DJing in the digital age has changed – turntables and mixers are no longer the preferred way to perform or entertain. Instead, the use of physical media like vinyl or CDs have been replaced by their digital counterparts. Digital playback systems, such as Traktor or Serato, allow the playback of MP3 files. Though some digital playback systems utilize hardware controllers or interfaces that translate timecode-vinyls, they still need a computer screen for selecting songs or monitoring feedback. The value of a single track is often lost in a digital system which handles music like a tool available anywhere, anytime, and in any capacity.
The interaction between the listener and DJ is constrained by the use of software systems. The audience are no longer able to see what the DJ is doing or if they’re doing anything at all. Furthermore, technologies like automated Beatmatching have made it easier to become a DJ. Nowadays, if a DJ wants to stand out they must come up with an extraordinary selection of tracks or innovative and exciting new ways of mixing.
MobileDisco is a novel method of mixing that gives each piece of music a physical representation. The purpose is to strengthen the interaction with the performer and the listener by revealing the mixing service to the public. By actively involving the listener with the song selection, the MobileDisco brings the aspects of showmanship lost by digital playback systems back to a DJ set.