Grooveshark needs no recommendation. It is the best online music service out there. It is your one-stop music hangout where you can search for, stream, and upload music that can be played immediately or added to a playlist. It also comes with a recommendation engine where you can find the popular songs other people are listening.
By default, Grooveshark is only accessible via a browser. To use it, the usual way is to open your browser (or open a new tab), go to the Grooveshark site and start listening to your music. This isn’t really the most user-friendly way. What if, with the help of some tools, you can have a better Grooveshark experience? Let’s check them out.
1. Control Grooveshark from browser tool bar
Looking to control your Grooveshark without having to switch to the Grooveshark tab everytime? sharkZapper for Grooveshark is a great Google Chrome extension specially made for that. After installation, you can control your Grooveshark right from your Chrome icon bar. You can Play, Rewind, Next the song and even mute/volume control. It even shows the Album Art and a search box for you to search for songs.
In Firefox, you can use the Grooveshark Remote Control to control Grooveshark without breaking your workflow.
2. Block Grooveshark ad
Seriously, I would not want to block the ads in Grooveshark because firstly, I don’t find them intrusive, and secondly, it is a source of revenue for Grooveshark. However, I know that many of you dislike the ads and can’t wait to kill it even before it appears. The easiest way is to install an ad blocking extension. The most popular is Adblock extension (Google Chrome, Firefox). The ad will miraculously disappear after you have installed the extension.
3. Add keyboard support for Grooveshark
For those who prefer keyboard shortcut to mouse click, KeySharky adds the necessary keyboard shortcut for you to control Grooveshark. Once installed, you can press “Ctrl + Shift + Alt + Z” to play/pause the current song or “Ctrl + Shift + Alt + D” to skip to the next song in the playlist. There are also other useful keyboard shortcut like mute, increase/decrease volume. You can even change the keyboard shortcut to other keys that are more convenient for you.
4. Display lyrics for now playing song
If you love to sing along while your favorite song is playing, Grooveshark Lyrics (Update: this app is no longer available) (Google chrome extension) can display the lyrics when the song is playing.
5. Import iTunes playlist to Grooveshark
If you already have a huge playlist in your iTunes, the last thing that you want to do is to reconfigure this playlist to your Grooveshark account. Groovylist is a web service that can convert your iTunes playlist to Grooveshark format. It supports Last.fm and Spotify as well, so you wouldn’t miss out any of your favorite track.
6. Using Grooveshark as a desktop app
While Grooveshark is great, it will be even better if we could run it as a native desktop app. GrooveWalrus is one such app that allows you to run Grooveshark as a native desktop app. In Groovewalrus, you can search for the songs and mass add them to the playlist. The interface is user-friendly, so it should be easy for anyone to use it.
7. Remote control Grooveshark
There are times where you are not directly in front of your computer, but still want your Grooveshark music to continue playing. This is where remote control for Grooveshark becomes useful. If you own an Android phone, you can install the Grooveshark Remote (market link) app in the market. This app, works in conjunction with a Firefox extension, allows you to control the playback/pause/previous/next of the songs in your play queue. It is rather minimal at the moment, but at least it works.
For iPhone and other mobile devices, there is no native app to remote control Grooveshark yet. What you can use is GrooveBud Google Chrome extension to control Grooveshark remotely from another web browser. In this case, you can open up your mobile safari, load the Groovebud Control Player and control your play song. I have tested it on a first gen iPod Touch and it worked, but the interface is overly simple and nothing to be desired.
8. Download music from Grooveshark
There are plenty of ways to download songs from Grooveshark. Orbit downloader is one of the most popular one. While installing Orbit Downloader, make sure to select Grab Pro in the installation option and check the box for your browser. Once installed, you can then playback the song in Grooveshark and get Orbit downloader to record the song in MP3 format.
GrooveDown is a desktop-based Windows software that can also be used to download music from Grooveshark. The usage is even simpler – search for the song(s) you want and click the Download button.
9. Using Grooveshark on your mobile device
If you can’t get enough of Grooveshark and want to access it even when on the move, Tinyshark for Android is your best choice. With it, you can search and play Grooveshark music while on the move. My experience with it is that it can be laggy at times, but this is the best you can get from the market.
What other ways/apps do you use to improve your Grooveshark experience?