Best Place to Start a Band. With this morning's launch of Grooveshark's new Facebook Share Song application, WordPress plugin and release of their TinySong API, the city is making its mark as a music technology hotbed as well.In 2008 Blender magazine named Gainesville Florida the
Best known as a flash-based streaming music site where users were initially compensated for their uploads, Grooveshark launched in 2007 after co-founders Josh Greenberg and Sam Tarantino met in a University of Florida entrepreneurship course. The two were both 20-years-old and their idea was simple - "to improve the connection between people and music." With its new Facebook and WordPress integration, coupled with the release of the Tinysong API, the Grooveshark team manages to do just that.
In particular, Share Song is an incredibly useful application for Facebook users. Upon installation, users simply type into the search bar and the page automatically updates with a selection of relevant songs from Grooveshark's catalogue of 8 million songs (40 million files). From here a user can choose to send a song to friends, publish to their feed and/or publish to friends' feeds. The process takes about 30 seconds and pending song availability, it's one of the fastest ways to share music within the Facebook ecosystem. Similar sharing services include Share Music and Rhapsody's Music app. Other music sharing applications do exist in this space; however, many require that the user have access to the actual file rather than linking to it.
Grooveshark's WordPress plugin is also an impressive service. Once installed, this service allows WordPress users to post as many songs as they'd like from Grooveshark's library.
And finally for developers, Grooveshark has released their Tinysong API to allow for instant query of the Grooveshark library and shorter embed links to the songs. Social media dashboard Ping.FM is already employing Tinysong as the song URL reducer of choice. Other song-related short link services include Song.ly and MixMatchMusic's Tra.kz.
On the question of legality, Grooveshark has signed a number of license agreements with smaller labels; however, they're still waiting on the heavy hitters of the industry. The group actively pays all performance rights organizations including the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, Broadcast Music Inc. and the Society of European Stage Authors & Composers. Grooveshark also distributes 50% of its ad revenue to copyright holders to ensure fair compensation. Says Josh Bonnain, Grooveshark's vice president of marketing, "The fact of the matter is that while many people access their music legally through iTunes and Amazon, there's still a majority group that doesn't. Our biggest competition as a company is in actuality piracy."