Could this be the summer that the Internet finally gets music right? After months of feverish anticipation, the all-in music service Spotify finally launched in the US, bringing with it a digital music library of a bazillion songs, available on demand, on pretty much every device you can think of. Legally! Your annoying European Internet friends have probably been touting it as the future of listening for a couple of years now. And, shit: it turns out they were right.
While you're angling for a Spotify invite, your friends are probably already waiting for you to join the addictive "social listening" platform Turntable.fm — a virtual cluuuurrrrb/chatroom where friends and strangers team up to curate endless collaborative playlists. For obsessives who already spend hours reading music blogs, checking last.fm pages, and refreshing HypeMachine, Turntable.fm is an unmatched innovation. It lets Internet music geeks geek out together, playing virtual DJ sets to like-minded seekers. If Second Life had been built exclusively by and for music snobs, it would've looked exactly like this.
After choosing an avatar, you can create your own musical chatroom with friends, or gravitate to existing themed rooms (there's targeted spaces for Merge Records aficionados, and Pitchfork rejects, plus set rooms for enthusiasts of every genre from dubstep to dream pop). Each room can accommodate up to five DJs at a time, alternating tracks down the line. Plus you can fan-and-follow your favorite DJs, who in turn earn points and build communities. Since the platform's birth earlier this summer, the website has already amassed upwards of 140,000 users. And while it's still in beta, you get an instant in if you've got a Facebook friend who's already on board.
Better yet, you should come hang out with us tomorrow (Friday, July 22), as we christen the Boston Phoenix room on Turntable.fm, where we're roping in our friends and contributors to jump on the decks. We'll be spinning tracks from our Best Summer Playlist Ever — see below — and inviting our readers along for the ride. Sign in and search for "Boston Phoenix," or point your browsers at bit.ly/turntablephx; we'll be hanging out from 11 am to 5 pm — and if enough people show up, we'll make it a regular thing.