I really enjoy listening to music using digital tools–I’m a frequent user of Pandora and Spotify, but I also like to branch out and try new services. The internet is a perfect venue to listen and view media with friends, or with like-minded strangers around the world. Here are four projects you might want check out if you’re looking for some new music–and some new people to share it with.
I found Turntable.fm pretty randomly but I love it, especially the “chill out” station. Basically, Turntable has a bunch of different music rooms labeled by genre, and you can create a little character and “hang out” in the music room. You can listen to other DJs or be one yourself. The website has music you can choose from, or you can upload a file from your computer. Other listeners can like or dislike the songs you choose, and you earn points. If someone likes your song, their little character will start dancing, and you can earn some DJ points which eventually allow you to upgrade your character. Also, if you like a particular DJ, you can become of fan, and an email will be sent to you whenever they are playing in a particular room. Turntable.fm has an iPhone app but since I don’t have an iPhone, I can’t really review it. I’ll check back soon to see if they come out with an Android version. I think this is a cool website to use on a tablet, and I often pull it up on one of my monitors while I’m working since it’s a nice way to be both a passive listener or an active one, depending on your preference.
I don’t know much about this one since it’s still in beta, and it seems to be very similar to Turntable. Also, the name “rolling” seems to have drug connotations–which is fine, but that may give potential users the wrong impression. Betabeat did a good write-up about how it’s different from Turntable, but I’m not quite convinced. The idea of the virtual “restroom”– “where users can DJ, chat and spraypaint graffiti on the walls” according to Betabeat’s article–is kind of interesting. We’ll see. I do like the graphics, but I am kind of already sold on Turntable’s cuteness. You can sign up for beta to check it out in the meantime.
This is a newer app I just heard about, and it’s only available for OSX, iOS and Android, which means that I can try it on my smartphone but not on my computers. I haven’t tried it out yet–couldn’t find it in the Play store–but from what I’ve seen, it’s a collaborative playlist that your friends can add to at a party or social event, and listeners can vote on the songs played. This is definitely an app to use in person with people you know or are actually hanging out with, rather than people on the internet like Turntable, so it’s nice that there are different options available depending on what kind of music person you are.
PixelJunk 4 am
I’m a big fan of PixelJunk games, so I was intrigued to hear about their latest project, 4am (formerly called Lifelike, but I think 4am is a way cooler name). 4am is an interactive game-like project in which the player uses the Play Station 3 Move controller to mix music live with people on the internet or with a live audience. Players can also tune in to other people’s sets. It was just released on May 15, so download the demo if you have a PS3 and let me know what you think. I’m still playing around with it but I do like the concept a lot. I wish there were more music options, but the graphics are beautiful. It would be a great addition to a party, and if I were a DJ I would totally incorporate it into my sets.
What’s your favorite web-based music service?