There are more free, legal ways to stream music over the Internet than ever, but it was still a bit of a shock to see Grooveshark finally go offline after more than half a decade of legal battles and controversy. I had always just assumed that Grooveshark would be around forever, fighting the good fight and refusing to adapt, but the record companies finally got the better of the dubious streaming service on April 30th.
But that’s not the end of the story.
On Tuesday, I received an email from someone calling himself Shark — an individual connected to Grooveshark who has assembled a team to bring the site back to life.
“How can I do this?,” he asks in the email. “Well, I started backing up all the content on the website when I started suspecting that Grooveshark’s demise is close and my suspicion was confirmed a few days later when they closed. By the time they closed I have already backed up 90% of the content on the site and I’m now working on getting the remaining 10%.”
The result of Shark’s labor is now online at Grooveshark.io.
It’s still in the early stages of development, but the team hopes to reproduce the old Grooveshark UI in its entirety, including playlists and favorites.
I asked the team how they plan to keep the site online, providing the fact that the original team settled with record companies just days ago. This was their response:
We have all the servers/domains infrastructure in place, it’s going to be a roller coaster and we’re ready for it.
It’s unclear if the new team has the original team’s blessing, but it looks like one way or another, Grooveshark is back… for now.
UPDATE: As several people have pointed out since this post originally ran, Grooveshark.io appears to be little more than a clone (or a skin) of an “MP3 search engine” called MP3Juices.se, which I only recommend visiting if you’re a big fan of ads (and crappy UI). The copyright pages are identical, the privacy policies are identical and, most importantly, the catalogs of available MP3s are identical. (Thanks to Ryan and David for bringing this to my attention.)
Whether or not “Shark” and his team have bigger plans for the domain in the future remains to be seen, but based on these recent revelations, it’s hard not to see this as a group of clever programmers riding the wave of a big news story.