by Anna-Jeannine “DJ AJ9” Herman
The rise of the smart phone and the tablet computer has brought our industry a wave of useful applications to help us manage our mobile lives on both iOS and Android™ platforms, but with so many great apps to choose from, where’s a DJ to start?
Check out these 4 commonly-used application categories to help jump-start your mission to perfecting a custom suite of tools for your mobile arsenal:
Wireless DJ Controller/Remote Apps
Need to do a solo sound check or lead a line dance? Control your system from across the room using your mobile device as a wireless controller!
Unfortunately, the most specific and comprehensive apps in this category are still exclusively available to iOS device users (iPhone, iPad, iPod), but there are still options for determined Android™ users.
iVirtual DJ users: try VirtualDJ iRemote ($9.99), an app that turns your iOS device (iPhone, iPod, iPad) into an additional secure wireless controller for Virtual DJ.
iSerato Scratch Live™ users: try MiDi-to ($7.99), a wireless MiDi controller app.
Android™ users: try DJ Control (free), a wireless DJ MiDi controller that emulates the Hercules RMX Console or, for other hardware controllers, check out Touch OSC (free), a wireless open sound control and MiDi control surface.
Financial Processing/Merchant Services Apps
Clients don’t have cash? Not a problem! Accept retainers, overtime payments, and gratuity on the fly with a quick swipe or click using one of several e-payment processing programs.
Be sure to try: Square (free), Intuit GoPayment (free), and/or PayPal (free), (each of these products has similar rate structures and capabilities) or check with your financial institution. In addition to credit card processing, many banks now have check-depositing programs that use your phone’s camera, saving you a drive or a stamp to make a standard deposit.
Stay connected on the go with applications designed to deliver voicemails in text form, open common file extensions, and sync with your main computer’s file library for easy-access to itineraries, images, and more.
Be sure to try: Google Voice (free) to route your voice calls to the most convenient phone at whim and to transcribe your voicemail messages to e-mail and/or SMS, Google Docs (free) to open, edit, manage, and share a variety of common file types in an easy-to-access format, as well as Adobe® Reader (free) for PDF access on the go, andDropbox (free) to give you flexible access to larger files.
Where are you going, and how can you get there? Let your smartphone do some of the work for you! Some apps will even guide you with turn-by-turn directions using your phone’s GPS signal.
Be sure to try Google Maps for maps and directions and Google Navigation for turn-by-turn navigation and traffic conditions. If you have an iPhone, Maps + Compass (for iPhone) comes standard on your device.
Of course, this list doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of the plethora of programs available, but (hopefully) this will get you pointed in the right of how to start your search.
Many of the above apps are free, and all are under $10.00. With this small investment and a little bit of your time to install and experiment with these programs, you will increase your functionality, improve service to your clients, and save yourself some stress, as well.
Anna-Jeannine “DJ AJ9” Herman is a veteran theatrical designer and performer, mobile disc jockey, and lighting designer from Something New Entertainment DJs, Lighting, and Multimedia in Northeast Ohio.
DJ AJ9 is the current Vice President of Communications of the International Special Events Society, Cleveland, member of the American Disc Jockey Association. She has also been featured as a recurring correspondent on the CrossFader Show, and as a guest author on Today’s Bride Magazine Online. She also has an active blog of her own.
Anna-Jeannine completed her undergraduate studies at Berea College with an emphasis in theatrical design and technology, theatrical performance, and communications. She has also completed Master’s-Level studies in theatrical design and technology at both the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and at Kent State University.
She resides in Akron, Ohio with her husband, Justin, and two pocket beagles, Prince Rusticus “Rusty” McFreckleson and Princess Tigerlily “Lily” McFreckleson. The family is expecting their first human child in mid-March: a boy, Jasper Lee.