Grooveshark

Alana Profit

Seemingly the lovechild of Rhapsody and iTunes, Grooveshark.com satisfies the musical needs everyone, even those who have a taste for Vietnam War protest songs or underground mixtapes.

Unlike so many other music websites, the membership rate for Grooveshark is so low that it’s a joke; most people have done less productive things with $3, like buying DataMatch results.

Even without the membership, the site still delivers without annoying play limits or 30-second sound bytes, and all the ads they use to pay for the site are unobstructively placed off to the right-hand side.

Bands can even put promos on their site and upload songs. Their page shows how many have “favorited,”  how many playlists their music appears on, and how many times their songs have been played on a last week and last month basis.

Just like iTunes, you can “favorite” music, but unlike iTunes, you can see other people that have “favorited” it. You can also see how many times the song has been listened to by other people in a certain time frame, but only with a membership.

Some really hard to find music is featured on Grooveshark–music that isn’t readily available on iTunes or Rhapsody–and you don’t have to feel bad about listening to it for free because it’s legit, and users can download songs via a link to iTunes or Amazon MP3.

Grooveshark searches even provide a “similar artists” tab that shows the collaborative projects of the artist or artists that may or may not sound similar to the original. The latter is the only pitfall so far of this site, but no site has perfected the similar artist search.

Personalization seems to be their forte–the backgrounds are even interchangeable; if the default sunburst design is too bright, it can be changed to a more sombre color palate. Some of the options are free, the others are with a membership.

This site is so user-friendly that Grooveshark even remembers the last playlist you were listening to for easy access and the background you last viewed, regardless of membership status.