The affect of iTunes and Mdns on digital mixing

Now I have my tabletPC up and going again, and survived the move to the darkside (Apple Mac). I reinstalled virtualdj and atomixmp3. First thoughts is how poor atomixmp3 is now compared to virtualdj. Its very cheap and does the job but loop control and beatmatching is really not as tight and flexible as virtualdj. So what's new in virtualdj? well a feature I have not yet tested but have been talking about for ages! Yes you guess right a bpm timecode over the network. Yep at long last its possible to DJ on two or even more separate machines which are networked. Whoooohooo! I'll give it a try today for sure, I'm really hoping its using mdns (zeroconf and rendezvous) instead of some proptery rubbish to connect together the machines. The disadvantage of using mdns of course is that its not portable online which indeed would be useful for remote mixing, but how many people will make use of this feature? I know I certainly could see a great community building on cooperative mixing but dj's are not really into this mix sharing idea. Anyhow the other reason I'm hoping for mdns is so virtualdj can access a iTunes client. Now this may sound like a step too far but I've also been checking out the other mixing software out there. Traxtor DJ studio 2 already reads your itunes playlists so theres no need to make 2 lots of playlists (one of general listening and another mixing). I mean I still dont like iTunes for playing music and podcasts but nothing is even close for arranging and sorting out audio media. I've been sorting out my tunes on the way to work everyday and I dont want to sort out all my playlists, etc. Then have to do the same in virtualdj next week. Its crazy virtualdj hasnt followed traxtor by enabling access to iTunes already. I swear to you this is why open source software is doing such a good job. My next entry will be a set of suggestions for bugfixes and new features in two pieces of open source software. I bet atomix productions will never pick up on this blog entry and still will be using a internal playlist format into late summer.

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.