There is a somewhat incomplete ‘infographic‘ at Mashable that gives a decent overview of these two services as well as some other currently offerings (although some information is a bit mis-leading, as Grooveshark does have an Android client.)
In a nutshell, I generally prefer Grooveshark. Neither of these two services get it completely right, but the advantage of being able to share a song with ANYONE, not just other subscribers, gives the nod for me towards Grooveshark.
Want to link to Oingo Boingo’s Batchlor Party from the Tom Hanks’ movie of the same namel tour?
For Grooveshark, you can easily share it from within the Grooveshark client multiple ways, or heck, if you are not a Grooveshark member, just head over to Tinysong and grab a link to share with your friends.
Here is the Grooveshark/TinySong link http://tinysong.com/f7pX
Here is the Spotify link: http://open.spotify.com/track/4aS3z1bVR2KWcHXntheAjL
Grooveshark also offers a widget to share a particular song or a play list.
Both services allow sharing with many social networks (although at the time of this post, neither supported G+ directly.)
The biggest difference between Grooveshark and Spotify is that Spotify’s tracks seem to be provided by the record labels while Grooveshark’s are provided by the end users. There is pros and cons to Grooveshark’s approach. One pro is that a lot of small distributions or live recordings have been posted. The cons is that a lot of things are duplicates, poor quality or mislabeled. Fortunately you can flag those recordings.
Personally, it is a bit of a toss-up depending on your style. Try both free levels (once Spotify opens up) and see what you like. You got nothing to lose.
Oh and what is the question mark? Well, everyone is kinda wondering what Apple is going to do.
Disclaimer: Coca-Cola ‘sponsored’ my invite into Spotify. Grooveshark provided me with a year of their Grooveshark Anywhere plan. Neither company was directly involved with this post of my opinion. YMMV.
Update: I have been using Spotify for a bit and there are somethings that I wish were changed. As of this update, I am using version 0.5.2.84.
First, clicking on a banner that has a link to an artist starts playing that artist or song immediately. It doesn’t queue it up or go to an information page. This is rather annoying and keeps me from wanting to click on any banner.
Second, the banners for suggestions are rather off. I don’t need to get blasted with Country music while listening to some other genre. I know Spotify wants me to upgrade to get rid of ads but this is more likely to get me to go use another service instead.
Third, the “what’s new” New Releases album section is lame. Click more and you often get mostly the same album covers shuffled around. Set some order and well, once I see them all, stop or cycle the list. Don’t just move them around randomly.
I would have expected most of these types of issues to have been fixed since Spotify was launched in Europe awhile ago.