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9 Predictions For Dance Music, DJ-ing & Audio Production in 2012 (#1: The Cloud)

From record crates, to hard drives, to the cloud.

Everyone has been talking about the “cloud” these past few months. Apple’s iCloud makes it possible for the average music listener to store their entire music collection remotely, with the ability to access it whenever and wherever they want. Setting up a cloud account is inexpensive, is practical because it works on a variety of Apple mobile and desktop devices, and can even be beneficial considering iTunes Match replaces lower quality songs in your library with cleaner, high-bitrate versions from the Apple store. 

Now imagine showing up to a gig with a wi-fi enabled laptop, or a 3G tablet. You can instantly access your ENTIRE collection of music with a single click, safe and securely. The “cloud” you host your library on will be spacious enough to comfortably store every song in your collection as uncompressed .WAV files. Now I know that standard hard drives in laptops are pretty large these days; the average being around 500 gigs (roughly 10,000 songs in WAV format or 40,000 as 320kbps MP3’s). However, having your entire collection backed up will still be of benefit, especially if you have to use someone else’s laptop at a gig, or are using a tablet device such as an iPad or laptop with a much smaller solid state drive (a MacBook Air for example).

Think of large-scale events (specifically raves) where a very high volume of DJ’s are booked to perform. Could you imagine the chaos of every single DJ having to set their laptops up, test everything out, and troubleshoot when there are problems? Even one interruption in the flow of the night can kill the vibe of the room. If the promoter allowed only one clean laptop to be set up (with Internet access), every digital DJ would be able to go online to download the songs they needed from their account. No need to fuss with jump drives or USB cables, either. The connection to the cloud remains open during the set, so the DJ can retrieve any song they want, on demand. Cloud DJ-ing will help make the transition from one DJ to the next happen seamlessly, thus adding value to the night itself.  

iTunes is clearly the front-runner in remote MP3 storage right now, but it wouldn’t surprise me to start seeing music services specifically with DJ’s in mind start to offer cloud services in 2012. Prices have dropped exponentially in storage costs these past few years. Just look at Carbonite- they offer unlimited backup plans for the contents on your hard drive for $59/year. Responding to Apple, Google Music offers many of the same benefits iTunes does, but for non-iPhone users. Amazon also introduced cloud hosting last year. I think a music service for DJ’s, optimized for fast upload and download speeds, should come to fruition during the next 12 months.

Incidentally, I was reading an interesting post on digitaldjtips.com discussing their predictions for 2012 (specifically for DJ-ing), and cloud computing was one of their top picks as well!