Music technology has always been in a state of evolution – let’s face it, someone is probably working on the next one right now. In the same way that vinyl gave way to the digital download, streaming music for DJ sets is going to be a part of the future.
Our view at Ears To The House is this can’t be stopped – although we do say that questions should and must be asked about this development, just like with all others. Which is why we weren’t the least bit surprised by Pioneer’s recent announcement that their CDJ-3000 players will now support direct streaming from Beatport.
After all, this is in both their interests – Pioneer want to remain at the forefront of this market, whereas Beatport also wants to be the first to do this. Tellingly, the likes of Traxsource and Juno Download are staying very quiet about this development – industry sources say they’re watching things closely to see how Beatport gets on.
Being blunt here, the average clubber does not care whether the music they’re hearing is being played on vinyl, a WAV file off a laptop, or is being streamed from Beatport’s servers. Realistically, they’re far more likely to have a problem with bad music choices, poor mixing, and so forth.
However, internal discussions on the subject at Ears To The House HQ lead mainly back to one thing – internet access. Is the wi-fi in nightclubs going to be strong enough and fast enough to support streaming? What is the technical solution to this for outdoor festivals where the infrastructure may not necessarily be as good as in the cities?
And just what happens if the wi-fi goes down? We’ve all had this happen – what’s a streaming DJ meant to do if the broadband network suddenly goes down in the middle of the set? It’s hard to imagine the hard time that DJ is going to have when someone captures the moment on a smartphone and uploads it to Instagram – but happen it will.
Expect this to become more widespread over the next few years – and also expect DJs to start including minimum internet speeds in their contracts…