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Easy MP3 wedding mix?
May 16, 2010 2:32 PM   Subscribe

Friend's having an iPod wedding. How to export playlists as single, crossfaded (possibly beatmatched) files?

Ideally he'd want to make a few different 60 - 90 minute mixes -- "dinner", "cocktail hour", "dancing", so on.

Is there a (possibly freeware) program where he can plug in his mp3 playlist and the thing will mix it all into a single, crossfaded, beatmatched file?

I read on another message board about a guy doing exactly this. But I can't locate that post anymore.

Surely this is a common-enough thing that there'd be a utility out there for it?

I searched older questions and everything was from '06 or '07 so I'm guessing there's some new software out there.
posted by meadowlark lime to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
Just use a 2sec crossfade across the board. Only rude people are gonna care.

I don't know of an automatic beat-matching DJ app. Maybe Mixx is scriptable.
posted by rhizome at 4:01 PM on May 16, 2010


Advice from the impromptu DJ (read: plugged in iPod and pressed pause a few times) at a friend's wedding, it works a LOT better just to have separate playlists with the individual songs in case there is some sort of an accidental bump or power surge or something, which would cause the song (which could be like, what? 30 songs long?) to start over again.

Also, secondary advice, have a backup iPod with the exact same playlists in case someone accidentally spills a glass of champagne on the DJ.
posted by banannafish at 4:36 PM on May 16, 2010


Check Winamp plugins. I seem to recall there being some plugins that do crossfading.
posted by pyro979 at 6:32 PM on May 16, 2010


First, a side note to pyro: Winamp (at least in recent versions) can do crossfading by default, without any plugins — bring up the EQ screen with Alt+G and there should be a crossfade off/on switch and a duration slider above the EQ itself.

To address the main question, a couple of thoughts:

Automated beat-matching is getting better all the time, but still usually needs some human input to sound "right." In that regard, rhizome is right on the money in saying that a fixed-length crossfade should be fine. (Alternately, no crossfade may even be necessary, depending on your songs and/or preferences.)

bananafish is also wise to point out the benefits of keeping songs separate. However, if you end up with a single-file crossfaded track, you could compose a cue sheet for the track. Various players, VLC being the first that comes to mind, can then use this file to identify and skip to various points in the file. However, a quick search suggests that iPods don't have any way of using cue sheets, so if this is literally an iPod DJ situation, this solution won't work.

Finally, while I like to think of myself as reasonably handy with audio production and software, I don't think I know of a terribly easy way to make this mondo file. The best thing that comes to mind is to treat it the way I'd treat one of my mixtapes: combine the files in some sort of audio editor, like Audacity or Reaper, and use that software to crossfade between tracks. (Of course, by that point in one of my mixtapes, I'd be working on more interesting transitions. But that's irrelevant.) As to an automated solution...I'm sorry to say I can't think of anything quicker.

[tl;dr]

Beat-matching is tough, you may want to give up on that. You could use an audio editor to combine the files, but that's not a terribly automated solution. Perhaps someone else has a clever idea?
posted by hatta at 8:29 PM on May 16, 2010


Also, by AskMeFi's suggestion, this post may have some useful pointers to automated digital DJ software. YMMV
posted by hatta at 8:33 PM on May 16, 2010


Ha! That was my question :)

I used Mixmeister Pro in the end. It can mix tracks together automatically and perform pretty reasonable beat matching. It's also smart enough to cross fade at the right points in a song - so it's not restricted to the last x seconds of the track, which may be rather dull for listening to/mixing away from.

It can export the mp3's as either a single file or one per song. Only downside is that it isn't free.
posted by mr_silver at 6:16 AM on May 17, 2010


If you're handy with Python you could use the Echo Nest remix API for beat matching. The new capsule feature looks like exactly what you're looking for.
posted by soplerfo at 6:15 PM on May 17, 2010


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