This article was published on June 30, 2011

Cantio: A YouTube-powered alternative to Grooveshark

Cantio: A YouTube-powered alternative to Grooveshark
Nancy Messieh
Story by

Nancy Messieh

Lesotho-born and raised, Nancy Messieh, The Next Web's Middle East Editor, is an Egyptian writer and photographer based in Cairo, Egypt. Fol Lesotho-born and raised, Nancy Messieh, The Next Web's Middle East Editor, is an Egyptian writer and photographer based in Cairo, Egypt. Follow her on Twitter, her site or Google+ or get in touch at [email protected]

Cantio is the latest online music service aiming to pull you away from your steadfast favourites like Grooveshark . The name, Cantio, comes from the Latin word for signing or song.

Founded by three Hungarian developers, Janos Gera, Gyorgy Krupa, Peter Viszt, the site is currently available in English and Hungarian. Unlike Grooveshark, doesn’t depend on uploads to their site to provide you with the latest tunes. Instead, it plugs into an already existing, and huge, library of music that is available on YouTube.

Cantio’s Features

Everything you need to navigate Cantio is in a small menu on the left-hand side of the window. Using this menu, you can search for songs, and access your favourite songs and playlists. You can also keep up with some charts that Cantio provide for artists and songs.

Any song that you play will be added to your Now Playing tab, which can be displayed either as a list or a grid. There doesn’t seem to be any way to clear the list, even after you log out and back in again. What you can do, however, is save the list of songs to a new playlist.
The menu also gives you access to a few interesting tabs, including the top 10 Billboard songs, which you can play, add to your favourites or add to a playlist.
You can also browse a list of the top songs, which is based on’s charts.
As far as music playback goes, a player at the bottom of the screen allows you to skip back and forth between songs, pause playback, and adjust the volume. You can also toggle repeat and shuffle mode on and off, and switch Radio Mode on.
Radio Mode is a great feature which allows you to play random music based on the currently playing song, so not only does Cantio give you a great way to keep up with your favourite songs, it can also be used as a music discovery tool, because of how accurate the tool is. Another feature neatly folded into Cantio’s offerings is basic social network integration. You can share the song you are listening to via Facebook or Twitter, or copy and past the link wherever you want to. You can also watch the YouTube video in full screen mode by clicking on the little video that appears in the menu.
As far as the settings are concerned, Cantio doesn’t give you much to tweak. You can choose between average and good quality, which is a great option to have for users on a slower Internet connection, and you will soon be able to change Cantio’s appearance, with themes on the way. All of these settings can be accessed by clicking your username.
Which brings us to one of Cantio’s small glitches. The overall user experience, from interface to options to playback, is almost flawless. Cantio is a great alternative to Grooveshark and other online music players. But if you access the settings, information page or any other window using the menu at the top of the screen, there’s no easy way to get back to your music dashboard, except for refreshing the page. In the grand scheme of things, that is a small price to pay for the amount of music you’re going to get simply by signing up for a free account. Would you ditch Grooveshark for Cantio? Let us know in the comments.

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