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Hearing rooms

Technology | Websites allow users to create their own concerts

Issue: "Orphaned no more," July 30, 2011

Many have happy memories that center around sharing music with friends: spending lazy teenage days listening to records or CDs, or discovering a new favorite musician at a concert venue. Today, new websites are making it easier to keep sharing and discovering music along with friends-even if they're far away.

Turntable.fm (available for free to invited users or those with Facebook friends who are users) gives an outlet to would-be DJs. The site is populated by "rooms" (like concert venues) that typically play a certain sort of music. Each room has one to five DJs who take turns picking music-and anyone can become a DJ. Just want to listen? If you're "in" a room, you can vote on the current song choice ("awesome" or "lame"). DJs earn points based on song ratings, and if nobody likes the choice, the DJ loses a turn.

For an experience more like the record player in your bedroom, try Listening Room (listeningroom.net), which has no voting-users simply sign up and create a room, add songs to the room, and then invite friends to join the room and do the same.

Changes in the air

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