DJs 'spin' MP3s in clubs via iPods

Digital music players such as the iPod are replacing turntables at some music clubs, according to an Associated Press article.

The story says that some DJs, such as Ben Kirkendoll of the BQE bar of Brooklyn (New York), are fans of Apple Computer Inc.'s digital device. Kirkendoll users two iPods at the club, simply plugging them into an audio system's mixer. He's part of a small but growing number of DJs who have turned to MP3 music files for their accessibility and convenience, according to AP.

Of course, there are some drawbacks to replacing the turntable. Kirkendoll told AP that plugging an iPod into a sound system and cueing up tracks doesn't require even a fraction of the skill needed to spin records. And he can't use iPods to match up beats, alter the pitch of music or spin records back and forth for a scratching effect. So why use Apple's device? Kirkendoll says that a regular guy with a day job and a passion for music can be a DJ "without years of practicing and thousands of dollars scouring record shops for those rare must-haves."

Peer-to-peer networks and Internet download sites provide Kirkendoll with a hefty supply, though he still relies heavily on CDs from his own collection, which he converts into MP3 files. Issues of digital music rights notwithstanding, some equipment manufacturers are offering, or plan to offer, specialized products beyond the iPod. A few digital DJ systems are already available, and one due in August promises to combine MP3 technology with old-fashioned mixing capabilities, AP reports.

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