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You’re making it easy for me to leave you, Grooveshark

Let’s be clear on this, I love¬†Grooveshark. I have professed my love several times on this blog, and I’ve championed it to the extent that quite a few people have signed up and paid for the yearly membership [SORRY]. The promise of Grooveshark was to give me easy access to the music I love, anytime, anywhere. This has been broken lately.

Duplicates of songs and albums, incomplete listings and ID3 information. I noticed these blemishes long ago, but hey, no one’s perfect, and the relationship had way more ups than downs; platform independence, access anywhere, and a shared collection of music. Its ease of use was unparalleled, and it wasn’t that¬†much of a stretch to cobble an album or playlist together.

Grooveshark has always skirted a legal grey area, but as of late, their legal woes have caught up with them. All four major record labels are suing them, and its outright blocked in Germany, last I heard. I haven’t bothered reading up on whatever other troubles they’re in.

And then songs started disappearing.

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iCloud + iTunes Match. A viable streaming music option at $25/year?

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Today I realised I’ve completely misunderstood what iCloud and iTunes Match do. It got announced at WWDC, and I, for whatever reason, assumed it was simply Cloud storage. In having a conversation with Mr. Colman on Google+ several hours ago, and the latest news that streaming has been added, the nature of what Apple pulled off dawned on me, and it’s rather impressive.

I haven’t downloaded music onto my PC in over a year, because I’m a happy Grooveshark subscriber, but, I know many people still do, and most likely, it’s pirated music.

The basic deal with iCloud + iTunes Match:

  • $25 / year for up to 25,000 songs
  • Stream and download your songs
  • Access your songs on up to 10 compatible (iTunes or iOS requried) devices
  • 256 Kbps versions of all matched songs, regardless of their original quality

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Did you know Grooveshark had a Video Mode?!

Note: This is for Grooveshark paying members only, as far as I know.

I’d randomly posted on /r/groovesharkplaylists a week or two ago about collaborative playlists, and someone replied today, and in browsing the subreddit again, I came across this post on Grooveshark having a Video Mode

When you have songs in your “Now playing” bar, you will see a song count on the bottom right. If you click on that you get a menu with both these options on it. The video mode displays various YouTube videos that match the current song – very cool

So yeh, I went ahead and tried it, and it does indeed work!

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I was thinking lately of how I hardly see music videos anymore since I do most of my listening on Grooveshark, but this is quite the convenient indeed!

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Rationalising my digital media purchases, or lack thereof

@juleshughan tweeted an interesting Guardian post titled In the digital era free is easy, so how do you persuade people to pay?, and it got me thinking about why I pay for some forms of digital media, and why I refuse to for others.

The article is a good read, and speaks of motivations, which is something I’ve been very interested in lately, but this list, or whatever the post will turn into, is a lot more, colloquial, I guess.

<time jump> I’ve ranted too much [yes, I’m jumping in time], so I’m going to just list my rationale / motivations—generalised—below, and if you’re still interested, you can read about why it was basically World of Warcraft that got me paying for digital media. </time jump>

Note: The following rationale may likely be highly irrational to some.

The short of it

Games

  • Features [the social, multiplayer aspect in 99% of cases] not accessible through pirated copies
  • Ease of purchasing and the convenience of digital delivery
  • Supporting Indie developers

Music

  • Supporting something I’m passionate about
  • It’s cheap
  • Convenience

Television

Good luck trying to get me to pay for television.

Movies

Can’t justify it, and I’m more than doing my bit to support the movie industry by paying $20+ each week at the cinemas.

<time jump 2> Ok, I’m jumping in time again, but I realised I’d forgotten about mobile, and it feels a little different in my mind.

I would more than happily pay for an app I use regularly, but at this point in time, all my favourite, and most used apps, are free. In saying that, I do feel like, for whatever reason, I would hesitate / consider buying an app a lot more than I should, for the relatively small amount they cost. This Oatmeal comic sums it up  </time jump 2>

And now, a wordier version…

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Grooveshark, six months on. Mobile stability, community, scrobbling and search modifiers

I raved about Grooveshark six months or so ago when I first became a VIP, and well, I am not regretting that decision for a moment. In fact, there have been a few new welcome additions that I thought I might as well talk about in this long weekend that has seen me confined to my house for no other reason than laziness.

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Samsung Galaxy S. First impressions.

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I was forced to buy a new phone yesterday, my previous phone being an HTC Magic. I bought a Samsung Galaxy S based purely on the word of 3 different people. I didn’t even know the specs on the thing. I didn’t even know how it looked. Thank god then that the phone is so frakn amazing, because buyer’s remorse is a bitch!

Oh, and this ain’t no detailed Engadget review going through each aspect of the phone. It is purely what I’ve experienced over the last 1.5 days.

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