Chances are you have heard of Rana Sobhany, the self-proclaimed “first iPad DJ” who is officially “blowing up” after this video started going viral. She has landed a high-end agent, several interviews, and pending gigs after only DJing for three weeks even though it may just be a publicity push for the iPad. We first caught wind of this before Gizmodo picked it up but I declined to publish based on the simple fact that she was not actually doing any DJing and quite frankly, the whole situation was kind of irritating (generally decent grounds for dismissal). The tech press, on the other hand, ran with the story and the resulting discussion has brought up some interesting questions about DJing with the iPad.
Publicity stunts aside, the concept of actually DJing with iPads is compelling and based on first reactions, the non-DJing audience clearly likes the idea. One of the major barriers to professional acceptance of controllers is that the public can’t relate and still has the image of a DJ with turntables ingrained in their heads. Until recently, many DJs felt that unless they are playing with turntables or something very “turntable”-like, they would not be perceived as real DJs.
Thanks to minority report and two years of iPhone domination, the general public completely understands the idea of touch interfaces and is clearly comfortable with seeing performers use them. This may lead to a much faster adoption of these concepts by pros. The real question this begs though- is the technology even there yet?
Turning it over to you.
For today’s subject, I am going to throw out the following question to the well-informed Dj TechTools community so you contribute your knowledge and opinions in the comments. Think of this as an experiment in which the readers write the rest of article.
“Is the iPad ready to be used as a self-contained DJ tool? What are known limits of the technology, and what can it do well?”
Together with our own research, we will compile your feedback into an article on Monday about the basic facts on DJing with the iPad.
I will open up the flood gates by throwing out some open questions:
- How good is the processor really? How much audio can it process?
- Will it be possible to create audio extension hardware?
- Like the iPod, will programs not have access to tracks in iTunes?
- How stable and reliable is the hard drive?