Aayush is the India Editor & Apps Co-Editor at The Next Web. When not writing, he enjoys spending his time bungling about on Twitter or Aayush is the India Editor & Apps Co-Editor at The Next Web. When not writing, he enjoys spending his time bungling about on Twitter or Google+, and answering email.
Times Internet launched the online music portal Gaana.com in June this year and has since racked up a total of 1.4 million unique visitors to the website. It has a huge catalog of both Indian and non-Indian songs and a full-featured Flash-based Web interface that packs in a multitude of music playback, sharing, and song discovery features.
The website allows users to search for any album, artist, or song and start streaming within seconds. The interface is really well done and presents all the features in an attractive and intuitive way. Songs can be browsed by genres, artists, albums, or user-created playlists, and the lists of new releases and most popular songs bring you the music that is currently in vogue.
The website also recommends other songs you may like based on the one you are currently listening to. Users can rate, like, and comment on songs, add them to playlists, and share them with friends via Facebook, Twitter, or email. You also get options to auto-post to your social networking accounts when you do pretty much anything on the site, but we’d suggest you make use of those features judiciously.
What really steals the show, however, is the website’s newly launched iPad app. Designed entirely in HTML5 to get around the device’s lack of support for Flash, the iPad version of the app is just as full-featured as its desktop counterpart and works like a charm on the iPad’s 10-inch screen. It also features support for Safari’s background audio feature, enabling you to hit Play on a playlist and go back to whatever you were doing, as the music continues to play in the background.
Gaana.com has several competitors in the Indian music streaming space, with MusicIndiaOnline and Raaga being two of the more popular contenders for the crown, but none of them are as slick, both on the desktop and on iOS-based devices, as the youngest entrant to the arena.
Free for anyone in the world to use, Gaana.com is one of the best ways to legally stream both Bollywood and regional music for free and we can’t wait to see it add support for more devices and increase the size of its catalog even further.
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