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Turntable.fm: we’re working on the connection glitches

If you’ve been using Turntable.fm over the last few days, you know that the system has been freezing and crashing a lot, certainly on Firefox and Chrome browsers. Some DJs are losing their connections, chat messages are lagging or not posting, and users are being dropped out of rooms.

The tt.fm blog has an update on that situation. “We are very aware of these issues and are doing everything that we can to try to fix them as quickly as possible to get Turntable back to normal,” the post says.

We initially thought that the problem was caused by either the new server we added in anticipation of the iPhone client launch, or by the change in traffic characteristics that resulted from the iPhone clients. We use software that allows us to serve thousands of clients from one machine, but that sort of software tends to have problems when any of those clients are slow or block. We dug into it more, though, and realized that this wasn’t the problem that we’re experiencing.

We believe that the problems we have been seeing are all manifestations of the same issue but, unfortunately, we have had a harder time trying to track it down than we anticipated. Since we ruled out other suspected causes we’ve been poring through bug reports and server logs, dumping TCP traffic, debugging code on both the client-side and backend and working with authors of third-party libraries. We think that we are narrowing in on the problem, gradually shrinking the size of the haystack.

Despite these glitches, I still love tt.fm and am using it anyway. On the positive side, the site has posted several new features since last I checked its lobby page. The most interesting is a “DJs needed” tab that tells you how many open DJ spots there are in any particular room, and links you to the venue in question. It also lets you know what’s playing at any given moment in the room, and how many users are listening.

My audit of the search tool indicates that it is pretty accurate. Of course, if you just leave the page up as is, it will become outdated soon (so reload as necessary).

BTW: one of the hottest places on Turntable.fm right now is the mashup room organized by the sosimpull mashup group. One of its principals, Aaron Ho, sent me an update the other day:

“We now have Pro Djs coming in daily,” Ho wrote.  “I would say 40% of the songs that are played are now from artists that actually visit the room.  This is really cool as it is kinda what turntable is designed for.  Many fans of mashup can now meet the mashup artists that create their music.  They can say hi love your music you should mix this song into a mashup.  It’s kinda cool.  Plus a lot of callobs are starting to happen as djs are starting to make introductions.”


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