It’s social. It’s music. It’s Turntable, and it’s taking startups by storm.
It was a slow morning in the Silicon Prairie Room on Turntable.fm. But certainly not because of the awesome DJ who will, uh, remain nameless. Screenshot from turntable.fm.
The Silicon Prairie, it appears, has more wannabe DJs than a Full House casting call. And recently, an abundance of those aspiring emcees have found an outlet for their spinning skills on Turntable.fm, the Next Big Thing du jour in social music sites.
Turntable users, represented by avatars that resemble what Precious Moments characters might look like after a weeklong bender spent in a South London nightclub, congregate in rooms — users can create their own rooms or join pre-existing ones — and listen to music together. Users compile playlists — they can search Turntable's extensive database or upload their own tunes — and, when they can muster the courage and a spot opens up, jump on stage. Each room has spots for up to five DJs, and control of the room's current song cycles through the DJs on stage.
The rest of the room is responsible for rating the DJs, via "lame"ing or "awesome"ing a song. If a DJ is doing it right, the heads of avatars across the room begin bouncing; if not, room moderators have the option of bouncing a DJ. Listeners can become fans of DJs, and DJs accumulate points for listeners "awesome"ing their song selections. If listeners enjoy a particular song enough, they can click on it and will be redirected to iTunes, where they're able to purchase the song for addition to their personal library.
By scrolling over the song title on Turntable's faux LCD display, users are given options for purchasing and sharing music. Screenshot from turntable.fm.
Turntable also includes a chat feature, which enables folks to praise or diss DJs or just converse as they would in any other chat room. It's social. It's music. It's social music.
A recent TechCrunch story said Turntable.fm is "going to break big and change things." Evolver.fm deemed the site "a real hoot, and a potentially lethal time-waster." And this blogger calls it the closest I'll ever come to a legitimate excuse for playing "2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted" in the workplace. (Ain't nuttin but an off-ice pa-arty! Amirite or amirite?)
But what about the Turntablers in the trenches, the ones reliant on the right blend of tunes to help them wire in and plow through marathon coding sessions? Well, they seem to like Turntable, too. Turntable rooms are popping up at startups across the Silicon Prairire — heck, Turntable even invaded last week's Weekly Wrap-Up show here on Silicon Prairie News.
So, for your listening pleasure, we tracked down as many of the Silicon Prairie's Turntable rooms as we could and got the straight scoop on the rooms from the folks DJing in them.
How would you categorize the mix of music in the 3 Guys From Iowa room? (Feel free to be as obtuse as possible.) We need “get up & go” music. Stuff that gets the toes tapping and mind running. That could be anything from club tracks to indie rock to soul. Though sometimes one of us will step away from the computer and we end up playing a lot of Doobie Bros.
If you're listening to ____ , you're definitely not in the 3 Guys From Iowa room. Celine Dion. Screech rock. Funeral dirges. (We’ll admit, William Hung may have made an appearance.)
What makes the 3 Guys From Iowa room the place to be on Turntable.fm? The name says it all! :) Nah, we just have a fun, eclectic mix and we try to stay upbeat. Plus, there’s a lot of chatting that goes on. Unfortunately, it goes a little dark when the 3 Guys from Iowa are three guys on the road. All raves have to take a break some time, don’t they?
How would you categorize the mix of music in the BithMethod room? (Feel free to be as obtuse as possible.) Dan brings the 90s, Amanda brings the punk, Scott brings the metal and Neil brings the hip-hop and DJ stuff.
If you're listening to ____ , you're definitely not in the BitMethod room. If you're listening to painfully earnest Indie music that makes you think of your first big crush, you're definitely not in the BitMethod room. Not that we all hate that stuff, mind you, but it's not exactly product-building background music.
What makes the BitMethod room the place to be on Turntable.fm? We get meme-y on Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday. Double rainbows and bed intruders and whatever else we can dig up.
How would you categorize the mix of music in the CAMP room? (Feel free to be as obtuse as possible.) Anything from indie rock to gothic dance. Generally, people are pretty courteous and don't play things unless they either expect everyone to like it or want to expose us to something a little new that we might enjoy.
If you're listening to _____, you're definitely not in the CAMP room. An eight-minute dubstep Daft Punk remix.
What makes the CAMP room the place to be on Turntable.fm? We are pretty nice. we vote songs up, take turns dj'ing and rarely kick people out. everyone's favorite song or genre deserves a chance.
How would you categorize the mix of music in the Dwolla room? (Feel free to be as obtuse as possible.) We're typically heads down here at Dwolla, so we appreciate any sort of music that makes us feel like we're in Tron, on a deadline, or disarming a bomb (both of which are equally likely).
If you're listening to ____ , you're definitely not in the Dwolla room. NOW! THAT'S MUSIC! (Note: Only volume 6 is allowed. We're suckers for Evan and Jaron). That and Nickleback.
What makes the Dwolla room the place to be on Turntable.fm? One word: ambiance. We went through great lengths to really dress up the place and add a piece of ourselves to the decor. For example, the red carpeted background was @benzur's idea (soothing and comforting), the simple black concrete floor was @shaneneuerburg's idea (it's very practical, in terms of cleaning), the red display board was 100 percent @KateLidgett (compliments her complexion), the speakers are obviously from custom design speaker company, Elemental Designs (@bpmilne's former company).
How would you categorize the mix of music in the Zaarly room? (Feel free to be as obtuse as possible.) At Zaarly, we like to have a good time while we work. So in our Turntable room, you'll hear us playing a lot of trance, electronic, hip hop, and any music that will get us bobbing our heads and dancing around. We make every day a party at the Zaarly office.
If you're listening to ____ , you're definitely not in the Zaarly room. Country or slow songs
What makes the Zaarly room the place to be on Turntable.fm? We play good music and have fun with everyone in our room. We do our best not to hog the DJ stand. But most of all, we enjoy having people outside of our company hanging with us in our room. We love the support and will give them a little piece of our party wherever they may be.
How would you categorize the mix of music in the Silicon Prairie room? (Feel free to be as obtuse as possible.) I'd classify the music in the Silicon Prairie Room as one of a joyful, ambient theme mixed with a little 90s pop. Overall, the theme we strive to leave partygoers with is one of delight and overall happiness to tackle the rest of the work day, or evening, depending upon the time in which they're in the room.
If you're listening to ____ , you're definitely not in the Silicon Prairie room. If you're listening to Brad Paisley, Slayer or Vengaboys you're definitely not in the Silicon Prairie room.
What makes the Silicon Prairie room the place to be on Turntable.fm? The Silicon Prairie Room is a room focused on developing one's DJ skills. Whereas some of other rooms may be all about the conversations going on between attendees, we are focused on training, practicing and perfecting the trade of laptop DJ'ing.
Also spinning on the Silicon Prairie and worth checking out: Craftly.