iPod DJ Tips for Success

The Just Press Play "iPod DJ service" is an affordable way to have music for your party, event, reception, ceremony, etc.  You provide the music and/or player and plug it into the sound system so everyone can hear it clearly. 

First you must be sure you have the equipment necessary to amplify your iPod or MP3 player.  Many venues have equipment but be sure to test it out with your player and make sure you are happy with the sound quality. If not you will need to call a local company that rents out PA gear, speakers, amplifiers and mixers. If you can find someone renting out a Bose L1 Model I PA System these are the best because all three are in one simple setup.

Below are some tips to help you do this...

Where to Setup the Speaker System

posted May 5, 2014, 9:54 AM by Jeff Ilardi   [ updated May 5, 2014, 9:54 AM ]

This does not specifically have to do with a portable music player and this could be used as a general tip for any kind of music played or performed at your event.  But this comes up so frequently I felt it should be addressed.  Speakers are loud.  This is the first thing to keep in mind.  Just Press Play's speakers are not as annoyingly loud as other typical speakers but it is still the source of where the music is coming from.  With this in mind you should never seat guests, especially guests who will be upset with loud music, near the speaker system.  

The best place for a DJ, Band, or the iPod DJ Service to be setup is right on the dance floor.  Or as close to the dance floor as possible with no tables between them and the dance floor.  The speakers are going to be setup where the entertainment is going to be setup.  

The ideal setup is to have your entertainment setup on one side of the dance floor and have all the tables setup around the other three sides of the dance floor.  Still the tables closest to the dance floor are going to be the loudest tables.  I am always amazed at weddings, they always want to set the parents and grand parents as close to the front as possible.  And then put the entertainment right up front with them.  And these are the same people who will complain first that it is too loud.  For weddings this is something to keep in mind.   And if you don't want the music to be loud then tell the DJ or the band you don't want it loud.  If they are any good they will listen and keep the volume down.  

The worse setup is to have tables all the way around the dance floor and have the DJ or band on the other side of tables.  If there are tables between the entertainment and the dance floor you are going to have issues.  

Song Selection

posted Nov 17, 2011, 10:20 AM by Jeff Ilardi   [ updated Mar 23, 2014, 12:15 PM ]

Generally, if you work together with some of the people who will be attending this event you will end up putting together a better playlist than any DJ will ever come up with. Not to say that this will replace a good DJ. If you need some entertainment for your event then definately hire a good DJ. But if you just want music to dance to and you don't need someone to entertain then the iPod DJ is the way to go!

Another suggestion is to have guests respond with music requests ahead of time.  If you have 50 guests respond with two songs, that is 100 songs and plenty of music for a 5-6 hour party!

Connections

posted Nov 17, 2011, 10:18 AM by Jeff Ilardi   [ updated Mar 23, 2014, 12:16 PM ]

Do not use docking stations. Use a 1/8" mini to a 1/4" audio cable to connect your player to the Mixer or PA system. this allows you flexibility to pick up the player and navigate much easier, plus it provides a better connection. If you are really concerned about the battery, then just buy an AC adapter to keep your player plugged in during your event.

The People

posted Nov 17, 2011, 10:17 AM by Jeff Ilardi   [ updated Mar 23, 2014, 12:16 PM ]

If you are the host of the party or the party is for you then you are going to want some help.

Make sure you have someone responsible for getting the music and/or player to the place of the event when the arranged setup is taking place. You will want them to test the levels and such before people start arriving.

Make sure designated person(s) will be available during the event to turn on and stop the music and turn on the microphone when needed.

More than one person can be designated to do duties described above.

Appoint someone to make general announcements so your guests are aware of what is happening. It would be nice if it is a separate person from the designated person who is controlling the players and volume controls.

Backups

posted Nov 17, 2011, 10:14 AM by Jeff Ilardi   [ updated Mar 23, 2014, 12:00 PM ]

Make sure you have a backup. A backup player or burn your playlists to CD or bring the computer the playlists were created on. The cheapest and easiest is to burn your playlists to CD’s and bring a portable CD player.  However the best scenario is a laptop and the portable player as the backup.  And then maybe CD's as a third backup.  If it is a wedding the more backups the better.  If it is just a casual backyard party, then one player might be enough.

Music Sources

posted Nov 17, 2011, 10:10 AM by Jeff Ilardi   [ updated Mar 23, 2014, 12:16 PM ]

Be sure the songs you acquire are from good reputable sources, i.e. CD's, iTunes, Amazon, Yahoo etc. Usually if you pay for the song you are going to have better quality. Remember you are amplifying your music. So if it sounds a little fuzzy or weak you will be amplifying that 300 times louder at least.

Players

posted Nov 17, 2011, 10:09 AM by Jeff Ilardi   [ updated Mar 23, 2014, 12:16 PM ]

Normally, using a laptop and the software on your computer has a lot more bells and whistles and most of them have the ability to fade in and out of songs and even cross-fade from one song to the next.  That being the case, I highly recommend you bring the laptop as the main player and the portable player as a backup.  Some iPod Nano's have the ability to crossfade between songs, thus eliminating most of the blank space between songs. However this still will not work great on songs that have really long fades.

If you can plug headphones into the player then you can usually connect it to the speaker system.  But this does not always mean it is the best choice for a player.  Consult with the person you are getting the speaker system first and also think about how you plan on using it.  Do you need to get from playlist to playlist?  Or are you just going to hit shuffle and let it go?

Song Editing

posted Nov 17, 2011, 10:03 AM by Jeff Ilardi   [ updated Mar 23, 2014, 12:04 PM ]

If you are concerned about the space between songs and you are using iTunes you can shorten that space by playing the song on your computer and noting the exact end time or when you would like the song to end. Then while that song is highlighted on your screen, right click and select “Get Info” and then go to the “Options” tab. There you will see a start time and a stop time. Enter the stop time you noted and then hit “ok” and then check and make sure it ends where you want it to end. You can also change the start time if there is some applause or misc. audio at the beginning of the song you do not want.  

Be sure if you select the end time to be more than 10 seconds from the original that you make a note of it so you are not surprised.  The actual displayed length of the song will not change.  So if the song originally was 4:00 minutes long and now it is 3:45 in length you should make a note so whomever is playing the song is not surprised. 

Playlists

posted Nov 17, 2011, 9:53 AM by Jeff Ilardi   [ updated Mar 23, 2014, 12:15 PM ]

Make playlists, lots of playlists, a playlist for every event during your event. For example: a playlist for entry music, a playlist for dinner music, a playlist for early dancing, a playlist for late dancing, a playlist with fast songs, a playlist with slow songs, a playlist for the last three songs you want to end your event on, etc..

For individual songs to be played for a single event, leave the songs out of the playlists. For example at weddings, the song you want to play while doing the garter toss or the bouquet toss. A birthday party, the song you are going to play to wish them a happy birthday with, etc. Even if it is only one song, put all of these special songs in one playlist.

Start each playlist with same wording. For example: Bob’s Party1, Bob’s Party2 etc. or Wedding1, Wedding2, Wedding3 etc. That way they are all grouped together on your player.

Make sure to have documentation of what each playlist is. Provide a list of all the playlists and when they should be played, if you want them shuffled or played in the exact order they are in.

If you are using CD’s and not a digital music player, all the same tips apply, just make different CD’s for each playlist and a single CD with all the individual requests on it. Again make sure all are labeled clearly and that you provide documentation as to what is on each CD. And of course have backup CD’s. Having a second CD player in this case would also be preferable.


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