It turns out it's relatively easy (for now) but makes no difference to people who are all about the music and buzz of sharing it with friends...
So turntable.fm has made me giddy this week. That's not easy to do. I remember the first time I went on 'The Web'. The first time I tried chat in Apple's (now long since gone) eWorld. The first time I blogged. Well the turntable.fm experience is something like that. It opens up a whole new vista. It's a genie-out-of-the-bottle moment. Even if turntable.fm runs afoul of the record companies / law, it feels so right that it simply has to exist in one form or another. At this stage, thousands have tried it and there can be no going back. I can tell you what turntable.fm does (allows you to be a virtual DJ and share your music with friends in realtime) but I can't tell you the buzz you'll feel when you do that.
Like a lot of webapps social stratification is a part of it. DJs gain points whenever someone 'awesomes' (like the Facebook 'Like' or Twitter 'Favorite' buttons) a track they've played. There are perks like better avatars and exclusive DJ slots available only to those who have earned enough points. I happened upon a virtual room the other night where a small group of people (who said they were in the 'affiliate marketing' industry - if this is a euphemism, clue me in) who were playing some music (can't remember what the room was called but the music was good so I grabbed a free slot). The track playing was cut short. Skipped. This can happen because it was 'lamed' (the room didn't like it) or because the DJ himself skipped it, passing the torch to the next DJ slot. The next track played and was quickly awesomed by all and sundry. It too skipped. At this point someone in the room asked 'why the skipping?'. There was no reply. The next track played and the same thing happened. It was awesomed then skipped. The conversation went something like this..
Me: Are you guys leveling up? (not judging by the way)
X: We were doing that earlier but we're all about the music now :-) I left shortly afterwards. Turntable.fm might close this loophole but it's not a big deal if they don't.The social stratification / DJ point system is a side-show. The main event is the music and sharing it with friends. A bunch of us were in the 80s room on thursday evening (@conoro, @johnpeavoy, @murrion and others ) and it was the most fun I've had online - ever. Seriously. I've invited a bunch of Facebook friends but the service is still in its infancy and having trouble coping with demand so even if you have an invite you might not get in yet. If we're facebook friends and you want an invite, let me know.