If you haven’t heard yet, one of the biggest websites where we were able to listen to music for absolutely free has been shut down due to legal reasons. That website was Grooveshark. Website as such is still online, but it sadly provides a message explaining that the website has been shut down and that it was a great journey while it lasted.
As far as I’m aware, Grooveshark has been shut down due to hosting plenty of illegally acquired music which was uploaded by the users of the website (MegaUpload much?). I honestly didn’t know that Grooveshark has been fighting legal battles for years, but then again, I was a lonely user who used Grooveshark because it was convenient and didn’t give me the all-familiar “This service is currently not available in your country!” message.
Anyway, after a few minutes of searching I came across an article that recommended a Chinese website that’s very similar to now deceased Grooveshark; NetEase. I was reluctant at first, but after trying out a few other services that weren’t anywhere near the quality of Grooveshark, I’ve decided to give NetEase a try. I instantly fell in love with it.
I’m a big fan of anime so you can imagine that I listen to a lot of Asian artists, especially Japanese due to majority of anime having Japanese opening/ending songs. A big relief was that NetEase provides the majority of these songs, unlike other Grooveshark alternatives that I’ve tried before, as well as plenty of western music as well.
NetEase functions similarly to Grooveshark. There’s no need for registration in order to browse and listen to music, but of course you’ll need to create an account if you wish to create playlists or save songs as your favorites. Only difference that I’ve really noticed is that the website is in Chinese, but even that is not a big problem considering that there are plenty of websites as well as browser plugins that allow you to translate websites in real time.
NetEase also has something that Grooveshark didn’t have, lyrics that are synchronized with the track as it plays. Provided, not every song has lyrics provided, but the majority do so you can sing along with your favorite songs or learn that you’ve been singing it all wrong for the past few years.
All in all, NetEase is a really good Grooveshark alternative. Let’s just hope that the owners of the website don’t decide to restrict it to Asia or Chinese-only!