In this post, I talk about 5 important tips that will prep you to DJ like a professional. When DJs setup Itunes, it’s one of the most tedious jobs they will face. In fact, I believe every DJ should consider implementing these strategies in their Itunes music program, if they don’t already.
So, how do DJs setup itunes?
- Edit the end of the song title (Explicit) or (Clean)
- Make Sure Every Song Has The Correct Year & Genre
- Create Playlists With Names That Can Help You Find Songs On The Fly
- Set Up A Clean Folder For New Music
- Use The Comment Field To Your Advantage
In short, DJs must edit the name of each song explicit or clean, make sure every song has the correct year and genre, create playlists that help find songs on the fly, create a playlist folder named “clean” for new music to be evaluated, & DJs will use the comment field to type in “mixes with (song)”.
#1 Edit the end of the song title (Explicit) or (Clean)
I do this to every single song I import into my Itunes Library. I listen to the entire song and I make sure I hear absolutely no cussing or foul language before I mark it Clean. Example:
Lil Wayne – Got Money (Clean)
This song has an explicit version and a inexplicit version. It’s your job as a DJ to distinguish what version it is.
Clean or Dirty?
If a song is popular enough, but it has cuss words, than I usually create a clean version of the song with an editing program (Such as Abelton Live 9.). Then, I’ll import the clean version of the song I edited into my Itunes Library. For example, I have both “Lil Wayne – Got Money (Dirty)” & “Lil Wayne – Got Money (Clean)”.
Another example, here is a snapshot of my Itunes Library. Hopefully, it gives you an idea of what I mean:
Most importantly, most mobile DJ gigs require you to play clean music. If someone requests a song, you don’t have to scramble to listen to it in your headphones in order to tell if it’s clean or dirty. In fact, you already did that in the convenience of my own home. You’ll know right away! Djs setup Itunes in many different ways, but this is a mandatory story my friends!
#2 Make Sure Every Song Has The Correct Year & Genre
This can be a huge task if you already have a lot of songs in your Itunes Library that do not have the year or genre inserted into each song file. Believe me, I know. It’s not easy and it’s very time consuming, but your clients will be extra happy when you can easily organize all your songs by year or genre!
If you right-click any song in your Itunes Library and then click “Get Info”, you will see the following pop-up window. In fact, I know on a mac, you can highlight any song and press COMMAND + i, which will do the same thing.
This pop-up window is great for editing your songs in Itunes to make sure they have the correct titles, genres, years, etc.
Think Outside The Box
This means you can organize your songs by the year, on any playlist, and take your clients through a musical time machine! When I look around the room and I see some elderly couples along with a younger audience, I can guess what year/genre of music they like to listen to and mix it up.
Basically, DJs setup Itunes by google searching what genre or year a song was released. More over, you’d be surprised to see some songs are not the genre you thought they were.
Also, make sure you find the correct release date. Some songs are remakes of older songs so you may not find the correct year. Doing your research on your music is the best thing you can do!
#3 Create Playlists With Names That Can Help You Find Songs On The Fly!
Hopefully, my Itunes Library will give you an idea on what I mean. All DJs setup Itunes somewhat similar to this:
- Dinner Oldies
- Cocktail Oldies
- Top Hits of 2015
- Top Hits of 2016
- Top Hits of 2017
- Dance Slow Songs Mix
- Dance Craze (Cupid Shuffle, Cotton Eye Joe, Electric Slide, ETC.)
- Dance Country
- Dance HipHop
- Dance Old/HipHop
- Dance Oldies
- Dance Pop/R&B
- Dance Reggae
- Dance Rock&Roll
- Dance Spanish
- Go To Country
- Go To HipHop
- Go To Old/HipHop
- Go To Oldies
- Go To Pop/R&B
- Go To Reggae
- Go To Rock&Roll
- Go To Spanish
- Gutter Hip Hop
- Clean Mall Music
- Clean Preschool
- Clean Middle School
- Clean High School
As you can see, I have Dance playlists for each genre so I can easily switch back and forth genres if I have a mixed crowd. Also, I have Go To Playlists for each genre as well. These playlists are full of songs that are not well known for dancing but still great to play for guests that are relaxing or having a chat.
#4 Set Up A Clean Folder For New Music
Furthermore, this can be an extra playlist folder in your library named “Clean Folder”. Any new music you add to your library can be saved to this folder. For instance, when your ready, you can edit these songs. Making sure they are labeled Clean or Dirty, they have the correct release dates, and you properly label it with the correct genre.
As an example, this is a snapshot of my clean folder in my Itunes Library. It’s labeled “Clean Clean”. All my newly bought music goes into this folder so I know I have to analyze it.
This way, any songs you have not edited will be in this folder. As you edit them, you can delete them out of the playlist folder. In fact, If your not sure if a requested song is dirty or clean, you can check to see if it’s located in this folder. If it is, you know that you should listen to it first before you play it in front of a younger audience. I’m sure other DJs setup Itunes identical to this, because this is just awesome sauce!
#5 Use The Comment Field To Your Advantage!
For instance, your at home practicing on the decks and you just mixed something nasty and it sounded so good, but you didn’t record it and nobody heard it right? Well my friend, this would be a perfect time to open up your Itunes Library and find the two songs you mixed.
Next, in the comment sections, write “Mixes With (Song Title)” on each song. Next time your in the moment and your thinking of a good song to mix into, you will see the song in the comment field and say to yourself, AH HA!
Another example, maybe you’ll see in the comment section of any song you’re playing to a crowd:
“Mixes With Eminem- Love The Way You Lie”.
(Note: It’s just an example ok. Don’t hate)
Now, maybe at a certain point of the song that’s playing, you can loop the beat and mix in “Love the way you lie”! Together with, you would type this into each songs comment field:
Song your looping: “Loop at 4:20 & Mixes With (Song Title)”.
Song your mixing: “Mixes With (Song Title) Loop at 4:20”
Note: Those are random comments! Hopefully you get the point!
There are many other ways you can use this comment field to your advantage and find ways to make things easier! DJs setup Itunes differently and you may have an idea! Please, leave a comment and tell me how you setup your Itunes Library! I’m just trying to expand your mind a little bit and help you think outside the box!
I’d love to hear your feedback! Have an idea or question? Feel free to express yourself at any time!