Free music streaming site Grooveshark recently shut down its services after a legal battle which began in 2011 ended just two days ago. The site is now nothing more than an image depicting a farewell message to its loyal listeners.
In the message, Grooveshark admits that they did not obtain rights to songs, and that that was wrong. The court settlement ended with an agreement that Grooveshark would wipe everything they do not own and then turn over everything they do own to the major record labels that sued them. What the record labels plan to do with these newly acquired assets I have no idea, but I’m curious.
Maybe major record labels will team together to re-launch Grooveshark with the song rights intact, and then add more advertisements and charge subscribers more. This is particularly upsetting to me, because I was a VIP member, with a grandfather clause that gave me the top membership for $3 a month, rather than the standard $9. Hey, it’s not much, but money isn’t really an infinite resource for me, and I highly doubt that people who’ve been loyal since 2010 when the new subscription prices were set will be offered their old subscription price.
I get it, though. Grooveshark should have obtained the rights to music, and not played the music they didn’t have rights to. I feel like I may rub some people the wrong way here, but Taylor Swift isn’t losing any money from people streaming her music for free. I’m all for supporting artists, but when you’re making thousands or tens of thousands from each concert you put on, I personally think that it wouldn’t be out of the realm of understanding to release digital copies of your music for free. It’s like extra advertising. I mean, writers have to sell their books because that’s their only product line. If a well-known and popular musician doesn’t make money off albums, at least they have the concerts.
Honestly, I can’t say I know how all this works, so I’m probably just talking out of my ass here. Point is, now I have to find a new music streaming service.
Grooveshark, in its farewell message, listed several other music streaming sites. But I can’t stand Pandora (it always ends up playing something that bugs the crap out of me) and Spotify appears to only be an app that isn’t available online? I haven’t looked closely at it yet. I’m trying Rdio right now, but I’m having to learn a whole new system. So far, I’ve learned I can generate an automatically generated playlist out of any artist I plug in, or I can make a playlist by searching for songs one at a time by title. There has got to be a better way.
The great thing about Grooveshark was that I was able to search for an artist, album, or video game soundtrack (my favorite thing to listen to while writing) and click Add All, then remove the ones I don’t want in my playlist. I had playlists like this with hundreds of songs each, and they were easy to put together. So far, I haven’t found any other streaming service nearly as intuitive.
Before Grooveshark, I listened to music on imeem, which had a similar (if simpler) way of putting together playlists and sorting through music. However, the service was later bought by Myspace and turned into their Myspace Music service, which I refuse to use on principle. Screw off, Tom.
I’m sure I’ll find a replacement eventually. If nothing else, I’ll use Youtube. But until then, I’ll be bitter in that “grumble grumble rich fat cats getting richer just because they can grumble grumble” kind of way. Maybe it’s completely uncalled for, especially acknowledging the fact that what they were doing was illegal, but this is how I feel.