The beloved social media music site Turntable.fm is making a surprise comeback nearly eight years after it was shut down in 2013. In fact, there are two new versions: The original Turntable.fm, recently resurrected by founder Billy Chasen, and the mobile-focused Turntable.org, created by several Turntable.fm alums.
While both services let users create personalised avatars and host or join online listening parties, they differ in their business models, features, and availability.
Turntable.fm retains the website’s original experience. It’s free to use, and you can create playlists from music available on YouTube. (SoundCloud, too, once that integration is active.) But there’s one critical catch. Turntable.fm is available now, but only for those who know the password.
You can request the password by submitting your email and your favourite song. If the song is “good,” you’ll get the password in an email. We have no idea what Turntable.fm considers a “good” song — otherwise, we’d offer suggestions to help your chances of getting in.
I haven’t heard back about my application yet. (Hopefully whoever is handing out codes likes Sleep’s “Dopesmoker.”)
Unlike the free Turntable.fm, Turntable.org requires a subscription to use. While you can’t sign up for the service yet, there are also special reward packages available for purchase that will net you unique items and discounts for your subscription when Turntable.org goes live. The money goes towards the development costs.
Turntable.org’s other major difference is that users are able to upload and play their own MP3 tracks — they won’t be limited to music hosted on other websites. This will help independent artists host listening parties of their own music.
Join the beta
A Turntable.org beta launches in April. Interested users can sign up for the waitlist on the official website. There’s also a special sign-up form for artists who want to host digital shows through Turntable.org.