Grooveshark has come a long way since we first covered it back in early ’08. Since that time, Grooveshark has adopted many great features and has become one of the top online choices for streaming and listening to free music online.
In this article, I am going to discuss some of Grooveshark’s key features, as well as walk you through the interface a bit so you can get the most out of this service and everything it has to offer.
Searching For Music
When you first land on Grooveshark’s homepage you are greeted with a box that says “Search for Music”. If you know what you want to listen to, simply type the artist or song title into the search field and Grooveshark will bring up a list of everything matching your query.
For starters, you can sort your search results by song name, artist, or album. You can also use the drop-down menu and tabs at the top. There are tabs for Playlists and People, which let you see playlists created using your search term and the users who created them.
Finding What’s Popular
If you’re not sure what you want to listen to don’t worry. On the left side panel, just click on the Popular Smart Playlist to see the most popular songs on Grooveshark. Once you’ve used Grooveshark for a while, you can use the Recent Smart Playlist to see your most recent songs.
To play a song, just click on it and either click the plus sign next to it or use the drop down menus. You can add songs one by one, play all of them, or add them to a playlist or your library.
Creating Playlists & Radio Mode
Creating and saving playlists is probably my favorite feature on Grooveshark. Whenever you add music to be played you can save it to a playlist by clicking the Save button at the bottom of the screen. You can name your playlists whatever you want and make changes to them whenever you feel like it.
Want to use Grooveshark like Pandora? Check out Radio mode. After you’ve added songs to be played, just click the Radio button and Grooveshark will begin playing songs based on what you like. Give a song a smiley/frowny face so Grooveshark knows what types of songs to look for.
Create A Profile
If you want Grooveshark to remember your playlists and activity for an extended period of time, create a profile. Creating a profile allows you to keep track of your music library, playlists, and favorites. You and your playlists will also be able to be found in search results, which lets people ‘fan’ you.
Upload Your Own Songs
If you can’t find a song and want to add your own, you can do that too. Just visit Grooveshark’s upload page and search for songs on your computer to add to your library. Frankly, I haven’t tried this feature yet because I have yet to come up empty-handed when searching Grooveshark, but it’s there if you need it.
Share What You’re Listening To
Another great feature is the ability to share what you’re listening to with your social networks. When a song is playing, just drag your mouse over the now-playing button and you’ll see a little pop-up window with options to email a link to the song, get a widget of it, or share what you’re listening to on Stumbleupon, Facebook, and Twitter.
When you make your selection, another pop-up appears that enables you to sign in to your various accounts and broadcast your message for all to see. This lets people discover your musical preferences and it helps Grooveshark get a little recognition.
Also, if you go to the settings page, you can grab RSS feeds for your favorites and recent listens to share with others too.
In case you were wondering, you can access Grooveshark on your mobile phone. With support for Palm, Android, Blackberry, iPhone, and Nokia, you can get Grooveshark mobile on any phone one way or another. For more information about compatibility with your mobile device, check out the on Grooveshark’s mobile website.
One thing I would like to mention is Grooveshark’s VIP package, which allows you to get rid of ads, test new features before they go live, and get priority support. It’s not free, but if you’re a hardcore Grooveshark user and would like to investigate becoming a VIP, you can find more information here.
As you can see, Grooveshark is capable of a lot, which is why I think it’s currently the best site for streaming music online.
What do you think of Grooveshark? Do you use any other sites for listening to music? Leave your thoughts, ideas, and comments below!