Grooveshark Has New And Improved Look, But Same Old Problems
Grooveshark Has New And Improved Look, But Same Old Problems

Music streaming service Groovshark has a new, slicker look that is sure to please its customers. But the Gainvesville, Florida-based company also has the same issues that have followed it for years. .

Grooveshark has always carried itself differently than other music services. It has had legal tussles - the latest being an action against the service this week brought by Danish rights holders. It has a more underground approach to marketing compared to its peers. And within music industry circles, the company's reliance on user-uploaded material has made it one of the more controversial music services.

The result has been immense popularity - 35 million global visitors, 600 million streaming minutes each month, says the company. And that was before Grooveshark's new design.

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Unveiled November 11, the new-look Grooveshark is an improvement in terms of functionality and attractiveness. Like earlier iterations, the new version is a web-based player that does not require the user to download and install an application.

Grooveshark's simple, Google-esque home page

A new navigation menu runs atop the page while the home page takes a Google approach with a simple, large search prompt. Creative Director John Ashenden tells people use Grooveshark as a search engine but often don't know what they want to hear. So the company built out the "explore" section that highlights featured artists, new releases and popular songs and artists.

Grooveshark's new "exlpore" section

Grooveshark's "music community" has been overhauled, too. It now has more information and a better presentation. Anyone familiar with social networks will feel at home with the way Grooveshark allows people to follow friends and their activity on the service.

Grooveshark's new "exlpore" section

The company has more changes planned for 2012. Ashenden says Grooveshark will work on improving the fan-to-fan connection. He expects Grooveshark's integration with social networks - a Grooveshark account can be connected with Facebook and Google accounts - to be a more built-out feature. And users can expect playlist collaboration in the near future.

"We're trying to redefine the platform," says Ashenden.