How many of you can play a CD at an event?

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DJ Extraordinaire
ODJT Supporter
Oct 16, 2011
I'm asking this question because my friend told me about what happened at an event last month that the organizers and a performer complained about. This guy was to sing some songs and he had a CD he wanted the DJ to play so he could sing those songs.

The DJ didn't have a way to play the CD and they were highly upset. I know the singer and I told my friend to tell him to get a flash drive and put the songs on the drive that he wants played.

To answer the question I could be able to do it. I would either have to bring the CD drive I bought to use with the latest laptop I bought or use the one I put to back up because it has a built in CD drive. If I were using my main laptop and didn't have the the CD drive with me to hookup to the laptop that doesn't have a built-in CD drive, I would have to switch laptops.

Now I know most people don't even think of using CD's anymore to play music. I still have a radio in my van that I can play CD's or a flash drive.

Now I told my friend they dropped the ball in my opinion, not the DJ. They should have conveyed to the DJ that someone was going to sing a few songs and the songs were going to be on a CD.
That sort only a point if you deal with clients that are far back in technology. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone with a CD in 20 years. It’s so old technology. Really what I’d do is just download the songs if I didn’t have them. Now if they gave the CD to me beforehand or let me know beforehand I could bring my external CD-ROM drive. There is a whole list of media I don’t play anymore, Cassette, DAT, VHS, Reel to Reel, Laserdisc. I just don’t see them anymore. But my Outdoor Movie system does have the ability to play CDs in the Blu-ray players.

Very likely the scenario you run into now is they have it on their phone and want that played.
I personally know who was the organizer of the event. The event was at the Brownstone in Paterson, NJ. My best friends brother was the one that organized the event, along this promoter I know. It was $75 a person to attend the event. Both are older gentlemen than automatically feel the DJ should have had a way to play a CD.

I had to find out when I bought the newer laptop I bought they don't make them with CD drawers any more. For me I didn't like that. The laptop is a Lenovo and I bought it from Micro Center brand new. I have adjusted to it not having a CD drawer. It is what it is. Today people will come up to the DJ with either their phone or a flash drive for the DJ to play music from.
I can't play a CD at an event. I also can't play one in my car...

I could connect bluetooth to their phone if I had to and they had the file. Or I can use my phone as a hotspot and download something for them as long as I have cell service. But if you show up and need me to play a CD, I no longer have a way to do it.
I can't play a CD at an event. I also can't play one in my car...

I could connect bluetooth to their phone if I had to and they had the file. Or I can use my phone as a hotspot and download something for them as long as I have cell service. But if you show up and need me to play a CD, I no longer have a way to do it.

Yeah, that is all on the guest/person with this request. They should be prepared with at least a flash drive in addition to their CD if they want to make sure the songs they have can be played. I can understand the person being upset if this was like 2010, but CDs are completely out of date at this point.

If I knew ahead of time from the client, I could easily bring my CD Mix Bluetooth which has a dual CD deck, or a single disc CD Player. I have ways of playing a CD. I just NEVER bring this equipment with me to my events any more. Both my of current laptops do not have a CD Rom either.
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My older laptop has a DVD ROM and also have a external DVD ROM but I think I may have been asked once in the last 10 years to play a CD. I'm not a real big fan of putting in a thumb drive in my performance laptop I generally will put it in the backup and scan it first but even that is rare these days. Much more often someone will bring up a phone. Most times I have the song but when I don't I connect mine on DND rather than use theirs
I Can. Gigging laptop has CD/DVD drive. Also, on occasion I use Numark CD Mix-2 which has double CD drawers. I use a Gigaport AG connected to Laptop via Aux input.
I won't say CDs are completely obsolete. You can still buy blank CDs and go online to buy a CD. Like I said I can play a CD in my van. I have not totally given up on CDs. Since I brought this up I will purposely bring my external CD drive with me from now on just in case if needed. I have a USB hub that I can hookup several devices using USB. I certainly understand that it's rare I will need to use it. Just for those times it is needed.
Sorry I forgot one more thing. My friend who DJs has his mentor who still uses CDs to DJ with. My friend used to use CDs until I convinced him how much more convenient and easier to use a laptop, controller and portable HD. He was just like me. I was never going to convert to being a computer DJ. I was worried about how was I going to locate songs to play. I knew where to find a certain song in one of my CD books. My partner pushed me to become a computer DJ and I'm so glad he did. I will never go back to using CDs to DJ with.
Let me say this and this is not a knock on modern technology. The way some things are done now a client and their guests think a DJ should be able to get any song at anytime no matter what. If a DJ can't get a certain song on the fly then they can't be a good DJ.

What I'm talking about is being spoiled. I started in this business in 81. At the time there were no active speakers, controllers, a DJ using a laptop to DJ with and no getting music off line. At that time no DJ had a website. No having music on a HD or other device.

At the time you used speakers and an amp to power the speakers. DJs used turntables with a mixer and you had to go to a record store to get your music. You had to have enough records to do an event. At that time we used crates to put records in and you had to carry them with you to do an event. That meant also having several crates of records. If you didn't have a song to play at an event that was just too bad. If it was a must have song you better sure get it.

Again modern technology has made things easier and I understand you should keep up with the new technology. Not every DJ is able to do this.
I do not have a cd player of any sort that I take to events. However, if I was made aware of the request by the client beforehand, I would. On the fly, nope. My reply would be the same as Albatross on this one. Show me what you want played... I'd do my best (if internet connectivity is available) to meet their needs.
They started pulling the CD drives out of laptops about 5 years ago. The regular laptops lost them first, then the gaming laptops. My 5 year old gaming laptop has a DVD reader/writer and the laptop before that a Blu-ray drive. I had completely forgot that, my son remind me. They dropped the drives to make the laptops thinner. Before that some machines people popped out the CD drive and put in a second drive. But S/W now is all downloads so you don’t need it for had. Most listen to music streamed, on their phone or of a SD stick. It doesn’t really make sense going through the whole process to make CD for 80 mins for music when you can put 20 times or more on a 16GB stick just by dragging the files. Try putting a 2 or 4 hr mix on a CD. The funny thing is Best Buy removed CDs years ago but then brought back a small vinyl section with ridiculously priced stuff.
I've been the DJ for many events like this. The organizer needs to coordinate with the DJ and have all performers provide their music on the same format. Communication is key.
My laptop can play CDs.
Easily could have been avoided with a few minute talk with the customer. It's the difference between professionalism & amateurism.
While I agree with you I believe they just assumed the DJ could do it and would have the tools to do it. Myself if they didn't tell me this upfront I wouldn't assume I needed to bring something to play a CD unless I knew the client personally.
Easily could have been avoided with a few minute talk with the customer. It's the difference between professionalism & amateurism.

Not necessarily. I have had this same issue before depending on the event your client my not know this is needed and may expect that you will have the tools on hand to do this
I still have a Gemini CDMP-1400 in my main rig. It can play a CD or USB drive. It only occupies one rack space and the main reason it is still there these days is for the extra mic input it provides. I also have a CD Walkman-style player that is in one of my travel bags that I can plug into my small rig via a 3.5mm TRS cable. I can't recall the last time I played a CD at a party. I'm guessing it has been more than 10 years by now.