iPod functionality for the hard disk jockey

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May 20, 2006 The march of technology appears to have evolved into a sustained run-like-there’s-no-tomorrow sprint, particularly in the field of music. A few months ago, when we saw the first Numark iDJ, we figured it was pretty cool. The problem was that it didn’t have pitch control, which consigned it to the realms of a jukebox rather than a genuine DJ tool. In the space of six months, Numark has addressed all the shortcomings, at least on paper, and completely redesigned the unit with pitch control and two jog/scratch wheels - and now a lone iPod (or any USB storage device) can provide the music instead of the last version’s two iPod requirement.

Now I must admit the Numark name doesn't exactly fill me with confidence, as their AXIS 8 CD players are perhaps the worst decks I've ever used - so don’t go buying one of these on-line on account of this brief article. Until we know for certain, make sure you get your hands (and ears) on one before you part with any money.

Even if it is as good as the specs indicate, I wouldn’t expect to rock up to play a gig with just an iPod for a while yet. DJ's are a funny lot, and a fair few of them are still having trouble accepting that there are any viable alternatives to vinyl - but as previously mentioned, the acceleration of developing technologies in this field is forcing change, and there’s an increasing number of technically-evolved DJs out there who have hit the limitations of what they can do with CDs – it’s an old format and its time is drawing to a close.

The success of Apple's iTMS, and recently more dance oriented sites such as Addictech and BeatPort that sell music will help to catalyse the change. I know a lot of DJs are using these sites because they can legally obtain a track in very high quality and play it in their set that night. The interesting and most relevant aspect is that the sites are starting to sell digital copies in much higher quality than you can fit on a CD – so devices such as this which accept iPod-sized digital repositories or any USB storage device becomes the only option other than a laptop (and significantly more affordable).

Muchos promising.

and many thanks to Peter at Petersreviews for tipping us off to the fact a new version had appeared.

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