Imagine a media player on your desktop that can find and play almost any song you want from the internet, on demand. Hold that picture in your head and add a recommendation engine on top of that and you would have a fairly good idea of what Grooveshark Windows App is like.
This is a free, unofficial desktop-based app for Grooveshark. There is, in fact, an “official” Grooveshark desktop app but it is only made available to paid “VIP” members. Moreover, this unofficial app, at least the version I tested, is totally ad free, and simply provides a tremendous user experience. Here’s hoping that it will be allowed to exist and thrive.
As you might expect, this program will let you bypass the browser and connect to the Grooveshark site straight from your desktop. It looks very much like any modern media player, with the distinction that your tune selections and your playlists are online, in the cloud, taking up zero space on your hard drive (but requiring a fast internet connection for you to be able to listen, of course).
Grooveshark, if you hadn’t heard of it, is a music streaming service and recommendation engine that allows users to search for, listen to, and upload music online (somewhat like a YoutTube for music). It is a legitimate service funded by ad revenue and paid “VIP” subscriptions, although no ads are displayed in the app reviewed here.
Here are more notes on this program:
- The coolness factor: is through the roof. The app offers sleek look and feel and a rich user experience.
- A “social” music service: search for a song, then click on the “fans” tab to check out the latest activity or playlists of users who have tagged themselves as fans. Or click the “playlist” tab to check out random playlists that contain that song. You can also follow people and invite friends, etc.
- Recommendation engine (Radio Mode): one you have a few songs in the thumbnail-style strip toward the bottom, click the “Radio” and songs will start magically appearing there, chosen to be “similar” to what you had there originally. Mouse over the song thumbnails and you rate these (like/unlike) and do a variety of things like add to a playlist or share on Facebook, etc.
- Right click: on a song anywhere and you can perform a variety of functions, such as add to playlist or share, etc.
- Ad free: at the moment, but I wouldn’t be surprised if ads were foisted on it by Grooveshark at some point (the blank sidebar on the right seems like it was designed for exactly this purpose, which is fine by me, if this app were allowed to continue and thrive).
- Automatically logs you in: its free to create your Grooveshark account, and thankfully once you enter your credentials into the desktop app it saves them for you.
- Widgets: use the export button on the bottom left and you will be sent to a page on the Grooveshark website where you can grab some code that can install a variety of widgets on your website that play your music. Very cool.
- Portable: unzip and run, no need to install.
- Bugfixes: I’ve encountered an occasional script error, which doesn’t seem to have any tangible effect and dosen’t crash the app. Hoping this will be corrected in a future release.
The verdict: honestly I cannot believe how well done this entire package is, especially when you consider it was created by a single individual (to whom I say THANK YOU).
The user experience is simply tremendous, as is the notion that you could simply search for any song and listen for free. I’m tired of waiting for Spotify to be released in the US; this will do nicely thank you very much.
Version Tested: 1.1.1
Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7. Requires MS .NET Framework 4.0
Visit this page to download the latest version (approx 220K).