The Trials and Tribulations of a Grooveshark User

If you don’t know about Grooveshark, it’s a really nice service that allows you to listen to just about any music your heart would desire. Unlike other free music streaming services, you can listen to the exact songs you want whenever you want, and however many times you want. Add music to a library, mark your favorites, make playlists and share them with friends.

They offer a VIP service for a monthly/yearly fee that provides an ad-free online experience, allows more songs to be added to your library and playlists, as well as access to their mobile apps. I’ve been so pleased with their service, that I signed up for their VIP service back in November, before I ever had a smartphone with a supported platform. They had planned to increase their subscription prices, but subscribers would be locked in at the price they initially paid forever. I knew I would eventually want to use their services on a mobile device, and didn’t mind giving them my money to support the service while I wasn’t using any of their mobile apps.

I’ve since purchased an Android phone and use their mobile app frequently. There’s a small bug that won’t update your playlists if you’ve added/removed songs via the website. It’s a bug they know of, and they say a workaround is to rename the playlist via the website, and this will force the mobile application to update. It’s an annoyance, but one I can deal with. I ran into another bug a little over a month ago. One of my playlists was emptied. I contacted them to figure out what happened and if there was a backup. They apologized, but they didn’t have any backup. There’s also no way for users to back up their playlists themselves. It wasn’t too big of a deal, I mean, it’s just some music. The playlists can be rebuilt, nothing of monetary value was lost. I rebuilt my playlists and moved on, until it happened again. I contacted Grooveshark again about the situation, and they apologized again, and added 3 months of VIP service to my account at no charge. There’s really not much I could do other than rebuild the affected playlists again. It has since happened a third and fourth time over the past month and a half (I’ve been comped another 3 months of VIP service, giving me a total of 6 months for free), with Grooveshark still not backing up user data, nor providing users with a means to do it themselves.

Grooveshark really provided a great service, one that I raved about to friends frequently. As with many other Web 2.0 services, you might say I have little/no room to complain about issues with a free service, and I would agree, but I am a paying customer. Sure, it’s just music, but I enjoy creating playlists of different types of music, different moods, etc. It’s time consuming, and inexcusable for Grooveshark to not have backups of user data, especially for paying customers. At this point, I’ve stopped using Grooveshark, and won’t use it again until the situation is resolved (even for free). I need to be assured that my data will not be lost, partially or totally, on a regular basis, or at the very least be provided with a way to back up my data if Grooveshark will not do it for me. It’s a shame because Grooveshark had a truly great service, and one of the few that I would gladly pay for.