Djing with the Ipad?

The internet is heating up with news about the Ipad, Apple’s new touch screen interface. Between rave reviews from some and boo’s from others that are calling it a giant iphone- you are probably wondering, but can I dj with it?  Lets take a look at what might actually be possible with the new ipad, and if it cant replace your dj laptop- perhaps it might be the low cost touch controller you have been waiting for?



Here are a few of the key features that are dj friendly:

  • 10 hour battery life means you can play without being plugged in at all.
  • Multi touch screen means lemur qualities without the lemur price
  • one model boasts a 64 GB hard drive which can hold a fairly large dj set.
  • some models will cost as little as $500 (WI-Fi model with 16gb)
  • 1GHZ processor is not blazing but might be enough to play a few dj tracks (but nothing too complex like keylock)
  • Light and very portable, 1.5 pounds, 9.56 x 7.47 x 0.5 inches.
  • Third party hardware developers will be able to create sound card breakouts that improve the audio quality. Comes with a 1/8th” standard headphone out.



No Standard Ports

third party hardware developers will need to pay apple high royaltys to develop products for the platform. This will drive up costs and limit development. A USB port would have solved most of this.
No SDK access to iTunes library

The ipad has the same closed audio architecture as the ipod and only apple programs can access the Itunes generated playlists and songs. This means a dj program on the ipad must access songs loaded onto the hard-drive and wont be able to read your playlists. Gizmodo reports:

“Unlike the iPhone, the iPad does seem to have some shared storage aside from the photo roll. The newly released SDK reveals that when you connect an iPad to a PC or Mac, part of it—a partition, maybe?—mounts as a shared documents folder.”

not ideal, but it is a potential work around.

There is no RAM

Audio will be written and read from the flash drives directly. While solid state drives are blazing fast, can they deal with highly demanding audio process like djing on their own? We really have no idea- but suspect it might be a stretch. These are designed to stream one song at a time, not four with keylock and effects.



Its highly unlikely the Ipad offering will come close to replacing your laptop anytime soon. It is however very realistic that third party developers will port over in-expensive touch apps that will transform this low cost device into a very handy touch screen controller. The trouble remains getting that control data to the computer over bluetooth or wifi without dropouts or latency. This certainly is an exciting announcement for the computer world but not quite the groundbreaking news for djs that some might have hoped.

Looking for more information? Here are few interesting articles on the I-Pad subject.

GIZMODO  “8 Things that Suck About the iPad”

Create Digital Music How A Great Product Can Be Bad News: Apple, iPad, and the Closed Mac

Wolfire Blog “Web applications on the iPad”

Wired   “Apple iPad’s Display Is More Like a TV Than a Laptop”

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