iPause? iFade?
September 29, 2005 12:26 AM   Subscribe

I'm DJ'ing Thursday with my shiny new iPod nano. Only problem is, Apple doesn't see it fit to include neat playlist options such as fadeouts or 2 to 10 second delays (this is important for what I'm doing.) Help!

I'm doing this at a ballroom dance so it's critical the salsa doesn't blare on the instant the couples are finishing the romantic waltz. The crappy way around this problem is adding five seconds or so of lag time to the end of each mp3. But I'd really rather not do that 60 times a week.
posted by Happydaz to Technology (15 answers total)
...or you could make one mp3 of 5 seconds of silence, and play it after every song.
posted by Jairus at 12:44 AM on September 29, 2005

use an actual ipod or other device that supports the features that you're looking for.
posted by angry modem at 1:09 AM on September 29, 2005

...also, you could actually rent proper DJ gear.
posted by Jairus at 1:14 AM on September 29, 2005

If you're DJing, can't you just hit pause between tracks and do fadeouts manually? That is, after all, a DJ's job.
posted by wackybrit at 2:56 AM on September 29, 2005

Best answer: use an actual ipod or other device that supports the features that you're looking for.

Unless I'm mistaken, full-size iPods cannot do what he wants either. It's been a long-standing gripe of iPod audiophiles (and non-iPod audiophiles who find such a lack enough of a bother to make them use some other player; which IMHO is just silly).

However, iTunes proper _will_ do what you want, Happydaz, at least the fadeout stuff. No chance of using a laptop to DJ?

Finally: yea, I agree with wackybrit...you could just use that nice scroll wheel to accomplish fadeouts and pauses between tracks, and it wouldn't be all that difficult :)
posted by cyrusdogstar at 5:18 AM on September 29, 2005

You could burn the whole playlist to audio CDs. Itunes allows you to specify the number of seconds of silence between songs.
posted by kdern at 5:47 AM on September 29, 2005

Seconding cyrusdogstar -- Won't you need TWO iPods and a DJ mixer to do this?

Your other option is a laptop running iTunes. Party shuffle + the automatic crossfades works great for low-imapct stuff, but if you want to keep people dancing, you're going to produce some floor-clearing trainwrecks.
posted by omnidrew at 7:31 AM on September 29, 2005

You have a couple options:

1. Use the scroll wheel to actually 'fade' the tracks in and out.

2. Bring your laptop and use iTunes. iTunes makes a great low-tech DJ tool; just turn on crossfading and rearrange the playlist on the fly. Or don't use crossfades--just fade out with the keyboard, hit space to pause, hit space to start.

3. You won't regret using real DJ gear, i.e., a board with two inputs and two audio sources -- two CD players, or an iPod and a CD player, etc. This will also allow you to use the mic and to preview the next song.
posted by josh at 7:31 AM on September 29, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks for all the suggestions. I might go with the 5 second mp3 of silence. Unfortunately, as this is an unpaid gig (except that I don't have to pay cover, whohoo) I can't really rent DJ equipment for it. However, long term getting a board seems to be a good plan. Why couldn't the iPod just include the option of a delay between tracks? Bah.
posted by Happydaz at 8:05 AM on September 29, 2005

Or combine all the songs using audacity into one long song with all of the fades included.
posted by craniac at 8:18 AM on September 29, 2005

The abrupt ends and beginnings of songs, and the lack of a cross-fading option will DESTROY any mojo you manage to get going with your music choices, no question. There's a reason DJ gear exists: it's to make the transitions smooth and non-intrusive to the listening crowd.

Construction analogy: You can have 40 feet of beautifully laid sheetrock, but the eye is instantly drawn to the one poorly taped seam. Same thing in music - it's the transitions that complete the effect, or utterly crush it.

I know this sounds extreme, but you can either take my word for it, or learn for yourself through several dozen excruciating pauses in the music during your evening.

Josh (above) has the right idea. Even the smallest mixer (doesn't have to be a DJ mixer - anything will do) will allow you to manually fade the music out right near the end of a song, say something witty (or not) into a microphone, then fade up the next song in a pleasing manner. World of difference from "song ends at full volume - silence - next song starts at full volume". Seriously.
posted by Aquaman at 9:05 AM on September 29, 2005

I think your best bet is to use a program (no suggestions, sorry) that will let you mix the songs and create one big mp3 file-- or, if you are going to have breaks, several big mp3 files, each ending where you want to have your break.

I use my iPod to DJ my college radio show, and I am also frustrated by this, but it isn't as much of a big deal on the radio, methinks.
posted by synecdoche at 9:15 AM on September 29, 2005

another ipod dj question.
posted by hellbient at 10:16 AM on September 29, 2005

As Aquaman said, you need a simple, small mixer.
posted by wsg at 10:52 AM on September 29, 2005

Response by poster: Well, the DJing went really well. Thanks everyone for the comments - those mp3s of silence were terrific, especially when I wanted to change the playlist on the fly (it's not easy as a DJ dancing and then trying to get back to my iPod before it shuffles on to the wrong song.) Anyway, thanks AskMe! <3
posted by Happydaz at 8:16 AM on September 30, 2005

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