Digital Music Survey: Format Choice RESULTS

DIGITAL MUSIC SURVEY – The DJs Format Choice

Back in December we launched a digital DJ music survey with DJkit.com and JunoDownload.com to find out what file format choice DJs are making and why.  Historically DJs mostly used compressed MP3 files out of necessity as slow broadband speeds and hard drive storage availability made DJing with un-compressed files a challenge.  Many years later both those obstacles are a thing of the past, but are DJs making the most of this and upgrading their preferred format to high resolution files?  There’s certainly more information available now for DJs to understand bitrate and audio quality and with a very high percentage of DJs using digital files to DJ with on a USB drive or direct from a laptop it will be interesting to see the results.

INTRODUCTION

We received over 300 responses globally from DJs of all backgrounds. 13% of the DJs that responded are full time, 52% were part time with the remaining participants being bedrooms DJs.  The DJs had a wide variety of backgrounds with 57% playing at clubs and festivals, 31% regularly appearing on radio, 30% had a bar residency and 25% were in the wedding / mobile DJ market.

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FORMAT CHOICE – SURVEY RESULTS

DJs Format Choice - Which digital music formats do you DJ with

First up we asked ‘Which digital formats do you DJ with’, this was a multiple choice question and the results are not hugely surprising with MP3 taking the lead but what is interesting is the WAV uncompressed format is not too far behind.

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DJs Format Choice - Which is your first choice?

Next up we asked DJs to choose which is their preferred format and again a very similar pattern to the general choice of format.

We also asked DJs to elaborate on why the specific format was their preferred choice and the answers we’re mostly in unison with those DJs preferring MP3 citing hard drive space and cost being the major factors. Those DJs who preferred uncompressed formats like WAV & AIFF again were mostly in sync saying quality is their main priority for choosing a higher resolution format.

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Finally, we asked where DJs sourced their music from and encouragingly a very high percentage of DJs got their music legitimately with promo mail outs, friends and Soundcloud following in a collectively close second.

Worrying, just over 10% source their music from ripping online, now we never judge as we’re all in our own situations (one student we had didn’t have access to any legal download stores in his country), but as a DJ keeping your musical integrity and professionalism should be very high on all our lists. As we quoted in our Understanding Bitrate & Audio Quality article you wouldn’t be happy if you paid good money going to the cinema and they played a VHS on the big screen! Why should this be different for clubbers?

You can be the best DJ out there but if the music you are playing has been ripped online it has a serious amount of essential frequencies stripped from it that may sound fine on your laptop speakers but will be terrible on a club sound system.

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SUMMARY

Personally we’re very pleased with the results and although only it’s a relatively small sample of DJs the overall results show that we are becoming more conscious of the music we source to play in public.  Hard drives are bigger and cheaper and broadband speeds give us the ability to download BluRay films in minutes so the initial obstacles we faced as DJs downloading uncompressed music are a thing of the past.

WINNERS

Firstly thank you to everyone who took part in the survey and to DJKit.com & JunoDownload.com for supplying the prizes, but at the end of the day there can be only one winner (2 runner ups!)

Congratulations to Sam Baylis who won a pair of Pioneer HDJ-1500 headphones from DJKit.com and a £50 JunoDownload.com voucher.

Also, congratulations to our 2 runner up winners, Martijn van der Voort Dougie ‘DJ Dougster’ Gibson who both won a £25 voucher for JunoDownload.com each.

  • Jay Cunningham

    Thank you to everyone who took part!

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About The Author

Lead Tutor
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On The Rise DJ Academy is owned and run by Jay Cunning and Terry from Atomic Hooligan, both have been professional DJs since the late 90’s.
Find out more about our tutors here: http://ontheriseacademy.com/meet-the-team/

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  • Jay Cunningham

    Thank you to everyone who took part!