Turntable.fm, a social music service that kicked off earlier this year, has debuted for the iPhone. The free app hit the App Store this afternoon as the company announced a $7 million round of funding and the addition of a new board member at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco today.
Turntable.fm lets users, who must log in through Facebook to access the service, join virtual rooms to listen to music. Each user in the room is represented by a tiny avatar. Each room has a theme and a number of DJs determined by the room’s creator. DJs are shown as avatars at the front of the room and they select the songs to play. Listeners in the room can vote to skip the current song by tagging it as “lame” or as “awesome” otherwise.
DJs earn virtual points based on the votes earned by the songs they choose to play. These points can be used to upgrade a user’s avatar, which can only be done via the Turntable.fm website for now.
Finding it hard to picture how this works? LifeHacker created the following video to show how the website works that provides a good overview. The iPhone app looks and works similarly, although the chat and song queue feature are on separate screens given the iPhone’s smaller screen size.
The music you can queue up as a DJ in a virtual room can be pulled from the company’s database only, not pulled from your iPhone as I thought when I first tried out the app today. Using Turntable.fm via the web is a bit different since you can choose to upload (DRM-free) music stored on your computer to share with others.
Turntable.fm looks like it could be a fantastic way to discover new music and share your DJing genius with others. At the time of this post, the service is running a little slow (it’s probably getting hit hard by users today with the release of the iPhone app) so hold off on forming your final opinion of the service until you catch when it’s working smoothly.