Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Day 327: It never rains but it pours - More iPhone DJ apps

There has been much promise, and finally after a long wait, it looks like the flood gates are going to open for fully fledged DJ apps on the iPhone.

Not one but two for you right here. (Don't forget Quixpin too which we covered here).

First up is Touch DJ by Amido. This app has a slick looking interface and promises a whole bunch of features. In fact when I was watching the video below I started thinking maybe the Pacemaker was getting a run for it's money. Then I remembered 2 basic yet fundamental flaws that will plague any iPhone DJ app.

Firstly that there is only one audio out. All the apps I have seen so far, Touch DJ included, avoid this problem by splitting the stereo into two separate channels. One side for headphones, the other for master out.

Touch DJ also tries to avoid this by inventing something called 'Visual Mixing'. The basic idea being that you visually match the peaks in the waveforms, thus getting the track in time, before bringing it into the post fader mix.

While this seems clever enough, for me I like to hear my mix before I bring them in. It'd be a constant source of surprises just to do it visually. Plus it doesn't cater for anything like vocals that might be present in the mix etc etc.

The second limitation is that, ridiculously, yet sadly not surprisingly, Apple restrict access to the music library on the phone. I know! I mean that's part of the point. So, what this means then is that any tunes you want to DJ with must be uploaded separately into a dedicated location, separate from the iPod functionality.

These limitations aside, this app looks pretty smart, and has some nice effects, and interface. Touch DJ is available now for $20/£11.99 via iTunes.

Next up is the splendidly named Sonorasaurus this app takes a horizontal view giving a more 'DJ console' view.

Also with the same hardware and manufacturer (ie Apple) restrictions, the tunes have to be uploaded separately via a built in http server. Again much the same in terms of functionality. The interface looks slightly less glossy, but more crammed in, and the app is just half the price at £5.

I'm not sure I'll be packing away my Pacemaker just yet, but if you are an iPhone/Touch owner, and want an application to mess about with then these look great. They are a fraction of the cost of the afore mentioned Pacemaker, but when you can't even do something as simple as play a track in Stereo, or monitor your mix, you start to see the fundamental restrictions of the platform.




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