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iPod wedding, wedding receptions, djs disc jockeys

Click on this link to see iPod wedding video - produced by ADJA

iPod Wedding - Weddings Receptions DJ's Disc Jockeys 


by Elizabeth Oakes


June 17th, 2009 3:20 am ET


The phrase “iPod wedding” has been popping up so frequently it now shorthand for the do-it-yourself sensibility taking over a huge segment of the bridal market in these recessionary days.  It is a term that delights the younger, tech-savvy bride but horrifies the American Disc Jockey Association, which decries the iPod wedding as inept, ignorant, and laughable (you can see the video that started it all and the ADJA’s video response here; read professional DJ comments per same here.)


But both the “Dump the DJ” interview and the ADJA’s response are partisan marketing sound bytes, and they don’t really discuss the pros and cons of using and iPod for event music (except for the financial impact and brides and DJs.)  As someone who conducts a lot of weddings utilizing DJs--and yes, increasingly, iPods--and since I therefore have a basis to compare the two, I will chime in here.


Obviously there is the financial issue: using your iPod costs little or nothing if you already have a digital stereo system to plug into (or, as is also becoming more common, you have a venue that provides a digital interface for its sound system.)   The cost for a DJ can be significant, ranging from the $50 Craigslist Special--a guy who downloads music illegally to pad his playlists, and if you're lucky he won’t rob your house later that night--to several thousand dollars for a top-of-the-line professional who provides pro audio equipment, microphones, fog machines, programmable disco lights, karaoke screens, and his own selection of bow ties.


But let’s consider the technical and aesthetic issues--since with iPod weddings, they are inextricably linked:

The iPod, bless it, has revolutionized the way we enjoy music but--and this is a critical BUT--it has a brilliant, subtle, intimate interface designed for personal use, not an interface meant for broadcast or performance cueing and crossfading.  This means that with an iPod it is difficult to see what is being cued, you have less precision due to its touch navigation, and the ability to accurately cue using iPod touch-scrolling technology varies from person to person, often dependent on something as random as the size of their fingers.  You can’t cross fade or vamp or otherwise cover up miscues or stall for time if a flower girl flips out or your elderly grandfather takes a couple extra verses to get to his seat.  Because you can't crossfade, there's dead air between one track and the next, which ruins the dramatic flow of the presentation.  All these things are just fine if you're jogging and listening on headphones--the sort of thing the iPod was meant for--but are a huge problem if you’re iPodding a closely-timed event like a bride’s entrance.


This is where a DJ is way better than an iPod: they can shape those dramatic moments so they are more effective, and they help you out by covering if the processional stalls for some reason (at least, an experienced, attentive DJ can help you.  The Craigslist guy is off smoking a doobie somewhere, chatting on his cell phone and inviting his posse to stop by your reception later.)


Of course, live ceremony musicians can also provide the needed theatricality and cover for human errors--remember those guys, those real musicians?  who were mostly supplanted by DJs offering cheaper goods?

Sounding familiar, ADJA?


As at the turn of the last century, those curmudgeons who couldn't stop griping about the superiority of The Old Grey Mare never brought saddlehorses back as the preferred form of transportation despite their grumbling. The horseless carriage is here to stay, my friends.  Then as now, technology changed the world forever and the digital horse has already left the technological barn.   Whether fate is kind or cruel to DJs who now struggle to pay their bills, one fact is clear: the iPod/webcast/digital wedding demographic is here to stay.

"Click on the Top Hits U.S.A. above and link below to check out

and visit Horizon Entertainment's Massive Music Library!"


Weddings Receptions, DJs Disc Jockeys Music Library


Next: Part Two Should I have a DJ host the reception, and what are increasingly-unemployed DJs to do?


Until next time, a sweet and long life to you all.


Elizabeth Oakes welcomes your feedback at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; you can easily share this story or subscribe by clicking on the buttons at the top of this column, or she's also happy to answer your questions about getting married in Los Angeles--check out her work and inquire about availability at MarriageToGo.Com.


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