Friday, July 29, 2011

Grooveshark vs. Spotify - A Comparison

This is a guest post by Susan Wells.
Most tech nerds know about the amazing music service called Grooveshark, but not many are familiar with Spotify. This is probably because Spotify just launched its services in the United States only a couple of weeks ago and is not available in many countries even now.
At the core of both services, they offer free unlimited streaming music from massively extensive music libraries. They both allow you to make playlists and (at least to a certain extent) share what you're listening with your friends. This by itself is an extremely fantastic offering to have all for free.
If you're looking for free music to stream from your smartphone, both these services have nothing to offer for free. Spotify and Grooveshark charge a fee of about US$10 per month to stream from their library with your mobile phone.
Despite offering almost the same services, both these service have a lot of differences in their offerings. Read on to find out which service could suit you.

1. Streaming Client:

Grooveshark allows you to stream music straight from a variety of browsers (Firefox, Chrome, IE), so all you have to do is keep the window or tab open with Grooveshark streaming for continuous music playback. Spotify, however, requires you to download a client to access their music library. Both clients are pretty intuitive, but I find Spotify slightly easier to navigate. Grooveshark doesn’t even need you to have an account to stream. So, it’s a tie between Spotify and Grooveshark on this one.

2. Music Quality:

On the whole, Spotify has better quality music quality compared to Grooveshark. This is because anyone can upload to Grooveshark and some audio files sound really bad, but others are just as good as Spotify, so it's hit or miss really. Point goes to Spotify for consistency.

3. Music Library Size:

While I've only been using Spotify for a couple of weeks, I have noticed some serious gaps in their library such as the absence of Beatles or Godspeed You! Black Emperor and other bands sometimes only have limited discographies. I've been able to find almost everything I needed on Grooveshark, so point goes to Grooveshark on this one.

4. Music Library Organization:

Because anyone can upload to Grooveshark, there are duplicates for artists, duplicates for albums, and duplicates for tracks. This can be extremely frustrating but can also be remedied by simply making playlists of the albums and tracks you want to hear. Spotify is extremely well-organized, so point goes to Spotify.

5. Ads:

Unless you have a paid account, Spotify will periodically interrupt your playlist with an audio ad while Grooveshark only has visual ads. Point goes to Grooveshark.

6. Sharing:

My Spotify account is having trouble communicating with my Facebook account. But even if it could, I could only share music with people who have a Spotify account and client downloaded. Also, there are geographical limitations and sharing is mostly pointless. Grooveshark, however, allows you to share a song to anyone with a public URL. Point goes to Grooveshark.
Tally: Spotify - 2 | Grooveshark – 3

Bottom Line:

Though, Grooveshark actually scored higher than Spotify, I use Spotify more, simply because it has higher sound quality and better organization. For music that I can't find on Spotify, I go to Grooveshark and for music I want to share with others, I go to Grooveshark.
This is a guest post by Susan Wells.