Monday, August 2, 2010

The quest for an online music app

Last fall, I started using a website called Lala.  Lala.com let you upload your entire music library and then stream it from any computer with an internet connection.  Unfortunately, Apple bought Lala and announced they were shutting it down.  On May 31st, Lala users were greeted by this image:


Apple offered to give users credit for any songs they had bought with in the Lala store, but that didn't solve our problem of no longer having a way to stream our music online.  I tried using Pandora for a while, but I didn't really like it. There were audio ads, you couldn't pick exactly what song you wanted, you could only skip a few songs if you didn't like them...all in all, Pandora was just too restricting for me. It wouldn't let me do what I wanted to do.

After Lala had been shut down for a while, I read a news article about another website, grooveshark.com, that was offering former Lala users a free one month trial of Grooveshark VIP access, no strings attached.  Of course, who says no to free stuff?

I tried Grooveshark. One of the first things I noticed was that it was amazingly simple to find exactly what song you wanted and play it. You could add songs to your queue and save them as playlists...pretty much any of the same things you could do in iTunes or any other desktop music player.  Also, at any point, you can click the "Radio" button and you instantly have the equivalent of Pandora, except you have unlimited "skips" and can add specific songs at any point in the playlist.



With a VIP account, you get a bunch of other features too.  VIP users can upload their own music collection for listening on Grooveshark, the ads on the right sidebar are removed, you get the first look at new features, and you have access to Grooveshark mobile apps, which are available on every smart phone. The best part? VIP access is only $3 a month, or $30 a year.

And no, Grooveshark isn't paying me to advertise them.  I'm not getting anything out of this.  I just like sharing my discoveries with people. I'll probably be doing that a lot on here, so try and get used to it.