What is Turntable.fm?
Turntable.fm is a music-sharing site where you choose what you listen to, as live people for DJs play songs for your approval or disapproval. The similar music-streaming site, Pandora, also offers songs based on your vote, but is run by the computer and not real people online, like this site. Site entry is via Facebook and requires that you already have a friend within the site to enter. Once in, you choose between multiple rooms that each contain a certain music genre. DJs take turns selecting songs for the audience in real time, which audience then rates their choices and determines if they get played or not. Within the site, you take on an avatar, in this case, little cartoon creatures. You also want to become a DJ yourself, to play your own playlist creations for your friends and the present online public. Some of its appeal is said to be in the social aspect it lends to just normal music streaming. Since it is invite-only through an already involved friend, you are guaranteed to already "know" atleast one person in its online community. 1
It has not been made completely public because of its questionable legality status. The site's music-sharing nature could easily be purely profitable for the music industry and so completely liable for support from them, but it also could attract legal action. 2
Concerns for Parents
- The site uses any and all music, through a music network site called MediaNet. This means that any explicit, profane, or otherwise inappropriate music can be suggested for your children to listen to.
- The site has a chat function along the side of the screen where all those present in the current room can post any comments they have. There is no limit on what can be said in them and this could easily facilitate inappropriate conversations.
How Can I Keep My Child Safe?
Talk to your children about what you want them listening to and who they can communicate with in the online community. Also tell them about the risks involved in chatting online and the type of personal information that should never be shared.
Where Can I Learn More?
PCWorld reviews the site's areas of service, including chat rooms, create playlists, vote, and stream music. New difficulties are still arising with Turntable.fm, and it still has a little ways to go for a clean record. Read the article here.
Betabeat addresses the troubles that Turntable's creators have had to deal with, including putting a stop to users downloading tracks from their site, which cannot happen if they are to stay on the good side of the music industry. Read the full article here.