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Keeping it foolish with the Hercules DJ Control MP3

Aspiring DJs take note: here are the Hercules MP3 decks, the perfect way to take your MP3 collection and convert it to virtual vinyl. Mix, scratch, pitch-shift and get on down to the block-rocking beats

Ever since Mozart famously said, "DJs are glorified CD players. My piano is the pimp," DJs have been dealt a bad rap in the mainstream press. There's a constant petty demeaning of their gentle art, and claims that they are no more musically creative than a transistor or a diode. But can this, the Hercules DJ Control MP3, rekindle our love for the craft?

This £79 control deck plugs into your PC and can be used to mix, scratch, pitch-shift and loop MP3s. We held a small party at Crave this morning, using the Hercules to mix songs. Even with limited professional DJ skills, you can produce remixes to rival the best that a Capital Radio pretender is capable of.

A few hours spent with these and you begin to wonder whether DJ Shadow's entire back-catalogue has been rendered redundant. Like an audience with the Wizard Of Oz, the curtain slides back to reveal that a few button presses here and there will create the same sounds we've had marketed to us under the guise of 'dance music'. What a cruel ruse. If a twenty-something tech journalist can better the efforts of Fat Boy Slim, what value does this skill really have in the modern world?

So, the Hercules DJ Control MP3: great news for parties, bad news for professional DJs. They should feel exactly how ploughmen felt when they introduced the tractor. Glowstick-waving, vinyl juggling idiots: your days are numbered. -CS