We’re all about comics here at Panels on Pages, but a geek cannot live on comics alone. Outside the Longbox is our chance to spotlight something outside our typical 4-color realm, be it movies, music, TV or whatever.
Being a music fan can be frustrating. Listening to the radio is a crap shoot, because even if a good song comes on, the next song may be something that forces you to change the channel. Listening to a CD fixes that, but then you’re stuck with a limited number of songs to choose from. IPods and other mobile music players offer more choice and variety, but they involve searching and picking several individual songs and/or albums out of ITunes or other online music collections. For those who know what they want to listen to but don’t want to go to the trouble of picking and loading, then they can always visit the online streaming jukebox known as Grooveshark.com.
Ten years ago, a little file-sharing website called Napster made online music a hot property. Its popularity nearly single-handedly hastened the emergence of the MP3 player, and its access to millions of free downloadable songs sent the music industry into a tailspin. Many music execs and artists called for it to be banned, and a few years later, Napster was shut down, only to reemerge as a streaming music site that required a membership and a monthly fee, with optional downloads at 99 cents apiece. Grooveshark, however, offers millions of music, comedy, and even podcast files that are one-hundred percent free of charge, at least for the time being. It’s quite ironic that Napster now has a rival offering a similar service that is easier to use and also free.
The site offers several ways to access your favorite music. Just type in a song title or artist name, and Grooveshark will provide an extensive playlist with everything that matches up with the words you type in. Since most of the songs are uploaded by users and members, there are sure to be some imperfections and glitches (one of my searches for Pixies tunes somehow brought up a handful of Blink 182 and Radiohead songs), but for the most part, these searches will give you exactly what you are looking for.
While anyone can listen to Grooveshark’s extended library, those who set up an account on the site are given even more opporunity to share and receive new music. Membership on the site gives you recommendations for new music based on what you’ve searched for in the past and gives you the opportunity to upload your own tunes. Whether you’re a musician wanting to get your recordings out there or just wanting to turn people on to your favorite new band, a Grooveshark account is a great way to increase public awareness of new music.
Since it only offers streaming music and not permanent downloads, listening to music on Grooveshark is just as legal as listening to the radio, except the listener has complete and total control of what is being played. For those wanting to try out new music or seek out their favorite artists’ back catalogs, Grooveshark is the easiest, most convenient way to listen to music online.