Last week, the people in our office thought the world had come to an end. We didn’t know how we could go on, how we would be able to function in our daily lives with our loss. The German fun policing agency, GEMA, had stopped Grooveshark, the online music service. It was wonderful, you could (well, still can if you are outside Germany) listen to any music you like, for free, with no adverts cutting up your music. There were visual adverts on the page, but otherwise it was bother free, and completely legal.
It didn’t take long before the crying and slow rocking of my colleagues was unbearable and so I set about trying to find an alternative. Grooveshark itself mentioned Simfy.de. So I went over to take a look.
Music-wise, it’s pretty good. It’s quite useless for Asian music but for Western stuff it’s pretty on the ball. There are some random artists and a small chart on the front page but it would be nice if there were more options to find artists if you don’t know quite what you want to listen to. But it’s quite good at recommending artists similar to ones you like, which is pretty nice.
The player it quite easy to use, and it’s easy to go round and make playlists. The player hides itself into the bottom of the page when not in use.
The part I like best is the radio feature. While Grooveshark itself was awesome, the radio on there was terrible. No matter what artist I chose, it seemed to want to plug the same random Russian pop to me, or it just didn’t remember that just because I was listening to j-pop, it didn’t mean that I wanted to listen to Berryz. No one ever wants to listen to Berryz. But on Simfy, I’ve not been disappointed yet. The only problem would be that it seems that as opposed to linking all songs and artists to the initial one you started the radio with, it links to the previous song (ie – above I started with Regina Spektor. They linked me to Vampire Weened, which is linked to Laura Marling, in linear links.) While not such a big problem, the other night when we had the radio on for a long time, it went on a tangent so big that we were laughing at the kinds of music it was bringing up.
I have joined the premium service so I can have Simfy on my iPhone too. It’s pretty good, but of course isn’t so kind on the battery. The basic service is good enough though and it’s a good replacement in our hearts for Grooveshark. Let’s hope GEMA doesn’t get its greasy hands on this one too.