Grooveshark: Listen to unlimited music online for Free

Grooveshark - LogoStreaming music over the Internet has always been a legal gray area. Most streaming music sites tend to call themselves radio stations but the music industry thinks of them as independent media consumers and that is the reason that while radio stations get bulk deals for playing content, online streaming stations have to pay for each song streamed on a per user basis.

This, as you can imagine, doesn’t really bode well for sites that rely solely on advertising to cover their costs as advertising spots for all but the biggest sites are usually pretty low.

A lot of streaming sites have gone under trying to perfect a monetization strategy for online music and only a few have managed to survive. Among them Pandora is the most famous and while it is one of the few sites making any money, it is only accessible to people living the United States.

For people outside the US, Grooveshark is an excellent alternative to Pandora.

Grooveshark is an online music search engine as well as a music streaming service that lets users upload their music collection to their servers and then listen to it from any computer anywhere in the world.

Visitors to Grooveshark can also just search for their favorite music from the homepage and listen to songs without even registering.

Hop on to Grooveshark, type in the name of your favorite artist or favorite song and click search. Grooveshark will display a list of the songs from it’s catalogue that match your query. Select a song (or two) and either click Play to play the song(s) directly or Add to add the song(s) to a playlist.

Grooveshark - Listen to unlimited music online for free

If you don’t want to create a complete playlist and would rather just trust Grooveshark to do that for you, click the big Radio button on the player. Grooveshark will now automatically populate your playlist with songs based on the type of songs that you’ve already selected. How cool is that ?

And getting all this done without even having to register !

Of course, if you register and login, Grooveshark will also let you save playlists and mark songs as favorites so that you can come back to them later.

My favorite feature of Grooveshark, though, is the Popular songs Smart Playlist which is (I presume) a dynamically generated playlist with the most popular songs being played on the service at any time.

If there is a song that you really like and would like to purchase, Grooveshark lets you do that via Amazon or iTunes. They earn a small commission on that, of course, and if you’re really a fan, I’d suggest that you buy the music anyway.

Grooveshark is, in my opinion, a very worthy alternative to services like Pandora and for people living outside the United States, probably the only decent alternative.

Give it a try and let me know what you guys think of it.

15 thoughts on “Grooveshark: Listen to unlimited music online for Free

  1. The Popular Songs playlist is pretty cool. Don’t know how long you’ve used it, but I’ve seen Owl City’s Fireflies near the top of the list for a few months now. It used to be first, and now it’s second.

  2. Ahhh thankyou!! I´ve been hacking into my boyfriends Spotify account to listen to music (which doesn´t work when two people are listening to it so I get busted all the time!!) I had never heard of this one before.

  3. In the 2nd screenshot, as per me, Grooveshark made better choices than you (or whoever selected the 3 songs with smileys on them) :P :D

    It’s really nice service but today the flash interface was not loading. is similar, but only player is flash and playlists are sharable (public url) without registering.

    on a slow line, one (lame?) trick is to let a song reach about 5 seconds to the next one and if i play the song from the start again, it meanwhile has prefetched almost all of the next song. I suppose you could do something else to while away the time, but conclusion is that next track is prefetched while the previous one is just about finishing. I choose songs I like, so listening encore isn’t that bad.

    1. Grooveshark seems to have changed their layout a bit since the time I wrote about them. The smart playlists I was talking about are the Popular songs. There is a link on the left sidebar.

  4. Apple now has Rhapsody as an app, which is a great start, but it is currently hampered by the inability to store locally on your iPod, and has a dismal 64kbps bit rate. If this changes, then it will somewhat negate this advantage for the Zune, but the 10 songs per month will still be a big plus in Zune Pass’ favor.

  5. It is indeed a great alternative to Pandora, especially since I can’t access it from my country. Unlimited music, constantly updated, free. Can’t ask for much more, it’s fabulous.

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