Internet radio is fairly common place these days, living in the UK I tend to listen to the offering from the BBC via the iPlayer (the radio service is free world-wide) I’m a bit of a sucker for Fearne Cotton 🙂

That said it can be often be nice to have a virtual radio station available tuned to your tastes. That’s where GrooveShark can step in. GrooveShark is/was a P2P media sharing platform, initially a paid for service it is now a free or subscription service.

What I am interested in highlighting is the add-on itself. “solver” has done an excellent job of bringing GrooveShark to XBMC, the user interface is clean and easy to follow, with its own customised skin which is not that common amongst all of the add-ons and a welcome improvement.

One criticism of GrooveShark I do have, and it’s not of the XBMC plugin; is the audio quality is rubbish. They seem to have compressed it so much that all of the low range is missing, people wearing Apple quality headphones probably won’t notice, but if you plan on using this service in your home theatre, I can guarantee you won’t be annoying the neighbours with bone crushing bass! (As frankly it just isn’t there). The reason for this is that all of GrooveShark’s content is user sourced, users are required to upload the music rather than EMG (GrooveShark’s Owner) actually procuring the content from the original right’s holders themselves.

Regardless, it’s a quick easily accessible addon that looks really, really nice, the skin changes are really welcome as most add-on’s I’ve encountered so far are using the default skin and layout from the host skin. If you’re hosting a party it could be a practical choice for background music as you can set the theme and it will run quietly in the background without causing people to have to start shouting. And if people do look at the TV they will get to see a really nice interface.

P.S sorry for the lack of a post yesterday, I’ve been busy getting started on our next development project 🙂

Can you guess what it is yet?


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