Have you heard of turntable.fm yet? It's an online music/chatroom hybrid where visitors can gather into rooms, play music, vote for or against it, and chat. It's an interesting concept that an only get better with more users. Here's how it works. First, you need to be invited to the service or be Facebook friends with someone on the service. It's annoying. turntable.fm is somewhere between beta and launch right now. It's not that hard to get an invite (here you go) and all you need to log in is a Facebook account.
Second, you need to set your details. Unless you want to go from room to room with your real name as listed on your Facebook, you want to edit your profile to a nickname. Third, you need to enter a room. Fourth, you need to set up your queue.
There are two ways to load up your DJ queue--the list of songs you'll play when you get onto an open turntable. You either search the ever-expanding music database of turntable.fm or you upload music from your computer. Either way, you want to have music ready to go. The service only lets you play the same song once every few hours. You can play the same artist up to three times in a few hours before your blocked from playing them again for a few hours. Chances are, you won't want to.
The fun of turntable.fm is in the social interaction. Everyone in the room gets to vote on every song except for the DJ playing that song. If you click awesome, the meter goes to the right and your avatar starts dancing along to the track. If you click lame, the meter swings to the left. Songs that fall in to the red zone on the left are skipped over by the room. Songs that go to the full green zone on the right cause the room to go crazy.
Why yes, that is my queue filled with show tunes. "If The World Should End" happens to get a great rating every time I play it.
For every awesome vote you get, you gain an experience point. Earn enough points and you get to upgrade your avatar (if you so choose) from a normal looking person to a bear, cat, or gorilla. You also gain fans and can fan someone else so you can find where the people you like are hanging out on the site.
Different rooms have different rules. Want to only listen to indie pop music? There's upwards of fifteen rooms for you at any hour of the day. Like an eclectic mix? Go for an Anything Goes room. Want to only hear jazz, classical, or bluegrass? Chances are, you'll find a room for you. Even celebrities like Neil Gaiman show up to pack a room and play things like audiobook tracks and music from their wives.
As I said before, the more people use turntable.fm, the better its going to get. For example, when you upload a song to the system, it gets indexed in the general search. That means that someone who wants to play that specific song they don't own can now add it to their queue because you uploaded it to the system. The more people in the room, the more fun the chat becomes. So what are you waiting for? Why not give it a shot tonight?
Are you on turntable.fm yet? What do you think? Sound off below.