Alright, so I’m sure a lot of you have heard of Pandora at some point, and if you haven’t go ahead and head over to Pandora and see for yourselves just how nifty the service can be. The basic idea is that you pick out a category of music [usually based on author / song name] and then Pandora starts to feed you a basic set of songs and ask you if you like them or if you don’t with that standard thumbs up / thumbs down system that everyone and their mother has decided to switch to these days. I would go on a tirade about how this really shouldn’t apply to music, but it works well enough for Pandora, and I guess for the general public it works well enough to keep them in service. Once you have thumbs up or thumbs downed something it will go ahead and start to generate a play list of songs for you based on the songs that you seem to like the most. This is incredibly nifty because you can start to find new music that relates to the original piece of music you happen to be looking for. It’s really a pretty great service to work with and can give you some mood music to go off on when you’re bored.
That having been said, it does have a few downsides. The first of course is that Pandora is under some kind of radio style licence, so they can’t actually play music upon request, they can just play music in the area. It also means that you can’t simply go look for a specific song and expect to get it on the first go round through. In fact on my searches for some music I was finding that Pandora simply didn’t have the rights to it, so it just shuffled me around with some songs that happened to sound similar. Well that’s fantastic and all, but sometimes you are just looking for that one song, and lets face it, you don’t want to have to fire up some kind of P2P client just to go sniffing out this tiny and or obscure song. So the next source is of course Youtube, to see if some horrible human being has tied their most recent slide show to a song that you happen to like. In this way of course you can just tab out of the window, and just listen to the music without having to deal with whatever grouping of Naruto photo’s they wanted you to originally enjoy. There are a few problems with this in my book. First is that the WMG and groups like it have been going about muting videos that they think has any of their songs in it for any questionable length of time. In fact some of the videos on my channel [where I am guilty of said song filled slide shows] are actually muted now because they contained something that the almighty WMG search engine thought belonged to them. Not paying attention to the issue that by doing this, they actually generate hatred towards their label, it does make for the issue that you don’t get the music you’re looking for that way either. The second bit of course is that I don’t want to give the music slide shows views; because, this will give the authors of this crap some kind of idea that they should continue, and that is the last thing they need to do.
So the question than becomes one of “Well where do I find music quick”, and I was reading Reddit a few days ago and I stumbled across this particular post about a site known as Grooveshark. Now let me make it clear, I was pretty skeptical about a site that has any kind of licence to play music at the users whim after seeing both Pandora and Youtube suffer at the hand of the WMG and the likes. But much to my surprise, not only does Grooveshark have the ability to play pretty much any music you want to, but on top of that, if you’re a bad person like me you can play it over and over again. More importantly than that, they have an absolutely massive collection of data on music, which to me was the most surprising bit. I went searching for Chrono Trigger, Xenosaga, and a few others all of which have pretty big OST’s to them. Look, all I’m saying is that if you haven’t checked out this site yet, you should really consider it.
The URL is: http://listen.grooveshark.com/
And the great thing about that, is it loads a very smooth, I’m guessing flash-based interface, you tell the nice shark what kind of song you want to listen to, and it brings you back a list of songs that it could be. You double-click and Grooveshark just turns that groove on, and you dance till your fins fall off.