Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Numark iDJ App Review


I don’t usually write app reviews, but this is one I have used a bit and I think it might come in handy for the masses. Today we are looking at Numark’s iDJ app, which allows users to create their own DJ-like music mixes on their iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch.

Numark has been designing and manufacturing DJ equipment for over thirty years, and is probably the biggest player in the industry. So, while it makes sense that they would introduce a DJ app, it also takes away from their core business. Their accountants must have worked overtime to figure out how many apps they could sell versus how much hardware sales they might lose. A funny puzzler, to be sure.

Numark’s intended audience for this is the mainstream music lover, rather than the professional DJ. This app allows folks to create their own seamless and synchronized playlists, so they can liven up their parties or create inspiring workout mixes.

I can also see iDJ being very useful for bands that want to play a mix before a show or while they are on a break between sets. Just run leads from the mixing board to the 1/8-inch jack into an iPad, hit play and go – what could be easier?.

As with any app, the install was easy and iDJ provides a brief tutorial of the program’s highlights the first time it is started. Each track needs to be loaded into the program from iTunes, which takes a while, but I had troubles with loaded songs. About 24% of the track I wanted to put into iDJ would not load at all. There was no rhyme or reason to why they would not load – I had problems with tracks purchased from iTunes and ones loaded from CD. Very frustrating.

iDJ analyzes each song with Numark’s BPM detection technology, and lists the BPM (beats per minute) for each track. This is gold for disc jockeys so they can match up tracks better, because too big of a variance in BOPM between songs can make for awkward transitions and kill the mood the mix was supposed to create.

The user creates their own playlists by dragging songs in and sequencing them to their preference. If the BPM are too far off between tracks, Tempo Graph will warn that the transitions might be too much. There is the option of having the software shuffle the tracks, but what fun is that?

After the mix order is set, just press the “Mix Now” icon, and the iDJ software will go to work by overlapping and beatmatching the tracks. After this operation is completed, the user can view a bar graph that shows the overlap, and allows the user to change the length of the song transitions, and truncate songs to remove long intros or outros.

Overall, the iDJ app works well, and can provide a useable mix that is a lot smoother than just running a playlist directly from iTunes. There have been a few instances where the app crashed on me, but it always started up immediately afterwards. I give it a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10…

The Numark iDJ app is on sale in the App Store for $1.99, so download a copy today and start messing around with it. You will certainly enjoy it for longer than the cup of coffee you could have bought for the same amount of money.


No comments:

Post a Comment