Grooveshark Launches HTML5 Player to Bypass App Stores

Grooveshark Launches HTML5 Player to Bypass App Stores

Jan 17, 2012

Grooveshark has decided to try and circumvent the issue of not being on web stores by unleashing a gambit Apple and Google can’t shut down: a mobile HTML5-based client. Grooveshark has had a contentious relationship with the App Store and Android Market, having pulled off the rare double whammy of being removed from both the App Store and Android Market! Some of the major music labels, like Universal, dispute the legality of the service in part because they believe that Grooveshark is willingly permitting copyright infringement, although they do have deals with some labels.

As such, the idea of an HTML5 player is to be something that will work on mobile devices without approval from companies who also have financial agreements with the record labels who oppose their service. The HTML5 player works in Safari on iOS, on browsers for Android 2.3 and later, including third-party browsers. While this HTML5 solution doesn’t allow for offline listening or continuous track playing, it allows for the easy streaming of music on mobile, all without needing an app. The HTML5 player, which is still in a beta form, is available from http://html5.grooveshark.com and is currently free to access.

Google Removes Grooveshark App From Android Market

Google Removes Grooveshark App From Android Market

Apr 7, 2011

It seems as if Google is starting to seriously play watchdog on the Android Market – or at least to a degree that they haven’t done before. Grooveshark, the streaming music service that lets users upload their own music to the service for other users to stream, have had their app pulled from the Android Market. This is likely due to the sketchy copyright status of the service – they have been sued by Universal Media Group in 2010, although they have licensing agreements with labels like EMI. This isn’t the first time a Grooveshark app has been pulled from a major app store – Apple removed the Grooveshark app from the iOS App Store in August 2010.

Between this and the recent removal of PSX4Droid, the PS1 emulator by ZodTTD, this raises questions about Google’s motivations for removing apps like these. Are they removing them because of a new push to remove apps of dubious legal status? If so, then why haven’t any other major emulators been pulled from the Market? Was it just removed because of the Xperia Play, and Sony likely not wanting to have a PS1 emulator on the same market that they will be selling PS1 games? Did Universal or some other record label with a dispute against Grooveshark facilitate the removal of the app from the Market? It just seems curious considering Google’s patern of behavior with removing apps – they’re usually either removed for malicious reasons, or for explicit copyright infringement (see the removal of the Pokemon Tower Defense game), but these last couple of removals smack of something else going on on over at Google HQ.

However, this is far from the end for the Android app – the Grooveshark website still offers an APK of the app so users can manually install the app to their phone to check out the service, which requires a subscription to use on mobile, although the app gives you a free trial without having to enter any payment info. It will be interesting to follow just what Google does in the future – to see if this is the start in a sea change on the Android Market, or if these are just isolated incidents of apps that Google thought explicitly violated their policies in some way. At least users have an alternative without having to jailbreak, like on iOS, if they want to use this or any other removed app.