When you work at a startup you’re often in one big room with several people, all of whom have different musical tastes. The Sprouter office tastes run from Top 40 to 90′s pop to rap to indie, so there’s constantly a battle for who gets to put on their iPod. New social DJ startup Turntable.fm is trying to give people a fair way to play their own music while also discovering new tunes, all in a social chat room-style music room.
To join you have to be invited by a current user via Facebook – once you’re in, you can create your own room or join an existing one (current rooms range from the delightful Guilty Pleasures to our very own Sprouter room). Up to five people can DJ at a given time in a room, and DJs add songs to their queue by searching the music library or uploading files from their computer. You can edit your queue at any time by adding, deleting or rearranging the order of your songs. Songs alternate by DJs in the room, and during a song other listeners can vote it Lame or Awesome – voting awesome gives that DJ points, and if enough people give it a lame vote the song ends and it moves on to the next DJ. If you’re itching to get in the DJ booth the only way is to wait until someone leaves – or until the moderator boots someone out for their poor song choices.
Each room has a chat feature so DJs and listeners can talk to each other about the music, and it gives the option to share the room’s URL or share via Facebook, Twitter or email. And if you get sick of a room you can browse all available rooms or visit a randomly selected room.
I don’t know if it’s the fact that a spotlight shines on you while your song is playing, or the props you get from fellow DJs and listeners, or the head-bobbing that happens after you like a song, but Turntable is addictive on all levels. And it’s also a great way to discover new music, and share your favourites with your friends (and strangers) in real-time. The company was started by Stickybits founders Billy Chasen and Seth Goldstein, and based on the early engagement it looks like it will be a hit.
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