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Turntable.fm Excites Me, Crushes My Fragile Feelings

Posted by on June 22, 2011 at 5:00 pm

I don’t know about you, but everyone in my celebrity/important people circles has been jabbering on and on about Turntable.fm. Never heard of it? Neither had I, so I decided to investigate. It’s not quite open to the public yet, but if you have a Facebook friend who’s in, you have an invite by proxy. Unfortunately, what began with so much hope ended up with me in an empty room spinning tunes I already own… to myself. Then the room kicked me off the DJ tables. Read on about my sad adventures after the break…

If you’ve been around on the internet long enough, this’ll make sense: take a chat room, add Pandora, apply a convincing layer of social gaming and you get Turntable.fm. Each room is a ‘station’ with up to five DJs. Some work together as a theme, some just play whatever. When you enter a room, you appear as an avatar on the dance floor. If a spot is open, you can hop up on the deck with your “laptop” and begin compiling music to share with the party. The music selection rotates round-robin style through the DJs. Once your song is playing, the party can up or down vote the song. Get too many lames and your song gets skipped. For Pandora fans, this is a very clever, crowd-sourced way to get into new music because DJs are constantly adjusting their playlists in real-time. For those who want to be DJs, uh, well…

I decided I’d create my own room at first. There’s a reason why this works so well with celebrities: they have an instant fan base who’ll swarm the room at first notice. Me, well, you see the pic above, it looks like a certain anime rave we went to. My wager is you’ll probably have the same experience if you don’t hop in with a bunch of friends. So I went to the listings, searching for Electronic stations. I got into the fourth DJ spot and the moderator immediately gave me the stink eye. “Who are you?” I about freaked out immediately. ‘Uh, this is my first time, so, uh, I don’t know…’ and he came back ‘Yeah, that’s cool’. Their friend hopped into the fifth chair just afterward and they were playing some familiar, but just out-of-league chill and indie songs. You build your DJ queue with a simple search, Turntable has access to quite a bit of music right out of the gate or you can upload your own music. I cycled through three or four songs, trying my best to match the theme the others were laying down, settling on Pendulum’s “Propane Nightmares”. No quicker than I could hear the mariachi horns, I was booted from the room. How can you possibly claim to be an electronic room and then immediately toss out Pendulum? Idiots.

I went into another Electronic room and they also booted me from the DJ tables immediately. It’s a harsh realm out there. The search for more rooms to duck into got harder with many of them at capacity. So, I went back to my room and tried that out for a bit and, well, just got sad. Maybe cried a little. Then I had a purpose: I started the FleshEatingZipper room and brought the rest of the staff on board. If you’re up, come visit us, we’re bound to have some phat beats and tight riffs and, y’know, syrupy vocals, too. Maybe things won’t be so bad after all…

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