Grooveshark goes hybrid, adds Just Type and offline playback support | webOS Nation

Grooveshark goes hybrid, adds Just Type and offline playback support

by Riz Parvez Wed, 01 Jun 2011 9:57 pm EDT

Given all the buzz surrounding services like Amazon Cloud Player, Google Music, and Apple’s forthcoming iCloud, cloud based music is set to be a major area of competition this year. Certainly we’ve heard rumors of HP throwing their hat into the streaming media scene in a big way with HP Play, though we have yet to see just what shape their service will take as of yet. But fret not, webOS faithful! Years before webOS was even on the radar, Grooveshark was already making a name for itself as a service that allowed you to simply name a song and start playing it. Fast forward to today and Grooveshark has over 35 million registered users streaming upwards of 110 million songs per month. All that over their excellent web interface, as well as via apps for Blackberry, Android, iOS and webOS.

While there’s no arguing that Grooveshark is a major service with terrific features, until recently, their webOS app left a fair amount to be desired. Performance, particularly on original Pre and Pixi phones, was often lacking. Multitasking in particular would commonly bring annoying stalls to music playback that could only be remedied by changing songs or restarting the app entirely. As for webOS specific features? A dashboard player was there, but that was about it. All told, it was certainly a bit disheartening, especially when considering that Grooveshark’s mobile apps require users to pony up for a subscription. Well, all of that has changed with Grooveshark’s release of version 1.3.2 for webOS.

This latest version, which quietly launched at the end of May, adds significant performance enhancements as well as a few highly desired features to it’s list of attributes. First and foremost, for devices running webOS 2.0 and above, Grooveshark adds support for both offline files and Just Type searching. Awesome. Additionally, the hybrid app includes power scrolling, subscribed playlists, a host of bugfixes (no more logouts!) and performance improvements.

According to Grooveshark’s website, it’s been tested on webOS devices running versions as low as 1.4.5, but as it is Grooveshark’s first hybrid app, features like offline playback may not work if you're running a webOS version lower than 2.1. Another consequence of this is that 1.4.5 users who don’t already have the app will not be able to find it in the app catalog. Legacy webOS users who already had an older version installed can download the update just like any other app. As someone using a relatively unmodded Sprint Pre, I can attest to there being a significant boost to Grooveshark’s performance and error handling. There are still occasional hiccups, but the app has certainly become quite usable even on Sprint’s shamefully outdated webOS devices. All told, it’s definitely one to put in the win category for fans of HP’s mobile platform, and one more example of a major developer supporting our favorite OS.

As a final note to users entirely new to Grooveshark, the app is free to download, and comes with a trial of their service. While their browser-based service is totally free on your home computer, you’ll have to pony up for a Grooveshark Anywhere account to continue streaming on your handset after the trial is over. That’ll set you back $9 a month. It’s available now in the app catalog.

Source: Grooveshark 

Thanks, capt4chris!