spinning round and round since 1998

So, tomorrow’s the big day for UK DJs and hardware manufacturers alike, with everyone descending on Birmingham’s NEC for three whole days.

I’m lucky enough to be part of the digitaldjtips.com team for the weekend and we will be finding out everything and anything about all the shiny new gadgets, and delivering it all right into your eyeballs. We will be filming, snapping, interviewing, stalking… and tweeting. You can follow all the action from @digitaldjtips and @djs_life by searching for the #ddjtbpm hashtag.

You can also meet the team and other digital DJs this Saturday at 13:00 on the Novation stand. We’ll be the ones wearing the t-shirts as below (courtesy of my lovely wife, accidentalvix) and the big smiles.

You can't miss us.

Beatport's announcement

Beatport have announced a beta programme for their new non-Flash site. Many people have complained (including myself) that the Flash interface is clunky and resource hungry. This is particularly true for OS X users who have long suffered from battery drain, excess heat and CPU wasting.

No Flash. Geddit? Thanks to DC Comics

The company have decided to go down the Google route of dishing out limited invites to allow for a slow ramp up of usage, with each new invite coming with two more to dish out.

Why is this good?

The old interface relies on a closed plugin created by Adobe (Macromedia originally, for you lot too young to remember). This makes it a nightmare for accessibility and pretty much excludes smartphone access. The site can also be slow to load and it is a lot harder to share a link to a track, release, artist or label page.

But there’s a mobile site!

Yes, but functionality is not nearly as intuitive, and frankly, listening to clips is a nightmare. The iPhone has an app for that, but with Android and other mobile OSes creeping up the usage stats, unifying the experience between desktop and mobile makes sense for everyone.

Is it any good?

Let’s hope so! I’m not sure how many people have access, but I’m sure we will hear soon enough.

What if I like the Flash site?

Good news then! Beatport have said they will keep both running indefinitely (or until people are used to the new one, I reckon).

A little bit of irony that didn’t escape me is that the page announcing the beta is filled with Flash videos from Youtube. Coinkydink or an inside joke? The site is meant to go live “Spring 2011″ according to the site. I guess that depends on how the testing goes.

Native Instruments just announced on various social channels a new video with Dubfire demonstrating some new software/hardware.

Upcoming new Traktor system roadtested by Dubfire in this video:

EDIT: Skratchworx has a fair write up about the hardware.

To quote:

  • Large form factor like the Torq Xponent and Amercian Audio VMS4
  • 4 channels
  • 4 hot cues
  • Transport controls below the jogs
  • Sample player – looks like 4 slots per deck (or maybe 2 decks plus 2 sample banks?) with play, volume and maybe F for filter (should silence the haters at last)
  • 4″ Jogwheel with a big ass Traktor logoSome sort of status bar showing different lights – on air, samples, deck a/c and deck b/d indicators, keylock and master
  • Loop controls to crunch or expand the loop with what looks like an numerical readout
  • Built in track navigation and loading
  • Big filter on each channel
  • Lots of lights for ease of use in the dark
  • I can’t make out effects controls, but seeing as this controller largely mimics the interface of Traktor, I expect these controls are across the top
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