When you visit the TinySong website, all you will see is a large search box. When you enter a search term the site performs a search on one of the largest online music libraries, and returns direct links to playable versions of the tracks that match your search.
There is no need to register, everyone can search for, and play as many tracks as they like. There is even a queue feature in place for those who want to play more than one song. Registration is free, and offers several benefits, as it enables users to create playlists, add favorites, download tracks, and includes all of the other features Grooveshark offers. This is when it gets even more interesting.
TinySong is linked to Grooveshark, which is best defined as an online version of iTunes, including a store where you can buy songs and a social network where you can connect with other users. Grooveshark allows users to import their music library, which they can then access from any computer with an Internet connection. Users also have unlimited access to streaming music they don’t have in their own library – for free.
Perhaps one of the more interesting features of Grooveshark, for TorrentFreak at least, is that it is a P2P based service. Users who upload their local music library to the site will make it available to all other users. Users are rewarded for every song they share and receive “song credits”, which they can use to buy new tracks. The end result is one of the largest P2P music libraries around with millions of tracks in the collection.
There is also a commercial aspect to the site of course, as Grooveshark offers paid downloads. The downloads are available in different formats, high quality and DRM-free. Individual songs cost 99cents, and can be downloaded to a local computer once purchased. “FLAC, OGG, MP3, anything that’s available online will eventually be in our catalog,” Grooveshark’s Josh Bonnain told TorrentFreak. “We’re currently the only music company, or media company for that matter, that could easily one day offer a selection of over 50 million files.”
Grooveshark has potential, as it’s basically iTunes “in the cloud”, powered by P2P and with a social network on top of that (yes, a lot of buzzwords). All you need is an Internet connection, and you’re hooked up to one of the largest music libraries in the world. Josh told us that there are no deals with any of the major record labels yet, but they are working on it. They do pay royalties though.
“Due to the fact that all content which enters Grooveshark is monetized and made legal to purchase, we will in actuality be able to collect most every song in the world in due time,” Josh told us. “Many members like this, as they don’t need to store music locally, and can listen to all of the live, rare, unreleased, lossless and so forth content which there was no access to before.”
In sum I would say that TinySong is one of the easiest ways to share single tracks with your friends. The Grooveshark service is promising as well, and a great way to access your music library (and more) if you’re not at home. The paid downloads are still too expensive though, even though they offer high quality and DRM-free songs. Getting the labels behind it will be a challenging endeavor, as we already spotted some prerelease tracks (and the Beatles), that made their way from BitTorrent to Grooveshark.
TinySong Search (gotta love BuckCherry)