Music Players

5 Things to Avoid to for a Stress Free Event or Party

posted Sep 30, 2016, 1:52 PM by Jeff Ilardi

By listening to the advice we provide to you on this website and when we talk to you on the phone, you can avoid a lot of issues at your event or party.  At a recent wedding, we made contact with the bride and groom the night before their wedding.  During the call we learned they were going to use Spotify on their laptop. We asked them to make all the playlists available offline, remove any passwords for devices and bring power cords and chargers. Bride agreed yet they didn't do any of those things. Password protection was left on, Spotify playlist's were not made available offline and they did not bring the power supply for the laptop or any of their music players.  Result: Players were delivered to us late, laptop died within 1hr (used groom's brothers phone for the rest of the event), and lack of playlists and songs selected for special dances.  This made it a really tough time for the MC, but we are pro's and did the best we could.

Here are 5 things to avoid in order to have a stress free party or event:

#1  Don't assume one music player is enough.  This is by far the biggest mistake customers make.  Not only does this mean you do not have a backup but it also makes it so the MC can't pre-listen to songs.  By having a second player available, it makes it possible to listen to some of the songs you have selected while the other player is playing music.  This will help your MC better select songs for you.  Even if you want to play all the songs in order, by being able to listen to them on another device, we know when the slow songs are coming up and can adjust the volume appropriately.

#2  Don't delay in getting the music players to your MC or Sound Specialist.  We normally ask you have the music players to us at the latest 30 minutes after we arrive.  By doing this, we have time to connect your music players, test the volume levels and help get the settings right.  Also gives your MC time to preview the most important songs of the event to make sure they are there and don't have funny intro's we might need to avoid.

#3  Don't forget the power cord or charger for the device.  Your laptop, tablet, phone, iPod, etc., will all use more battery power when it is being constantly used for 4 - 8 hours.  Why risk it?  Just bring the power cord or charger for your device and you will be happy.

#4  Don't leave the password protection on.  Almost every device has the ability to turn this off.  It is important that you do this for your event or party.  This way, you are not stuck unable to change the song or playlist because you forgot the password or you have to type in the password before you can make the change in music.  You can leave the password on a sticky note attached to the device, but again, by just turning the password protection off will be much easier.

#5  Don't skimp on the music!  On this website alone, there are about 60 song selections to help you get started (Search Song Lists).  Most parties need around 100 - 140 songs, so we have given you about half of the music already.  If you are worried about spending a lot of money on songs, use Spotify.  For $10 or less you can have just about every song out there.  Plan for more music for dinner than any other playlist.  If there is anything that will go longer than you expect it will be dinner. And then just take a few moments and organize the music into playlists.  Separate the slow songs and the fast songs for the dance portion of your party.  

Laptops are #1

posted May 7, 2015, 11:30 AM by Jeff Ilardi   [ updated May 7, 2015, 11:44 AM ]

Laptops are #1 as far as music players are concerned.  They are more stable, easier to access the music and see the music.  Add a mouse to the laptop and it really makes life fantastic while playing the music.  Be sure to bring the AC plug so that you don't run out of battery power!

iTunes, Spotify, AIMP3 and others have crossfade features built in for the laptop versions.  This is another reason why the laptop is a #1 choice.  

Be sure to turn off any lock's that computer may have if there is no activity.  If you set a playlist on shuffle for an hour an come back it may have turned the screen off and then you have to log back in.  If you need to change the music quickly, this can be a problem.

Also, be sure to turn off your sound effects.  If your computer makes a ding, when you adjust the volume or move songs around etc., this will play over your music.  So just turn the sound effects off during your event.

And remember, a backup on a tablet, phone, iPod etc. is always recommended.

How to Setup your Macbook

posted Jul 16, 2012, 12:40 PM by Jeff Ilardi   [ updated Mar 23, 2014, 12:08 PM ]

If you plan on using a Macbook for your music player here are some suggestions on how to set it up so that you have a worry free experience:

Set volume on iTunes and system to 60%
Set system noises to off.
Set system to not standby.
Set screen not to sleep.
Turn off Airport
Turn off ancillary programs

And then of course set your iTunes Settings to your liking under edit/preferences/playback:
Auto Crossfade, if you want it to fade out from one song and into the next.
Sound Enhancer, if you want your music to have more lows than highs or the other way around.
Sound Check, automatically adjust song playback volume to the same level.

iPod Care

posted Apr 25, 2012, 2:20 PM by Jeff Ilardi   [ updated Mar 23, 2014, 12:08 PM ]

You have your iPod and you loaded your songs on the iPod for your party.  And now you want to be sure the iPod is nice and charged up, so you plug it in a week before the party and don't touch it.  Be aware this can cause a problem.

