Grooveshark 2.0: Simpler, Cleaner… Coming Soon

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Grooveshark is now launching a 2.0-level upgrade with a smoother and more intuitive interface.

The underlying concept remains the same, and users can still experience lots of music – on-demand and totally free.  But the enhancements include better song searching, easier content organization, and add-ons like background themes.  The company offered a preview to Digital Music News on Monday.

The ‘new and improved’ site is currently available only to VIPs, a nice nod to paying subscribers.  The company did not say when a broader release will happen, though a smaller user group allows for better troubleshooting and monitoring within a more controlled setting.  On that note, some functionality still seems spotty, including playlisting and email-based song sharing.  The VIP tier was recently launched as an ad-free alternative, though in actuality, existing ads are mostly non-intrusive.

So how does it feel?  This is no Spotify, though the interface is much cleaner than its predecessor.  In fairness, Grooveshark is a different offering, one that involves user-uploaded content, user-generated playlists, recommendations, and networking aspects.  But even with that full deck, the newer interface is much simpler, more intuitive, and quite clean.

That means lots of well-organized songs lists, and easy, one-click song access.  It also means quick access to song sorting, and easy tabs for accessing artists, songs, playlists, albums, and like-minded people.  The name of the game is simplicity, and Grooveshark is definitely adhering to that principle.

On top of that, some extras are worth noting.  At the bottom of the web-based window, users can see a string of recently-played songs, and those tracks can easily be saved into a playlist.  Themes are a nice option, especially since they interfere little with the core experience.

And the social aspects?  Because of the limited user group, this is a hard place to make friends.  VIP-land is mostly a ghost town, perhaps a bad indicator of future premium demand.

Review by publisher Paul Resnikoff.