I’ve spent a good portion of the last few days on Turntable, the new social DJ service that allows anyone to be a virtual DJ, pulling from a licensed catalog of over 11 million songs. Right now, access is limited to those who have Facebook friends who are already on the service and access is known to open and close at random intervals.

Turntable itself is pretty simple. You can join any number of rooms (or create your own) and listen to music selected by the DJs playing in that room. You can vote each track played as “Awesome” or “Lame,” but you don’t have to vote. Marking it as “Awesome” will give a “DJ point” to the DJ who played it, while “Lame” does not take away a point. There is a meter at the bottom of the room which shows you what the overall sentiment of the room is toward the song. You can also “fan” your favorite DJs and be notified when they start DJing again in the future.

You can fan any member, even if they don’t DJ. The main homepage, displaying the list of rooms, will first list all of the rooms that feature people that you are a fan of. So, you can listen to what your friends are listening to, or go to where they are DJing.

Rooms can have as many as 5 DJs and if there is a slot open, you can join. The DJ who has been in the room longest is the moderator of the room and has some basic moderator functionality, like being able to kick other DJs out of the room. From my experience, this is rarely used. If you want to be a DJ, but are scared of jumping into a room with listeners, you can always start your own to get a feel for how the service works.

As I write this post, I am DJing in the WDS Disco Party room. WDS is short for WebDevStudios.com, which is a WordPress focused web development company founded by my friend Brad Williams and his business partner Brian Messenlehner. Both of them are DJing with me, as is Eric Andrew Lewis, who is a web developer for the company. April Heline, Brad’s fiancee and Operations Manager for WDS, was DJing earlier and is now listening. Other WDS employees have also been in and out, DJing and listening, like Justin Sternberg, Marx Jordan Benzon and Chris Cochran.

I wrote this entire post as I was sitting in the room, listening and DJing. Mostly we’re just hanging out, listening to music and exchanging the occasional chat message via the built in chat room, as we go about our day and get our work done.

There are many more active rooms, but that is one part of the experience – the pursuit of popularity and points and fans. I can see that being a very engaging experience. But, I am in the WDS room because it’s a social experience, hanging out and sharing music with people you know. I had heard of the service maybe 10 days or so ago, but made the leap after I saw Hannah Keys of Skimlinks tweet that she was in a room, DJing and playing Diddy/Dirty Money. The combination of Hannah and Diddy/Dirty Money tempted me just enough – and I’m glad it did.

Whenever I have joined in, in other rooms, usually at least one person says hello and, if there is a spot open to DJ, they invite me up to DJ. I have yet to hear anyone tell me that the song I chose “sucked,” though I am sure that happens. Overall, my experience is that it is a very friendly, inviting community that is being built around a fun idea.

One of the things that makes Turntable cool to me is it is licensed and legal. That’s one of the things that has prevented me from doing this type of thing in the past. They allow music upload, as well, but it is unclear to me how MediaNet’s license relates to the uploading of music, so I am hesitant to upload anything until I know it is 100% OK.

Not only are they building a great community on Turntable, but I feel like it is a great opportunity for other websites and communities to use Turntable to further build their community. For example, I author a music blog, Bad Boy Blog, focused at a particular record label. I am already planning to do a DJ set on Turntable soon, inviting my readers to listen in and make requests. But, I can see plenty of other websites and organizations using this as a fun way to interact with their audiences, even if they have nothing to do with music.

Turntable is building something really cool, something that is very community oriented. If you are a music lover, you should check it out.