Using streaming on gigs

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rickryan.com

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For the longest time, I've been dead-set against using streaming at a DJ gig. Obviously, it used to have issues with stutter but in recent years, and especially with spotify, it seem as long as you have anywhere near a good data connection that you never see drop-outs or stutters. This past weekend, I picked up a member event at a local country club. The patrons were all 70-ish in age (50 people) and we asking for older cuts that I didn't have in my library. Rather than buy the track(s) (what I normally do), I used by iphone to play off spotify. The result? Seamless audio, the patrons got what they wanted and I didn't have any extra costs from buying material that I may never use again.

Wondering where you guys stand on streaming these days?
 

rickryan.com

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I would only use it, in the case of an emergency. If it was a very important song that I didn't have for some reason, or I was having a problem with playing,. Even in that case, I would probably use mobile data over streaming.
Agreed on any major event song. I still won't use it. But for general (low risk) stuff, I'm changing my tune a bit.
 

Scott Hanna

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I have zero problems with streaming when needed.

The issues I've had is not knowing signal strength....and even if I did, can I ALWAYS count on it?

Also, am I streaming the right version?

I did a birthday party recently where a number of songs were older ones I didn't have. I made a playlist on Spotify, downloaded it to both iPad and iPhone. Was about 20 songs I didn't have. I probably added a few requests there.so no internet connection would still be no problem....is that really streaming?

So my take is....planning on streaming is a recipe for disaster. Always have songs downloaded beforehand, even if it's Spotify. But streaming a song from Spotify in the right situation is better than saying I don't have it, in my opinion. For example, the birthday party I mentioned, the birthday girls best friend was celebrating her 40th anniversary and the birthday girl asked me to play her friends first dance. It was great, and not on any request list. Played it off Spotify. Like anything, one just needs to know how and when to use it wisely.

Just out of habit, even if I'm grabbing a song on the fly, I'll add it to a downloaded playlist so it's downloaded. But I believe Spotify downloads a song even temporarily, so I don't think stuttering should ever be an issue these days.
 
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MIXMASTERMACHOM

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You said you didn't want to pay for songs you probably will never use again. You never know if you will or won't. At least you would have it in your library just in case.
 

B-Sharp

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When you've grown up owning records/tapes/CDs and even mp3s, it can be really hard to break the belief that you must own every song you're going to play at an event. The reality is that every guest now has access to every song right on their phone, and they don't likely don't own a single one of those files.

I still buy files, through XMix and Promo Only, but if a couple gives me a unique or very specialized cocktail hour request list, chances are close to 100% that I'm going to be playing it via Spotify in offline mode. There's no reason to spend the time buying every song when you're very unlikely to play it more than once. The exception to that, for me, is if it's an intro song, first dance or parent dance. Those moments are too important to take risks on, however small. For that same reason, my main laptop stays in airplane mode during an event. My 2nd laptop is the one I download to and stream from if I need to.

There are Spotify alternatives out there, and this is where the future of music for DJs lies. I don't know enough about Deezer, but I'm mind-blown by Beatsource, which for $35/month gives you access to zillions of tracks including an extensive back catalog, clean and dirty versions and intro/outro edits. It also integrates with most DJ software and has a storage "locker" where you can save up to 1000 tracks for offline playback. Most intriguing of all, Beatsource has a web-based player (currently in beta) that is as good as standalone software from a usability standpoint. Check it out at https://dj.beatsource.com/home .

Honestly, Beatsource is cool just for access to their playlists - "TikTok Tracks" is almost worth $35/month on its own.
 

Albatross

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Spotify allows you to download for offline play. I have used that feature for cocktail hours or dinner time to facilitate an easy playlist.

I'm also now using Beatsource, which lets you stream directly from Serato. But it also allows you to store a number of tracks for offline play.

What I really like about Beatsource is that you watch it download the file before you start playing it. By the time you hit play the waveform should have populated as Serato analyzes the track. So I'm not worried about it glitching out while a track is playing. With Spotify you don't really know where it stands in it's download sequence since it's a consumer product.

I don't ever want to be in a situation where I can't play a gig without it, but having access to streaming tools is convenient and a nice to have for me.
 

Jeff Romard

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I don't ever want to be in a situation where I can't play a gig without it, but having access to streaming tools is convenient and a nice to have for me.
I feel the same but it's a bit of a double edge sword for me. I play a lot of rural areas where the venue doesn't have internet or it's very poor and in many of those areas there is little or no cell phone service. In most cases I know the situation before hand so I keep my library as populated as possible and carry it also on a couple of HD's beside my machines with a copy of VDJ and Mixmeister
 

Albatross

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I feel the same but it's a bit of a double edge sword for me. I play a lot of rural areas where the venue doesn't have internet or it's very poor and in many of those areas there is little or no cell phone service. In most cases I know the situation before hand so I keep my library as populated as possible and carry it also on a couple of HD's beside my machines with a copy of VDJ and Mixmeister
Totally agree there. But honestly it's getting harder to acquire some of the newer music. I'm not sure which labels in particular have cracked down, but record pools have way less content than they used to.

I have no problem buying the music directly from the label, but having intro edits, clean edits, etc. is such a value add. It's become way harder to source that music consistently and Beatsource seems to be better equipped than most. So I'm not sure how their deals differ, but that's the other reason I'm using that one in particular right now. I've dropped DJ City (which is affiliated) and I'll probably drop DMS as well since they just aren't proving as helpful right now.
 

MIXMASTERMACHOM

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It's amazing how things have changed over the years since I started in 81. We used turntables with needles and you had to play records. If you didn't have a song to play at an event you had to go to a store to buy it and while doing a gig if you didn't have a certain song, oh well too bad. Now there are all in one controllers, music can be stored on a computer or HD and you can stream music to play at an event in case you don't already have the song.

Some changes are for the better and some has had more people coming into this business thinking this job is easy and they can easily make money. Today what we do may look easy but it's not as easy as it looks.
 
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