I’m pretty excited today to be reviewing a new social media site that is very close to my heart. Apart from my passion for web design, I LOVE music. I started DJing at a young age and often produce music in my spare time. So when I discovered a social media site based on sharing music with other people, I had to get stuck in.
What is it
Plug.DJ is a Social media site that acts as a virtual club. Users can create rooms and take turns to play music to other users in the room. It’s a platform for new artists, a place to share your favourite song, or a chance to shout about the band you’ve just discovered. Alternatively you can just sit back and listen to some great music. You may even discover your new favourite artist.
How did it all begin?
In my quest to find out more I got in touch with Steven Sacks from Plug.DJ. I was keen to find out how it all began and where the idea came from.
“The site launched on Feb 29th. It was built in 2 months by 2 guys (myself and Nick). I was a DJ for 16 years and I’m a fellow music addict and YouTube/SoundCloud lover. I wanted to bring the analog experience of DJing a party to the digital realm. I also wanted to help burgeoning YouTube and SoundCloud musicians grow their audience and engage their fans in a fun way. And, I wanted to do this internationally from the start. Uniting the world around music.”
If you are a budding musician or fellow enthusiast you will hopefully find this as refreshing as I did. I have actually used the site to play some of my own songs and received a great response. The current community on Plug.DJ seem willing to give newcomers the time of day to promote themselves, something that can’t be said for most social media sites.
How does it work
There are many different elements to how the site works and the below is only a brief overview of what it’s all about. If you want to find out more after reading the article, make sure you sign up.
Points & Characters
When you sign up to Plug.DJ you have to choose a character to represent yourself on the site. As a newcomer you have a limited choice to choose from, but there are many different characters that can be unlocked by earning points (more on this later). The character system is a nice touch, because points are earned by how people react to your choices, you have to work the crowd to unlock the best characters.
Each room has a different theme and different settings chosen by the room’s creator. The settings control who is allowed to DJ and how many songs each DJ can play when it is their turn. The room is set out as a view from behind the DJ booth. The next 4 DJs in the queue are shown in a line to the left of the DJ booth, with all other members of the room standing on the dance floor.
If you would like to DJ you can join the queue to play a song (as long as the DJ booth has been unlocked by the room’s creator). While you are DJing the rest of the room have the ability to vote up or down your choice of song. The more your song is voted up the more points you earn. When a user votes for your song their character acts accordingly, dancing along to song if they like it, or standing still if they don’t.
The playlist editor is very slick, it allows you to search for tracks across YouTube and soundcloud with a single interface. A simple click of the mouse adds a track to your play list. When it is your turn to DJ it will play the first song on your playlist. Once the song has finished it will move the track to the bottom of the play list ready to play the next song. Make sure that you have the correct playlist activated before it’s your turn!
One of my favourite features has to be the chat facility. At first glance it may look like any other real time chat interface. I thought the same at first, until I noticed the subtle but very clever real time translation. I managed to have a full conversation with a French speaking member with both of us talking in different languages, and I didn’t even realise. Plug.DJ translates all recognised languages into your browser language on the fly, eliminating the language barrier.
If you have read this far you probably already know what I think about this site. Plug.DJ scores a out of 5 in my eyes. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s not for everyone, but if you are a music enthusiast or artist you will love plug.dj. The idea is excellent and the execution can’t be faulted. I am very impressed with how slick the interface is and how easy it is to find and play songs.
The site is also great for discovering new music. While writing this review I have had plug.DJ running in the background and have already discovered a few artists that I want to hear more from.
This leads me onto why I think the site can only be a good thing for the music industry. There are a lot of people that are against music being so accessible on the internet. Piracy is obviously a big issue in the music industry but I think sites like Plug.DJ boost an artist’s fan base and increase awareness. The social element is especially important for me. Being able to discuss a track with others whilst it’s playing brings the whole experience to life and allows you to share opinion.
The user base on plug.dj at the moment is quite small, as far as social media sites go, but I really hope that it continues to grow in popularity. They have already clocked some impressive stats since their launch in February. With over 250,000 videos played, over 2.5 million votes cast and over 4 million view to YouTube and Soundcloud. I hope the trend continues and the site is supported by record labels and artists alike.
That’s enough of me talking, head on over to www.Plug.DJ and let me know what you think in the comments. What have you got to lose?