I'm not a DJ! I've never DJ'd a party beyond creating a playlist and letting it play. However, I do enjoy a good mix and I'm always fascinated when a good DJ can come up with great mixes. You've probably seen the latest iPad TV commercials featuring the Djay App. I also saw this company exhibiting at Macworld Expo this year. So I decided to amuse myself with a download of the App to see how it worked. Although I have no aspirations of being a DJ, I have to admit that I had a ball playing with this App the from the minute I downloaded it.
How does it work?
djay uses the (non-DRM) music in your music library on your iPad. It can access your songs, artists or existing playlists. You pick the first song and it loads onto the first turntable and starts spinning/playing. You'll hear it via the iPad speaker or you can plug in a set of speakers/headphones. It also works with AirPlay. At any point you can load (cue) the second song onto the second turntable. You have a crossfade slider which gives you the ability to crossfade over to the next song whenever you want. Each song has its on controls and you can even speed up or slow down the track. The interface is very easy to use and figure out without any instructions. There's even an Automix feature that will choose the next track for you. No guarantees though that the auto selected track will be to your liking You can even record your mix! This would allow you to create a mix and perfect it and then use that recorded mix for your next party, gathering and let it play while you enjoy the party/event.
To really make this work well
The biggest problem with the App is that in a real world scenario the DJ would have a set of headphones so that he/she could cue up the next song at a specific point to mix. This is not really possible with the iPad itself because you only have one speaker/headphone jack. There is a solution though it requires an additional hardware purchase. The App has the ability to split the the sound from each turntable to separate channels. All you would need is a couple of low cost adapters to make it work. First you'd need a low cost splitter like this one. Then you'd need two stereo to mono adapters like this one. With these adapters and turning on "Split Output" on in the App you would then be able to have audio go out to your speakers from the currently playing track and the cueing of the next track out to your headphones. I'm waiting for my adapters to arrive so I haven't been able to test that, but I don't doubt that it would work.
The Bottom Line
This App is a LOT OF FUN! Yes you can even do some scratching without replacing needles and vinyl While the use of the audio adapters probably works well for cueing, I'd love to see the ability to have headphones plugged in for cueing while the main track is playing via AirPlay. This may not be technically possible due to the restrictions in the SDK/iPad hardware, but it would be very cool to have that. Otherwise, if you're into music and want to have total control over the mixing whether it be at a live event or producing a recording for you next project or event, this is a must have App!