Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Alternative Grooveshark app shootout: Dood's Music Streamer versus TinyShark

Want to stream songs from Grooveshark to your phone or tablet for free? Without signing up for an account? With Android you can!

Dood's Music Streamer

Dood's Music Streamer pulls songs from Grooveshark. It's playlist and radio support, buffering, and widget are done pretty well. If you copy the buffered tracks from Dood's SD card folder you can even use it as an mp3 downloader, although it only grabs tracks at the 128 kbps bitrate set by Grooveshark. It can scrobble your tracks to last.fm too.

Unfortunately today's update to version 1.2.3 is a big step in the wrong direction. The shuffle and repeat buttons were set nicely apart until v1.2.2, but now they're way too close to the previous/play/pause/next buttons. The elapsed time and song duration moved to a new place on top of the album art instead of near the time bar were they should have stayed. You can switch back to the old layout in the settings menu, but on my phone switching to the old layout gives me white text on a light grey background so I'm stuck with the new interface.

The worst new "feature" is a very annoying and ugly ad banner that sits so close to the tabs that its maker must be hoping for accidental clicks on his ads when you're trying to switch from your playqueue to the search tab or "now playing" screen. Yep, I'm sure the Grooveshark audience really wants to click on bingo advertisements! AdAway doesn't block these ads, but maybe it will when the filter lists get updated?

Updates are meant to improve things, but the switch from version 1.2.2 to 1.2.3 does the opposite.

Update 1: Dood's latest edition removes the ads from the now playing screen, but they still pollute the rest of the app in a way that makes it much too easy to click by accident. It would be better if the ad banner would move to the bottom of the screen, away from the tabs.

Update 2: AdAway now blocks the ads in Dood's Music Streamer. The cat and mouse game goes on!


Dood's step back made me try TinyShark.

TinyShark is good for playing the tracks you searched for, but forget about Grooveshark radio stations. It won't scrobble to last.fm either. And it requires Adobe Flash, which is no big deal unless you're stuck on an old version of Android. Update: new versions of TinyShark scrobble too, and it doesn't require Flash anymore. There are gaps between tracks (TinyShark doesn't precache), and tapping a song in the search results doesn't do anything. You'll have to pick an option from the long-tap menu, because you can't set "add to queue" or "play now" as the default short-tap behaviour. Maybe in the next version?

TinyShark comes with a music downloader add-on which you'll have to download separately. On the bright side, this beats pulling cryptically numbered tracks out of Dood's cache folder.

The verdict: Dood's Music Streamer versus TinyShark

Dood's beats TinyShark at most things, except track downloading. If you don't use an ad blocker Dood's update is so annoying that it makes TinyShark an attractive option, but you're better off if you just keep your old (v1.2.2) copy of Dood's Music Streamer. You can grab the old version from the developers website. Update: Grooveshark changed, old versions of Dood's no longer work.

TinyShark (Exigo Software)
Dood's Music Streamer (Android Market) No longer available in the Google Play Store
Dood's Music Streamer straight from its maker

Dood's Music Streamer (including v1.2.2 and other old versions) at the dev's site

Update: Grooveshark changed, old versions of Dood's no longer work.

tweet this reddit digg this StumbleUpon digg this digg this


  1. I use Doods on my tablet I uploaded it from the app market and I love it

  2. Dood's Music Streamer: You can still use the old the old layout, take a look at the settings!

  3. Yep, you can switch back to the old layout. But on my phone the old dark grey tab buttons turn light grey since the update, which makes the white text impossible to read.

  4. "pulling cryptically numbered tracks out of Dood's cache folder" -- I tried this, added a .mp3 extension but the file is not recognised in mp3 players. Is there something else I need to do to play Dood's cached files outside of Dood's app?