I haven't downloaded a new song in over two months. Though I previously to constantly download hundreds of tracks each month, a streaming website called Grooveshark has drastically changed my music downloading habits.
Grooveshark is a music search engine and streaming service that allows users to search, stream, and upload music for free. All music uploaded is available to the public, and users can create playlists that are available on the site. While their Autoplay feature is much like that of Pandora's recommendation system, Grooveshark stands out from other similar programs thanks to its simple, clean layout that brings to mind Apple's iPod. In fact, Grooveshark is essentially one huge iPod with everyone's library on it.
Grooveshark streams about 60 million songs per month, and is growing at about 2% to 3% each day. With numbers like this, it's pretty obvious that Grooveshark is making a big impact on the industry.
With such a large following, it's interesting to think whether similar programs could be taking a bite out of sales by online retailers such as iTunes. In addition, an iPhone app is in the works, meaning that you can find nearly any song you want no matter where you are.
Grooveshark is a great program that I recommend any music fan to try out. It will be interesting to see if such programs will soon be industry standard, rather than purchasing and pirating music online.