HWM (Malaysia) - - TEST -

Un­like the other mu­sic stream­ing ser­vices in this shootout, Groove­shark is unique in the sense that it in­cor­po­rates peer-to-peer shar­ing in its model. You can up­load mu­sic you own to the cloud, which is used to stream to other users. Ex­pect­edly, this has landed Groove­shark in le­gal tus­sles, with record la­bels su­ing the ser­vice for copy­right in­fringe­ment. To Groove­shark’s on­go­ing credit, it has man­aged to work out agree­ments with some of these la­bels.

The Groove­shark desk­top in­ter­face is easy to navigate, with the main con­tent area in the cen­ter of the page, the mu­sic player at the bot­tom and side­bar that dis­plays your playlists, sta­tions sub­scribed to and up­loaded mu­sic.

Groove­shark shows the most pop­u­lar songs on the site, as well as rec­om­men­da­tions based on your lis­ten­ing his­tory and your fa­vorites. There’s also a Ra­dio func­tion that lets you lis­ten to your fa­vorite gen­res. It is hid­den away in the Queue op­tion though, so you’ll have to do a lit­tle ex­plor­ing to find it.

Due to its peer-to-peer na­ture, Groove­shark’s li­brary is pretty ex­ten­sive and ec­cen­tric. You can find just about any­thing, but the draw­back is that you’ll also find du­pli­cates and duds in your search re­sults. Groove­shark tries to mod­er­ate this by only ac­cept­ing tracks with bi­trates of 128kbps and above and when you play from the desk­top ver­sion, Groove­shark will pick a ver­sion that’s the clos­est to 192kbps.

By con­nect­ing to Face­book or your Google ac­count, Groove­shark lets you share songs via email, Twit­ter, Face­book or a link. Groove­shark also has a Com­mu­nity fea­ture where you can add friends, fol­low users that have their own broad­cast sta­tions and even leave com­ments on tracks. You can also cre­ate your own broad­cast, and share with other Groove­shark users what you’re lis­ten­ing to in real-time.

The desk­top ver­sion is free, but a Groove­shark Any­where mem­ber­ship (US$9/month) gets rid of the ads, gives you more space for your li­brary and fa­vorite lists, and ac­cess to the An­droid app. Due to Groove­shark’s on­go­ing le­gal is­sues how­ever, the iOS app was re­moved from the App Store, though you can prob­a­bly still find the app and get it in­stalled on a jail­bro­ken iPhone.

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