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After a few hours of playing around with the Turntable Themes extension, I’m starting to see its potential. There are limits to what can be themed/skinned (bg, colors), but those elements are enough to make a significant difference in how a room looks. And, while the extension needs to be installed locally, the files that change how the room looks are centrally stored.

To coin an old man’s phrase, if you want to “jazz up” your view of tt, this extension does the trick well. Here is an example of the Space theme.

To use this extension, download/install from the Chrome store, then go to your Manage Extensions screen. Click the “options” link for Turntable Themes, select your color/theme then click “Save Options” and (re)load tt.fm.

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In addition to the new UI, new features (that I’ve come across include):

  • Favorites – Click the star in the upper left corner when in a room you wish to favorite/bookmark. To access favorites from lobby, click the Favorites link near the top of the screen.
  • DJs Needed – Click this link in the lobby to see a list of rooms with open turntables.
  • Sorting and Filtering – For All Rooms and DJs Needed lists, there are now options for sorting and filtering the list of rooms
Anything else new this week?

There was a conflict between Turntable Extended and the new updates for Turntable.fm. A new version of TT Extended is up now, though.

Straight from the creator, “tt extended users, the fixed version is here! Version 0.6.3.4 is what you want. Thanks @Mark_Reeder!

Facebook’s developer conference, f8, takes place today, and Turntable.fm co-founder Billy Chasen will be speaking as part of the Mobile + Social panel.  You can watch a live stream of the conference on Facebook.  The big buzz around this conference has been Facebook’s entry into live music streaming and social listening, two features which are the bread and butter of Turntable.fm.  Evolver.fm has a good preview of the new music service.  The keynote starts at 1pm Eastern/10am Pacific, and Billy’s panel is set to start sometime after 3:30pm Eastern/12:30pm Pacific.

Greetings, fellow avatars.  I’m excited to start contributing at Turntable.fm Fans and sharing news and some thoughts on what has quickly become my favorite destination on the web.

For those of you who missed it, Turntable.fm founder Seth Goldstein was just interviewed at the Paley Center for Media in New York.  The full interview can be found here, but here are a few quick thoughts on where Turntable.fm is headed, based on what I heard:

Focus on Intimacy: We heard the word “intimacy” a few times tonight, but it wasn’t a reference to the Marvin Gaye playing in the background.  Instead, it was Seth’s way of describing what’s unique to Turntable.fm, which, as he put it, recreates the experience of sharing music with friends in your living room.  Seth also repeatedly talked about the importance of the chat function in creating this intimacy.  So you can expect that any changes to the look and feel of TT.fm will only enhance (or at least not detract from) the chat feature.  And the emphasis on intimacy also means that the 200 person cap on rooms is unlikely to change.  In fact, Seth said that the TT.fm team had been in discussions with major artists about appearing on TT.fm, and that raising the room limit for those appearances was “non-negotiable.”

Integration with Other Music Services: With the expected announcement of the Facebook music platform tomorrow during Facebook’s f8 conference, another major player is joining a suddenly crowded online music industry.  But I don’t get the sense that the TT.fm team is worried.  In fact, in this and other interviews, Seth has talked about how Turntable.fm is not substitutional but in fact complimentary to these other services.  We all know that Spotify, iTunes and other services are already integrated into the site, and I think we can expect the future to bring some very interesting combinations of our favorite music services.  [For an interesting discussion between Robert Scoble and Seth about the potential for iCloud to integrate with Turntable.fm or other sites like it, check out this recent episode of the Gillmor Gang (at the 1:01 mark).]

Get Ready for Virtual Goods: It seems pretty likely that we’ll see virtual goods sold on Turntable.fm within the next 6-12 months (think avatars, dancing abilities or even custom room decor).  But I think the TT.fm team will be very careful with how they roll this out.  Seth spoke of the need for monetization to enhance rather than detract from the user experience (and this is something that Fred Wilson, a VC investor who just joined the TT.fm board, regularly preaches). So don’t expect to be able to buy a Daft Punk avatar any time soon.  Avatars for sale don’t add much value to the user experience, and in fact could detract from the experience of DJ Wooooo and other super DJs who have worked hard for their robot helmets. Instead, I think Seth, Billy Chasen and the rest of the team will get creative, with virtual goods specifically designed to increase social interaction and engagement.  One example of this might be, similar to “bottle service” in real life, you could imagine a group of people each paying to have access to a “couch area”, with perks like a private chat window among themselves (in addition to the main chat box) or virtual drinks that you could gift to other members in the room.

Of course, all of this is just my own speculation, but with Turntable.fm evolving at breakneck speed, don’t be surprised if some of these features pop up sooner rather than later.

 

Now we are three. Turntable.fm Fans welcomes new blogger Jason Semine, a.k.a Sheriff H.S., who will be posting on various news, tips, articles, whatever catches his eye and relates to the world of turntable.fm.

Just hearing via the fora.tv live stream event that there are plans for a fall college campus tour, with turntable.fm provide opening act entertainment. More details as we learn them…