iPad Wedding DJ

Post by Steve Vlaminck

iPad Wedding DJ
I’m a newlywed, and my one responsibility for the wedding (short of showing up on time in my suit) was to handle the music at the reception. Which is good, because that’s really the only thing that I could possibly contribute.

I instantly decided against hiring a DJ, because paying someone a bunch of money, telling him exactly which songs to play and which songs not to play didn’t sound worth it to me. I also decided against using an iPod, mostly because I don’t have one, but also because we allowed people to request songs on our wedding website, and we got a lot of requests for songs that we didn’t already own. Not wanting to buy all of those songs (some of which I would definitely NEVER listen to again), I decided my iPad would be our DJ and I would use a music streaming app.

Which to Choose?
My first plan was to make my playlists in Rdio, syncing them to my iPad so I wouldn’t have to worry about internet connectivity. All was well until I got requests for songs that Rdio doesn’t have. Rdio can match your local files, but it only adds the songs Rdio has; the rest get ignored. This is when I realized Rdio is the worst… except for everything else.

Spotify allows you to play your local files through their player so I bought a subscription and gave up on Rdio. After re-creating my playlists in Spotify, I downloaded their app on my iPad. At the time they didn’t have an iPad compatible app. (They released that about a week after my wedding. Seriously.) Their iPhone app looked funny on the iPad, but at least it would work. The only problem I had syncing local files to the mobile app was with the song She Moves In Her Own Way by The Kooks. Spotify has an acoustic version of the album, but not the original release. The album and all the songs are named the same, but the songs are different and even the song times are different, but that wasn’t enough. When I tried to sync the original release of the song to my iPad, Spotify kept giving me the acoustic version. I ended up renaming the song to get it to sync. Pretty annoying.

And then there’s crossfading. If there’s one feature on all music players that I rarely use, it’s crossfade. I don’t really care for it, but when you need it, you REALLY need it. If there is a second of silence on the dance floor, people will sit down. Well, guess what the Spotify app couldn’t do? (And yes, to answer the question you’re no doubt asking, the version they released a week later can do it. SERIOUSLY?!) The desktop version of Spotify had the crossfade feature though. It wasn’t looking very good for the iPad.

Bummer… Except Not Really
I begrudgingly came to the conclusion that my only remaining option was to give up on the iPad and use Spotify on a computer. Having to open it to change playlists would be annoying, but for better functionality, it would be necessary. But because I was already using my computer for our photo booth, it meant I had to borrow one. Fortunately, there was no shortage of MacBook Pros among my friends.

In the end, the music worked out great. I’d definitely recommend Spotify for DJ purposes, especially now that they’ve released their iPad-friendly app. And did I mention that it came out a week after my wedding? I did? Well… that really sucked.

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