Online music community Grooveshark has recently introduced Grooveshark Lite, which lets users search for and listen to music on demand.

Grooveshark  

There are a number of useful music sites out there, so let’s see how Grooveshark compares with Last.fm, Deezer, Imeem and other rivals…. 

Catalogue

The breadth of Grooveshark’s library of music is pretty impressive. It has over 6m songs in its catalogue, ranging from small independent labels to content from the majors.

How many of these are available on demand is unclear, but most of my searches for artists or songs came up with some decent results.

The content for some artists is limited; a search will not necessarily bring up all the songs from an artist’s back catalogue but will return at least a few.

Searching for music l

The site search on Grooveshark Lite worked well for all of the searches I tried. A search tool is displayed on the homepage and you can search by artist or song title:


Grooveshark music search

Music player

The music player at the bottom of the screen allows you to pause or repeat songs that are playing, as well as to skip back and forth between songs.

This is something you cannot do on Last.fm, though Deezer also lets you do this, as well as forwarding and rewinding songs, which can be useful.

A box with the artist and song title also appears, though you can switch it off if you prefer: 

Grooveshark music player

Options within this box allow you to add songs to your playlist or favourites list, as well as sharing them with friends. You can also opt to download songs, which will take you to the main site, where songs are charged at 99 cents each.

One thing missing here is a link to the artist pages, giving some biographical background, discographies, and so on.

Recommendations

Related songs are displayed underneath the music player when you are listening to a song: 

Grooveshark recommendations

These recommendations are good, but to get ideas for other songs or artists which are more tailored, you need to register with the site so it can learn a little about your tastes over time.  

Conclusion

The main Grooveshark site is a community which allows users to upload songs and share them with other users. The site compensates artists and copyright holders, while a share of the transactions go to the users themselves, as well as the site.

Grooveshark Lite is an adjunct to the main site, and represents an excellent way to find music on demand and to be able to listen to whole tracks without the kinds of restrictions that are placed on users by other music sites like Last.fm and Pandora.

We recently reviewed Deezer, which also offers songs on demand, though, unlike Grooveshark,  it pays artists and labels through the ad revenues on the site.

Both offer a searchable catalogue of music which can be listened to on demand, though, at least for the artists I searched for, Deezer seems to offer a bigger selection of songs.

Related articles:

Q&A: Paul Ricard of on-demand music site Deezer

Q&A: Jon Webster of the Music Manager’s Forum

Pandora killed by self-harming music industry