06 June 2005

Automation Killed the Radio Star

Posted by Jameson Penn
Ultimately, we can expect digital DJs to use file analysis combined with metadata, perhaps with more information like song lyrics and personal listening patterns. But even at this primitive stage of robo-DJ'ing, the results can be amazing.

Yes, I know that my enjoyment comes largely because the universe of songs I'm working from are all self-selected favorites, and I also know that very special transitions seem more significant because I notice them more than the more common, unremarkable segues. Yet surprisingly often, I get the same satori-esque chills that I did in the days when FM DJs were the oracles of the air.

For a little more than 5 years, I've been playing desktop DJ using various computer programs that have run the gamut of the utterly worthless and clunky to the smooth and intuitive. MixMeister, the program I have latched onto for the better part of four and a half years, is by far the best and most versatile pieces of software for which I've become acquainted.

MixMeister gives its users the ability to create and alter mixes based on various factors such as beats per minute (BPM), allowing professional sounding mixes using essentially amateurish tools.

At my peak, I (aka dj connor) was creating a full-length mix cd (80 minutes) nearly every one or two weeks. Admittedly, this was during my college days when time allowed such endeavors. As I have grown up and joined the workforce, I can't possibly devote as much time as before to my home-dj hobby.

I am pleased to see less time-consuming alternatives coming to market, as seen here. While I will never regard MoodLogic or MusicMagicMaker as complete substitutes to my digital dj-ing, it's satisfying to know that I can cater my music on the fly. And with my present position as an ipod-owner, a disc-less world is forever closer.


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