DJs have their own ‘digging’ methods for finding new tunes. Because I started with the digital format, I’ve never had to do any traditional digging, like sifting through vinyl records in stores. All my searching is done via the internet.
Before I got my Pioneer CDJ 400s in October of 2008, I worked hard to acquire MP3s for my favorite tracks, so I could hit the ground running. A lot of the first tunes I ended up mixing and practicing on were from SASHA sets that had full track lists. Eventually I went on to find more songs by the producers/artists ID’d in the track lists, and in the last year I’ve started finding new tunes/producers via the record labels too.
HOWEVER, over the last 2 years there have been dozens of songs that i’ve been unable to ID from various DJ sets. I’ve tried uploading the clips to YouTube, posting to various ‘TRACK ID’ threads on dozens of different webforums with little success. I did get a few responses via my YouTube posts, but they came up to six months later.
All the while the solution was literally IN MY HANDS, via the smart phone app SHAZAM! Shazam uses the microphone in your smart phone to send a sample of the audio it ‘hears’ to the shazam servers for analysis against their MASSIVE database of tunes. It’s right so often, it’s SCARY.
Last weekend I was out with my girlfriend at various show/clothing outlets at the mall. Most of these kinds of stores play pop house and electro, a lot of it is fluff, however, some of the tunes are the kind I dig, deep and funky vocal house. I had the SHAZAM app installed on my iPhone already, so at the first store I whipped it out and started tagging some of the news playing. I quickly reached my 5 tag limit for the free version, so I upgraded to the pay version for $4.99. For tunes available on iTunes, the app provides an option to purchase, I don’t buy tunes on iTunes because they come in DMCA format, so when I got home, I logged into my Shazam account via a web browser, and started buying up the tunes I’d tagged via Beatport, Juno and TrackItDown.net. Then I started to go through my collection of DJ sets that contained songs that I had thus far been unable to find track IDs for, SHAZAM! It’s worked about 70% of the time!
For anyone who’s struggled to ID a song from a DJ set, or who just wants to use the app to ID songs they hear when they are out and about, this app is invaluable.