On turntable.fm, The Greatest Thing Going Right Now In Internet Music
Welcome to the impossibly fast-moving era of post-blogosphere, Internet-driven music.
It officially arrived on Monday night, in a turntable.fm room called "VIPFest." It was a crazy scene, as these four and a rotating fifth "DJ" streamed tracks of their choice for the site's very early adapters above a chorus of incessant Hipster Runoff in-jokes from the crowd.
Schreiber and Cantalini debuted previously unblogged-about tracks. Diplo leaked unreleased, still-in-the-works Major Lazer songs. Carles, rather predictably, played what he would no doubt deem classic "lamestream" cuts, as well as, rather unpredictably, ten-plus-minute-long, just-recorded speeches about VIPFest, turntable.fm and things that are "relevant."
All this on a site that's free to use and, as recently as last week, was mostly an unknown entity.
|A screengrab from the night turntable.fm officially blew up.|
It's an incredibly fun concept, a thrill for music fans of all sorts -- those in need of instant affirmation on their tastes, those looking to find like-minded listeners and those simply looking for another way to discover new music.
The site is scoring on all of these fronts, earning rave reviews across the board from users and industry observers alike. And it's moving fast: There's already even an unofficial offshoot site called "Turntable Dashboard" that keeps stats on all rooms with more than 20 listeners, ranking the DJs with the most fans (at press time, GVB's Cantalini comes in at No. 5 on that list), the DJs with the most "awesome" votes and even the most-played songs (currently the Bassnectar remix of Ellie Goulding's "Lights").
|turntable.fm founder Billy Chasen|
That last article make some solid points; in many ways, turntable.fm, in its current incarnation, is kind of like the Wild West.
For starters, there's the issue of legality and copyright concerns. The site boasts an extensive terms of service page, in which it promises that it will remove from its database of at least 11 million songs anything that the artists and/or labels don't want on there. And yet there's nothing in place currently to prevent users from uploading the tracks again. The site also uses the likenesses of both Daft Punk and Deadmau5 as its highest-end avatars; neither act has publicly commented on any affiliation with the site as of yet.
There are kinks, too; the flash system in place can sometimes fail, leaving rooms without audio or, worse, crashing altogether and booting users from the site altogether. No surprise, then, that the web-savvy folks already using the site have already taken to the web to voice their concerns and wishes for the site's future. It's all exciting stuff, sure -- but still rather overwhelming considering the site's freshness.
So far, the people behind the site have remained silent on all things turntable.fm-related. Chasen, the site's founder, has yet to comment on the site's business model, its inherent Facebook integration, its legality, its server strength or anything at all, really. Beyond confirming a few facts, he's barely even gone on the record.
Nor does he really need to at this point. Technically, the site is still in beta-testing mode. Technically, it's still an invite-only service.
Most important, though -- and not at all technically, but, well, actually -- the site, kinks and potential issues aside, is just about as fun a free time as an Internet-savvy music fan can have at the moment.
Until, of course, the next, even cooler post-blogosphere, Internet-driven music site comes along and takes the throne in this seemingly unending game of King of the Hill.