I have experienced this myself and I recently had a friend who had this happen to them and the nice folks at the Genius Bar at the Apple Store relayed this information to them...If you leave your iPod plugged in for a long time, or don't charge it for a long time, this can cause power memory issues with the iPod.  Basically the iPod gets frozen into thinking it does not need charging and so it does not hold a charge.  It may look like it is charged but actually it is not.  This is "supposedly" not fixable and they will suggest you give up your iPod and purchase a refurbished one at a cost that is much less than a new one.  (My guess is they take your iPod and fix it and then sell it to the next customer with the same problem and sell it to them as a refurbished iPod.)

As always if you have more insight on this please let me know.

Backups

posted Nov 17, 2011, 10:46 AM by Jeff Ilardi   [ updated Mar 23, 2014, 12:09 PM ]

As regular DJ’s have backups of their hard drives, or actual CD’s and a CD player on hand as a backup so should you, if having music is important at your event.

Usually, a Laptop with the MP3 player as a backup is the best. But 2 MP3 players will work and 3 is even better. If you are unable to have 2 players, consider burning the songs onto CD’s and bringing a portable CD player as a backup.

At Just Press Play Productions we always have a portable CD player with us. Actually our CD players will play MP3 files too so you can put all your MP3 files on a CD and bring them like that instead. Sony is about the only company that still makes a portable CD/MP3 player. The Sony DNF340 if you are looking to get your own.

iPod Nano's

posted Nov 17, 2011, 10:38 AM by Jeff Ilardi   [ updated Mar 23, 2014, 12:09 PM ]

I am updating this, once again, since the newest iPod Nano's have come out. The new more rectangular shaped iPod Nano's with the touch screen also have the "Audio Crossfade" feature. Seems they realized that the rectangular shape works better.  Many of the older rectangular shaped iPod Nano's have the crossfade feature too, but not all of them. Look for the "Playback" feature in in your settings to find this feature.

Audio Crossfade. This term "crossfade" simply means that the song that is playing will fade out with about 10 seconds to the end of the song and slowly fade in the next song on your playlist. Thus getting rid of the dreaded pause between songs.

In my iPod DJ Tips For Succcess, I talk about editing your songs so that this dreaded pause is virtually eliminated but with this feature you don't have to worry about that as much. I often recomended to iPod DJ's that they use their laptop because iTunes has always had this feature available. But now it is available on the iPod Nano too.  This feature is not available on the iPod Classic because it is a physical hard drive that has to be accessed for each song. 

Something to keep in mind. The crossfade feature works really well with playlists already created. But if you are making an On The Go playlist then you need to realize that it will take the iPod Nano a couple of songs before the feature kicks in. Also, if you decide to switch to another playlist or another song istead of the next one on the list, beware, because about 10 seconds to the end of the song it is going to start going to the next song. So if you want to go to a different playlist or song not next on the playlist, you better turn the feature off before making the switch.

Where to find this feature on your iPod Nano? Go to Settings >> Playback >> and then Audio Crossfade, ON or OFF. Be sure to turn the "Sound Check" feature off when using the "Audio Crossfade" feature as they do not work well together.

MP3 Players

posted Jul 21, 2011, 7:52 PM by Jeff Ilardi   [ updated Mar 23, 2014, 12:10 PM ]

I am really interested to hear others opinions about music players oter than the iPod, iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad or iAnything!

I personally have now used the Zune and the Sansa. Both with little success.

I am biased because I have spent so much time with the Apple products and limited time with the others.

These are my expreiences...

Zune, fairly easy to use, controls were easy enough to figure out, but I felt like there was always a hesitation when starting a song. Also did not have a lot of the features I love with the Apple products.

Sansa, I had two players for a wedding. One player froze up on me, and the second player, the newer of the two players skipped on every song it played. The first player, I was able to unscrew the back and take the battery out and basically reset the player. Once I did that it worked fine the rest of the wedding. It had some similarities to the iPod in it's functions, a spin wheel like the iPod but just not as flexible as the iPod.

Both lacked in audio quality compared to the iPod.

The iPod, I have only one problem with the iPod. I love the On The Go playlist feature. But I have noticed on iPod Classics only that sometimes it will play a song that is not the song it says it is playing.
The iPod Nano is the best of all players for parties and events because of the Audio Crossfade feature and also because I have not had that issue with the wrong song playing on it.

I would love to hear your experiences with your muisc players.

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