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Slick’s Nit-Picks: Turntable.fm

Social networking has seen many stages of evolution over the years and the next big thing is now upon us. A new site allowing lovers of every genre to share their music with one another is here. Unsigned artists are already making use of this to get more exposure; DJs are having their mixtapes heard and rated by their target audiences in real time. Most of all, people are having fun and (so far) there is very little in the way of trolling going on. Turntable.fm, while only a beta right now, has a lot of people bobbing their heads and it only looks like the site is going to get better and better.

Currently, the only way to join turntable is to receive an invite from an existing member. They can either send it to your email or they can create a room and put an invite link on facebook. Once you are in you can start spinning tunes from your collection. You have the option to create and change both your DJ name and your avatar at any time. The avatars are preset and your selection depends upon your popularity. As you obtain more positive votes or “awesomes” on your tracks, you will have more avatars to choose from. You can join the room of your choice or create one of your own, once again sending invites via facebook. Your login to the site is also through facebook. There are no restrictions to what you can play as long as you have the music on your hard drive. The virtual DJs even show the crowd whether they are using Windows, Mac, Linux, etc. by the insignia on the back of their laptop. Each room can have up to five DJs at a time that take turns spinning tracks. I am unsure how many people can be in a room at once, but I have seen over one hundred in a single room. The system is a lot of fun; it is far from perfect, but one must remember that it is still in development.

Turntable has a very smooth interface, but that is not to say that the trip is without its bumps. You can only upload .mp3 files to the site to add to your queue so you will have to convert each file if it is not already in that format. The room moderator system automatically defaults to the room creator and the person that has been in the room the longest. A lot of people never turn off their computers and you wind up with moderators that aare not doing anything. That issue is compounded when a DJ just sits there because the user is not at the keyboard. Everyone wants their music to get an awesome rating, but there have been many complaints of people that just let their queue run and go to sleep instead of stepping down from the tables. The marquee has been freezing lately and the user's individual queue has been randomly messing up during uploads. None of these issues are deal breakers, but many fans (self included) would like to see these bugs corrected sooner rather than later.

Turntable is a great way to hear new music and share it with your friends. If you are not there yet, you are reallymissing out. If you are already there, a word of advice: Use Google Chrome and get the Chrome extension for Turntable.You will have a better time, especially if you go into a random room and do not know anyone. If you have a desk job that does not limit your internet access, please use headphones or keep the volume down. Oh yeah, Turntable hates Internet Explorer, so once again, get Chrome.