I recently heard about another free streaming music site called Grooveshark. Having checked it out, I decided I really liked it, and have been using it a lot. You can listen to tracks on-demand, and they have an extensive library. What's more, if they do not have a track in their library, you can upload it. According to their Help information, they pay the record company whenever you play a song. They are supported financially via advertisements you see when you use their browser-based player. You can also pay a small monthly fee to remove the advertisements.
In addition to playing individual tracks, you can build playlists of songs. Also, they have a "Radio" feature, where they will automatically play songs based on what you're already listening to. This is a great way to discover new music. Grooveshark seems to understand the importance of "social" features, and you can share songs and playlists via Twitter, Facebook, and even post them to your blog or website. Seeing these features inspired me to put together a Best of British playlist to share with readers of this blog. I hope to make an entire series of these playlists, containing what I consider to be among the best music, in many genres, to come out of the British Isles.
So, in Best of British 1, I've included artists I've been listening to a lot recently (see my recent blog post, Couch Potatoes: England 2010 Part 3), such as Lily Allen, Goldfrapp, Paloma Faith, Florence and The Machine and La Roux. Vince Clark, who I consider to be one of the most talented musicians to come out of England, is represented by Yazoo (Yaz in the US) and Erasure tracks. The playlist kicks off with a great Kinks track, and while we're talking about quintessentially English artists, you don't have to choose between Oasis and Blur, because they're both represented here. For the folkies, there is a classic from Fairport Convention. I'm particularly proud of the juxtaposition of Amy Winehouse's Rehab with Ian Dury's Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll.
Please do let me know what you think of it, by posting a comment. If you have suggestions of tracks or artists I could include in a future Best of British, do speak out.