Whether you are just starting out or have been playing live for many years, I’m sure you realize the importance of having music. After all, you can’t DJ without music ... people need sound to dance to ... even in silent discos :)
If you’re anything like me then at times you will struggle to keep up dated on new releases and find it difficult to sift through available tracks to find the gems you’re looking for. Let’s take a look at some of the issues that you may be facing:
• You have a large collection already of the music genre you wish to play, yet they are over a decade old and you’re struggling to find something recent that gives you the same feeling as the tracks from back in the day.
• You’re not sure where to sample or buy music from.
• You’re playing gigs weekly so you need to have new material all the time, and it seems like a full-time job doing this preparation.
• You’ve found some websites to buy music from but there are soooo many tracks ... you’re not sure how you will filter through them all and find the hidden gems.
• You’ve found tracks you want to buy but it’s becoming very expensive.
• You have a long folder of MP3s on your computer and have difficulty finding the tracks you want.
Ok, so let’s tackle the obvious question first ... where do you buy music from? These days pretty much everything has become digital and there are many websites out there with the latest releases you can buy in MP3 format. Following are some sites that I use:
http://www.audiojelly.com – This site lets you sample tracks (very important), view its waveform, has a Top 100 list, has a New Releases list and lets you browse by genre or perform a custom search.
http://www.trackitdown.net – This site has a pretty cool player with playlist, easy navigation for different genres, easy access to different mixes of a track and good descriptions of the tracks.
http://mp3skyline.com – Although you can browse for tracks on the site, you need to download/ install a Java application locally to interact with the music library ... perform searches, sample and download (you buy credit into your account to purchase tracks until your credit runs out). The application will store all downloads in a convenient location so you can re-download quickly and for free in the future. On the website you can also search by ‘last added’ date and ... my personal favourite ... access RSS feeds of your genres so you can keep updated via your RSS reader of latest tracks.
There are many more out there ... yet these work well for me. Google searching will give you a lot more. Test out different sites so you know the cost differences, how up-to-date their libraries are, what the purchasing process is (e.g. pay per track or pay to receive credits), whether you can access your download history and perform a repeat download without re-paying, whether you can skip through the sample so you don’t have to wait to get into the main part of the track, and so on.
Once you have found your preferred sites, you now want an automatic way of keeping updated on new releases. There are a few options here:
• Facebook / Twitter – Most of the sites that sell tracks will have Twitter feeds and Facebook pages you can join to keep updated with latest releases.
• Join the site’s mailing list to be emailed weekly with tracks in your preferred genre(s). Some mailing lists also give you tracks that are in DJ playlists so you know what’s hot right now.
• Use the search features on the site to order by latest releases (or other filters that you prefer, such as if you’re looking for tracks by a particular artist).
One last thing I’ll mention regarding keeping costs low ... on some sites I’ve seen tracks that are new cost more than older tracks. If it isn’t urgent for you to be playing the latest releases, an option is to hold back and buy music let’s say with a release date of 3 months ago or older.
Next time we will discuss what to do with your purchases and good ways of organizing everything to save on time so you are in control of your music ... not the other way around.
Written by Etchy Boy!