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August 3, 2011 / Brandon Raper

Rick Rolling On Turntable.FM

Being rick rolled will always be a timeless hobby of mine. There is never a moment that singing “Never gonna give you up” is inappropriate.

This brings me to the newest online hit, turntable.fm. Turntable.fm is a website where you are given your own avatar and may join Rooms containing other online members. A select few can jump into a DJ booth and play music for the audience through a search feature or by uploading their own music. The audience may either “Lame” or “Awesome” each selected song which awards the DJ with DJ Points.

The basic premise of the website has great potential and is definitely not the first of it’s kind but heads about the rest of the competition in exposure.

The new phenomenon has people flocking and talking all about it. Over the past two weeks I decided to give it a chance and see if I could prove my DJ skills were worthy of an exclusive DJ spot. Here are my initial findings and observations.

Socialization

Amazingly the chat box in the majority of rooms I have jumped in are always alive.  DJ’s especially like to converse with each other on their selections and how they feel about other bands/genres/rooms.  A few of the rooms I joined had over 200 people in them yet the chat never seemed overwhelming.  Most of the rooms with a large group seem to be AFK for the most part, which makes it deceiving when trying to gather DJ points in a hurry.
I haven’t come across bashing or trolling as of yet, but I’m sure once the population on turntable.fm rises we will see plenty of people spamming chat and causing a ruckus…so to say.

Music Selection

I’m pretty amazed by what bands the search option can come up with.  Then again, I’m surprised by what bands it doesn’t have any songs of and how the search process works.  If you search for “Hall & Oates”, you will get a cover band of Hall & Oates first and foremost.

The upload option is incredibly easy to use though.  It only takes about 5-10 seconds for me to upload any song at any moment.  Whenever I have to upload a song I like to convey to the audience that I had to.  To me, it gives a feeling of exclusivity and originality.

Room Moderator

Here’s where I think turntable falls short.  The moderator of the room has very limited power.  He/she can boot someone off of the DJ table if needed but that should be a last resort.  If turntable had options for the DJ booth itself such as putting a maximum time limit on songs, the room would move much smoother.  When I’m in a room on a DJ booth and I see the person before has played a 9 minute song I get frustrated.  The reason we’re all in the DJ booth is to show off what musicality we have and to earn DJ points.  Playing a 9 minute song really limits the room’s ability to create, earn, and discover music.

Personalization

The avatars you are able to select are very far and few.  Yes, you gain availability of other better avatars the more DJ points you get, but even then there’s only a few.  If a new avatar came out every week or even month, I think a larger crowd and competition would pursue.  As of now, there’s not a blonde avatar.  That’s weird to me.

 

Turntable.fm is an amazing site and probably the most addicting thing I’ve been apart of (Other than Diablo 2 back in the day).  One of my favorite things to do is join a room, play Rick Astley, and then leave.  I usually get quite a few DJ Points for it and it’s all in good fun.  Maybe you should try it out and see what kind of reaction you get.

 

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