Now hold on, before you jump to any wrong conclusions – I don’t illegally download it either. I rent it … sort of.
These day it seems, the music industry are doing what they can to make it harder for honest people to get the music they want (and according to some, encouraging them to “steal”). Some smart people have come up with a great solution: Legal Streaming. Almost with the industry’s blessing.
There are several online solutions for streaming music legally – but in my book there are only two worth checking out: Spotify and Grooveshark. Both of which give you all the music you can ever listen too, free (ad-supported) and legal. Both also provides a paid service without ads and commercial breaks.
The following list show you some of the features you can expect to find in the two programs:
Grooveshark is browser dependent and cannot function without an Internet Connection. Aside from that, if you require a simple solution to get access to all the music you can ever imagine. Then Grooveshark is for you. Grooveshark is all about the music. Search for an artist or a song, and a few seconds later… you’re playing it.
Grooveshark can give you music based on category or you can create a playlist (and genre) of your own and share it with the Grooveshark community or your friends.
Grooveshark is for every one, get it free or pay for it (6 or 9USD depending on subscription). If you can stand ads – then there’s no reason to pay. There is also a mobile phone application allowing you to play music wherever you are (as long as you have internet connection that is).
Why the “five” ?
Well, I removed one star for a couple of reasons:
- It’s not standalone
- There is no, Search for Similar or Related music/artist
- No OFFLINE mode, which means that you must have internet to use it.
My cousin told me the other day: “Spotify is the greatest thing, happening to my music collection, EVER!”. And I must agree. Before when I had company or friends over – they would always go through my music collection, looking for music which I didn’t have. Now, that problem is gone.
Spotify is a very lightweight standalone application with all the abilities you would expect from your WinAmp, Media Player etc. Searching for music is fast, and the sound quality is as good as any store-bought CD.
As in Grooveshark you can create your own playlists and share it with whatever community you like. But you may also search for similar music or artists. If you like to read about artists and their music, Spotify provides this information through its Biography function.
The paid subscription options comes with several extra features like Mobile Phone Apps, OFFLINE mode (for both computer and phone) and better sound quality.
Spotify Availability Issue and workaround
Because the music industry are backwards-thinkers (when it comes to new legal solutions), they require special contracts and agreements for each country to which Spotify is to be available. For this reason Spotify is not yet available all over the world. But there are workarounds, should you want to try it.
Spotify is available all over the world for Premium Account holders. To get the membership outside Europe, you have to log into the website using a UK-based Proxy, and register as if you live in the UK. From there on, it’s easy. You still have to pay for it to use it but it works. Spotify costs between 4 and 9 euros a month (6-12USD) depending on your subscription.
For those of us living in Sweden, Norway, Finland, the UK, France, Spain and the Netherlands, Spotify is the greatest choice, especially as you (with a premium account) don’t need an Internet connection to play your music, even on the mobile phone apps.
Seeing as most of the readers here don’t live in the above mentioned countries, then go for Grooveshark – it’s almost as good.