If you aren’t playing with Turntable.fm’s addictive, online group-listening service, you’re missing out. But on the other hand, you’re getting more work done than the rest of us.
Now you can take Turntable.fm to go with its new iPhone app. It provides all the features you’ve come to know and love in the browser-based version — creating and joining listening rooms, virtual DJing, chatting and social media integration — in a pint-sized capacitive touchscreen form.
Turntable.fm is one of a number of music-streaming services to attract a following in recent years. Spotify, which has Android and iPhone apps, is one option. Rdio, which offers offline syncing, has iPhone and iPad apps. And Pandora remains a classic in the music-discovery arena.
The layout and user experience of the Turntable.fm iOS app is much like that of the Turntable.fm website.
After opening the app for the first time, you log in through Facebook (like with the web version) before arriving at the familiar main screen: A tidy list of rooms with the name, the song playing there, the number of people listening in and the number of DJs. You can search for a specific room or create your own.
Once you’ve entered a room like, say, “Coding Soundtrack,” you’ve got your avatar-filled virtual jam space with a “This song is … Lame or Awesome” meter at the bottom and up to five DJs seated across the top of the screen. Selecting an individual avatar in the room (to follow, or just check out their name) is all but impossible unless there’s only three or four people in there, a problem often shared on the browser version.
In the upper right, you can access the chat log and your queue or share what you’re listening to on Facebook or Twitter, or through e-mail. If you’re DJing from the iPhone, rather than a Mac, Windows or Chromebook laptop, your avatar is (appropriately) holding an iPhone.
If you exit the app while you’re still in a room, music will continue to play.
Generally, the app is slower than its web-based counterpart. It took me a few seconds to enter any room, and another three to five for the song to start playing. And of course, you’ll sacrifice streaming quality for portability by using your phone’s 3G connection. Occasionally, my music would cut out for a few seconds. That’s the price of admission with a streaming mobile app.
With Turntable.fm’s iPhone app, you and your friends can easily take turns playing DJ without breaking out a laptop, making it ideal when you’re out and about at a park, or at a coffee shop that’s playing less-than-stellar beats (just use your headphones, please!).
Go get yourself the app and let’s jam. I’ll be in the “I