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Mobile Accessories

Djay for iPad fulfills your mixmaster fantasies

For $20, Djay for iPad is an app that's nearly as good as a regular turntable. Amateur houseparties, begin!

Djay: your iPad turntable has arrived.
Yes, that's John Williams and Philip Glass being mixed. Invite me over to DJ at your own risk. Screenshot by Scott Stein/CNET

I'm not a musician, nor am I a DJ. I do fantasize about it, though, hence my obsession with DJ Hero, and my amateur songcrafting in GarageBand. I'd never buy a full-fledged turntable, nor would I know what to do with it. However, I'm a big fan of what's been accomplished on Djay, a new turntable app for the iPad.

Algoriddim's Djay app isn't cheap--at $20, it's in the high end of the App Store economy--but what it does matches what you'd expect from a regular PC/Mac application. In fact, it's a close replica of a $49.95 Mac application they also make. Two turntables pull up any tracks loaded onto your iPad, and then the two "discs" can be effortlessly mixed. BPM, volume, crossfading, and even scratching can all be incorporated.

What this means is that Djay can easily be a simple party-mix crossfading app, or it can be a musical experimentation tool. The app responds beautifully, and album art even turns on the turntables.

For me, it's a distraction that will last for days. I can see this app catching on very fast...I expect the NYC bar scene to rapidly incorporate "iPad Djay Nites" to the point of nausea.

Djay had a previous app for the iPhone, but it was limited to remotely accessing iTunes files on a Mac. Local file access is a huge plus, except for one caveat: Djay won't play DRMed music. That's not a problem with current iTunes music, but you could be screwed on some older downloads.

There are some awesome perks, though: not only can the app auto-mix your tracks and adjust BPM accordingly, but you can record your mixes in-app for playback later. Even better, Djay supports AirPlay, enabling wireless audio output.

Djay has me more excited about my iPad than I've been in a while. It's an extremely impressive display of what the iPad's still capable of doing, as well as a clever use of the screen/finger real estate.

Jerry Goldsmith/Billy Joel mashups, here we come.