This is a sore subject for some DJ's. One, it hurts to be refered to as such. However the unfortunate fact is that this is a real thing. Even DJ's using a computer without the use of an ipod may as well be called such a thing. This form of DJing has givin birth to a myth that terrifies DJ's alike, and that is "I can do the same job if not better".
Once upon a time, the DJ was how people heard new music. The DJ was the people's guide to music and new music being played by a DJ was not an uncommon thing. Today we have the INTERNET! Listening to music has evolved and people have enormous personal collections of music that at one time was unheard of. Gone are the days of vinyl and hello to computers with a Terabyte's worth of music. People have personalized playlists deemed music worthy of their ears that they carry with them daily, and DJ's get punished for this. Never has music gone out of style so quickly! Yesterday's Hit is today's trash. This is somewhat of an overstatement. But the point is this. When people dance today they almost already have an idea of what they want to hear. So for them the best thing to dance to is their personal dance playlist on their Ipod.
SO IS THE MODERN DJ IRRELEVANT?????
NO WAY! Just because music has evolved doesn't make a DJ worthless. Its up to the DJ to evolve as time passes. We are already a step ahead of the game when it comes to our sound equipment. And though it takes dedication were still ahead of the game when it comes to music. We have to stay current with trends to keep up with what people are listening to. But the most current music isn't always the best course of action. This is where we come in. So we can do what DJ's do best. And that is reading people. We do our best to make sure we are prepared for any group of people we may encounter. One persons really good ipod playlist is not a good representation of an entire group. Take a wedding for example. You have kids, teens, young adults, middle aged people, and people who have been around since the creation of the DJ. With all these groups you have sub-groups where demographics come into play. You may have a Pop crowd or a Hip Hop and R&B crowd. The hip hop of today doesn't quite touch the soul of someone in their 40's the way a hip hop song would if it was something they listened to when they were younger. We like to touch on those nostalgic feelings. And it's this skill that keeps a quality DJ around.
I could speak on this subject all day. But it boils down to the fact that not all DJ's are created equal. There are Ipod DJ's out there. But that's not what we do and its for a good reason.