Grooveshark launches HTML5 web app, you just need a better browser to use it
If you've been a webOS user for a while, you might remember the big to-do it was when Grooveshark came to our nascent platform back in early 2010. They had a nice little app that streamed their subscription service music easily and cleanly, something we came to appreciate. In recent months, however, the Grooveshark app for webOS stopped being able to load anything from their service, despite having been updated to take advantage of larger screens like that on the TouchPad.
Alas, the webOS Grooveshark app had fallen by the wayside as so many other webOS apps from groups with bigger iOS and Android fish to fry. So what's a webOS user to do? Go to the internet, dear reader. Grooveshark this week launched a new web-based HTML5 player for their service that promises to provide the full Grooveshark experience without wasting your time with an app. That's right, Grooveshark 100% in your browser. They've whipped up both mobile and tablet interfaces that show up when you point your browser to html5.grooveshark.com
If you send your TouchPad or webOS smartphone's browser to that URL, the HTML5 version of Grooveshark does in fact load, and in spite of a few formatting errors on the smartphone side, everything from searching to browsing to adding songs to your play queue seems to work as intended. At least, that's until you try to actually play something, that is. Turns out it's webOS that's at fault here, as everything up to webOS 3.0.5 is running an out-of-date version of WebKit lacking support for handy things like HTML5 audio. Thus web-based apps like the new Grooveshark, which should be proving to be our salvation in a post-abandonware world, are instead proving the other aspect of webOS abandonware: we're just plain out of date.
If it's any consolation, testing we've seen with the Isis browser and Open webOS's QtWebKit core seem to bear out that the new open source version of webOS hits many more marks on the HTML5 checklist, presumably including those audio bits needed for HTML5 Grooveshark to work as intended. At least HTML5 Pandora works.