If you don't know about Turntable.fm yet, you will after this and will love it if you are in the U.S. We take pride in being early adopters when it comes to all things online and when we heard about Turntable.fm it sounded more than interesting and had to check it out. Well what is Turntable.fm? It is a chatroom much like AOL chatrooms of the 90's but the room is set up like a dive bar or club and each person has a cool avatar that are available as points are earned from good DJ'ing. There can be up to 5 DJ's at one time and each DJ plays a song one after the other. DJ's create their playlist or queue from the medianet library that the site provides or by uploading music of their own. The fun part aside from everyone in the room chatting in a side window, is that everyone in the room can vote on the song being played by hitting the Lame or Awesome button. If 51% of the room votes a song Lame then the song abruptly ends and skips to the next DJ. If the song is Awesome'd by people in the room then the DJ gets points which can be used to upgrade their avatar.
A question in my head was whether or not artists were going to get paid from their music being streamed on the site. Well Turntable just shut off access to non U.S. countries and secured an agreement with ASCAP which is great to see in such a short window (the site launched January 2011). Artists will also get paid as each song can be purchased through iTunes or AmazonMP3 while it is playing, or by looking at the songs that were played in the room that day.
After testing the site out and building up the room with a core group of nerds and Christian Hip Hop lovers like us for a few weeks, we started tweeting here and there to see what kind of response people would have to it. Everyone seemed to love the social and self expressive aspects a lot. This is definitely a unique product. We then started inviting some artists to come through and join us. So far we've had DJ Official, Syntax Records staff, Alex Medina, Andy Mineo, Xperiment (with whom I engaged in the worlds first DJ Hymn Battle and lost), Collision Records, Swoope, and several others. Everyone loves it.
The area's that the site falls short are first and foremost, artists want to play unreleased music and get the fans reaction but are hesitant now that we've all realized that anyone can add any song that is being played, to their queue (not download) so they can DJ with that song at a later date. The site also lacks in control settings for the room creator. I can't be on the site at all times and I'm not able to appoint other users as moderators, rather the site will automatically make the person in the room a moderator when they have been there the longest. The last main issue I have is that I'm not able to edit the number of turntables that are available on the stage. I would like to change them as the number of users in the room increases or decreases, as well as when we have a listening session with artists that want to share their new album.
Come hang out and fellowship, listen in, and help minister to people that just happen to drop in the room thinking it is a secular hip hop room.