with guest writer Freddy Kellison-Linn
After using Spotify for months, I was rather fed up with Spotify’s audio ads. What other streaming service could I use? Grooveshark! And I don’t even have to pay much to have no visual ads either!
Here I am, checking out the Grooveshark Anywhere plan – except it looks no different than Grooveshark with AdBlock Plus. Then I noticed this little bar up at the top, inviting me to try out a new preview…
The interface was minimally different. The layout has improved, so it’s easier to search, or “Explore”, or go to the Grooveshark “Community.” Grooveshark now has events, too. People can track concerts through a service called songkick.
The audio quality was not noticeably different than regular Grooveshark, but a step down from Spotify’s streaming quality. I’m not entirely sure how much of a step, in kbps.
I could now use the themes, and bigger queue sizes, which really don’t matter, since I leave Grooveshark on in the background. The visualizer was sort of neat, but reminiscent of Windows Media Player, something I’m not fond of. Video mode was okay, unless I was listening to a new song, or a really old one… I’m still not sure what Power Hour Mode is.
The mobile app (on the iPod Touch) is rather clunky, and needs WiFi (naturally). I haven’t gotten a chance to try it on the other phones they support.
Grooveshark Desktop is something I would not pay for, as it’s just an Adobe Air app. It can be simulated with Fluid, or Prism.
The custom pages aren’t too useful, unfortunately, as I honestly don’t give a darn what my profile looks like.
Sharing a song is far harder on Grooveshark than it is with Spotify, though Grooveshark doesn’t require a download to listen. Grooveshark also has a greater selection of music than Spotify does.
Their customer support didn’t improve with the paid plan, though it was excellent even with a free plan. I always got a reply within 12 hours.
All in all, paying for Grooveshark isn’t such a brilliant idea, unless you’re partial to the visualizer or video mode.