Richie Hawtin is in the news again. This time he is hawking (that may be a strong word considering its free) his unique new application called Twitter DJ.

In summary, the application polls Native Instruments Traktor DJ software every 60 seconds during a DJ’s set and “tweets” the track ID to Twitter. So fans and trainspotters alike can tune to Twitter and gain insight (either during or after a set) to the DJs thinking and track selection.

You can read the details in the press release below but there are two points that I find striking about the application:

  1. I have always found the dance charts from industry sources like Billboard or DMA grossly inaccurate. They seem to portray the tastes of only a very small niche of club DJs and have never coincided to my actual playlists. So, if this application is widely adopted (which would mean support for other applications and formats like CDs) and the results somehow consolidated, we could see a far more accurate representation of types of music actually being played in clubs. Consequently, the producers of the music would get more recognition and potential payment form the royalty societies – something that is sorely lacking today.
  2. Hawtin is continually pushing DJ culture forward into the future – even if it means involving other disciplines such as graphic arts, video, and now even software design. He is a true visionary!

A couple quick negatives though:

  1. A good night out should be all about shared experiences and social bonding. God forbid we resort to a club full of patrons just staring at their phones instead of dancing and partying during DJ sets.
  2. “Secret weapons” – songs or tracks that no one else has or has long forgotten about – have always been a way to differentiate and define a DJ’s style. With the advent of the MP3 and Beatport, this ability may be somewhat diminished and the focus put more on performance but Twitter DJ could make it even harder to surprise audiences by pulling out that nostalgic classic or promo-only bomb.

Either way, read the press release here and let me know your thoughts.

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