshark allowed users to upvote songs that are good quality and correctly labeled, and downvote songs that aren’t.
Additionally, the audio player for Grooveshark still uses Flash, which is frustrating for those of us who hate using Flash. It would be neat to see an innovative service like Grooveshark jumping on the HTML5 bandwagon a bit ahead of everyone else.
All in all, Grooveshark is a simply outstanding service that keeps getting better. There are a few minor annoyances mentioned earlier that should be fixed, but other than those, Grooveshark is just about one of the best music streaming services around, especially with the latest updates. I’d highly recommend it.
A free music streaming service with a huge selection of songs and cool social features.9
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