Apple and Google may have kicked the official Grooveshark apps out of their respective app stores, but Grooveshark has found another way onto your mobile device. The company has launched an HTML5 app which runs in a web browser but which feels a lot like a native app.
All you have to do is visit html5.grooveshark.com in nearly any web browser (desktop or mobile) to access a new version of the web-based streaming music service optimized for mobile devices.
Grooveshark’s HTML5 app is free to use while in beta, but it doesn’t have all the features you might expect. There’s no opportunity to login with your username and password to access playlists or favorite tracks, for instance
The reason Apple and Google booted the Grooveshark is because it’s not at all clear that the service acquires its music in a legal fashion. Grooveshark has a sort of post music first, acquire the streaming rights later approach and the company has been sued by pretty much every major music label.
While Grooveshark’s future remains unclear, the present is also a little funky. Because the company’s music catalog comes from user subscriptions, Grooveshark often has multiple listings for the same song while many songs that you might expect to find are simply not available. For instance, it’s no uncommon to find just 3 or 4 tracks from an album that has 10 or 12 songs.
Grooveshark’s desktop browser-based service is typically free, but the company charges to use its mobile apps. For the complete experience you can still download the mobile apps — but iOS users will need to have jailbroken devices and Android users will need to be able to install apps from unkown sources, since the app isn’t available from the Android Market