I spent countless hours as a teenager listening to music with friends. “Have you heard this?” “Pretty cool, now check this out…” It was a neat social activity and a great way to discover new favorites. Nothing in the digital age has ever quite captured that feeling. I just discovered something that comes close: The Listening Room.
A friend introduced me to the site last night. It’s innovative in one way, but in another, it’s almost old-fashioned. It lets you have that shared musical experience with people you can’t hang out with in person, yet it still feels personal.
Basically, someone starts a listening room and invites people in, who can in turn invite others in. Each person can then upload an mp3 out of his or her collection and it will play once it comes up in the queue. The site makes a little player that looks like a 45 rpm vinyl player. If it can find the album art, that goes on your record as it spins around. Beside the player, there’s a little chat room.
The Listening Room hasn’t been around long and it’s still a bit buggy. It wouldn’t let me upload songs from Rekonq browser (in other ways a very good browser), though Opera worked just fine. Some songs also wouldn’t upload for my friend. It did let us put up some very obscure tracks though. Overall it was definitely worth it. I am impressed.
Give it a spin now so you can be all hip later and say you remember it before it got huge.