A recently posted and well thought-out article from DigitalDJTips.com “7 Rules Of Music Organization For Digital DJs” touches on many great music organizational points, and is worth a read for Digital DJs, particularly for DJs new to DJ mixing software.
There is one point made that I think will hit home for many DJs going Digital:
Add cover art to your tunes – Especially for tunes you used to own on vinyl or CD, adding the correct cover art (and by correct, I mean the art you remember from your old physical copies) can give you a great visual aid and let you “flick through” your music in the same way you were used to back in the day.
I started DJing in ’98, not long before I joined the team at PCDJ. I spent very little time with “traditional” DJ setups such as vinyl and CD’s, instead jumping directly into the digital realm so the visual aspects of selecting music while mixing weren’t yet imprinted on my brain.
I hadn’t put much thought and consideration into how album art can be so very helpful in selecting tracks to play, but I have now: Album art or CD cover art provided a visual reference and visuals can create an emotional and nostalgic response you just don’t get from “blanking and scrolling”, as DigitalDJTips.com put it.
Especially for DJs used to vinyl and CDs, coming to digital – where there’s just a whole list of files in a browser – can take the soul out of owning music. – DigitalDJTips.com
The above quote sums it up well. A large text-based list of music can all run together creating little visual response or connection.
Sure you can color code tracks in the DEX 3 browser but it’s simply not the same as album art – a visual cue that triggers an immediate response. When in the heat of the mix and looking to find that perfect track to keep the energy level peaking, album art can help your brain make a decision faster and more accurately.
If you’re audio tracks and music videos aren’t already tagged with album art there are some excellent and easy-to-use products out there that will apply art and clean up existing tags. MusicBrainz Picard is one great solution I’ve personally used on my library. It found art for the bulk of my music collection and all it takes is a few clicks with your mouse.
I suggest you too put the “soul back into music” with Album Art.