Grooveshark has found itself in hot waters by streaming digital music some time ago and is defending itself in a lawsuit brought forward by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
However, as far as piracy is concerned, a tool that connects to Grooveshark to download media files could be of much greater concern for the music industry as it makes illegal music downloads about as simple as the long-gone original Napster client.
SciLor's Grooveshark.com Downloader is a simple open source program with a basic, but very effective interface that offers a search, search result and download interface. Currently in beta, the interface is very fast and the downloads from Grooveshark were transferred at a rate of about 1.5 Mbps. The only downside of this particular downloader appears to be the fact that MP3 tags will have to be renamed and search results are limited to 200 tracks in each search. The music industry does not seem to be aware of streaming music downloaders at the time of this writing, the problem of such tools are clearly that, even if consumers have shown for years that they are willing to pay for music, they are convenient enough to possibly attract a decent user base.
I could not help but to remember the old Napster and the feeding frenzy that resulted from the service which enabled users around the world to download virtually any song in blazing speed. It's obvious that many users have moved on -- and perhaps have accepted to pay for their music downloads. But piracy won't die and the music industry is caught in a cat-and-mouse game to track down the latest trends in media downloads. This may be the latest trend.