Ballroom Dance > ballroom music and technology - what works best?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by raindance, Jul 8, 2013.

  1. raindance

    raindance Well-Known Member

    I am looking for input on how best to manage a ballroom music library with current technology. There were a couple of recent threads on apps for iPhones/iPads that looked very helpful for practice music, especially for rounds. I would like to pick a good easy to use system and go with it. So, what works for you? What do you like about it? And what do you use it for? (e.g. practice, teaching, parties, etc) If you had a chance to start over with your dance music, what would you do differently?

    I'll add more info in the next post about my specific situation and questions. But I am interested in hearing what works for everyone even if it doesn't match my situation. I did search the database, and I found a few helpful tidbits in various threads, but nothing that summarized what options people are finding work best.
     
  2. raindance

    raindance Well-Known Member

    I am mostly looking for a way to organize personal dance music for practice. I currently have a PC computer that has some music ripped from CDs (and still have the CDs if I need to re-rip in another format), and a small number of tracks purchased online through Amazon, but I haven't really figured out a good overall system that I like. I need a new phone, so I figure this is a good chance to pick a system that works with a phone (iPhone vs droid vs windows). I haven't been that excited about windows media player, though it works OK for creating playlists, etc. I don't have experience with iTunes, but am wondering if it would make sense to make the switch, or if there is something better out there.

    I would like to be able to manage my library on the computer, but also sync and take it with me for practice (with a phone or mp3 player). I have a decent portable speaker, plus the headphone option of course. I'm tired of lugging a laptop around to have a good variety of music with me! I have an older mp3 player, but it isn't that user friendly. I don't usually have internet access where I practice, so the portable solution can't rely on that.

    Here are some things on my wish list:

    software that is easy to use, and that is compatible with ballroom music sources (e.g. if I go with iTunes, is there much ballroom music there, and can I add tracks from CDs I own, or that I've purchased online from a non-iTunes source? ditto for other software)

    ability to keep the original info with tracks (artist, title, year, etc) and also add other categories of info to each track - e.g. a column for the main dance that a song works for, another for alternate dances it works for, a spot for tempo, another for rating or comments area, etc, and then be able to sort the library by any of those categories (e.g. look for highly rated rumbas, or waltzes in a certain tempo range, etc)

    an easy way to check the tempo of any song (and ideally add that info to tracks automatically, with manual over-ride available)

    ability to make variety of playlists and access them easily

    basic editing (fades, shorten songs, change tempo, etc)

    for practice (portable) - option to repeat single song, play selected songs, play random songs from a given category, or play from playlists

    ability to change tempo of a song during practice without editing the song

    rounds capability - the ballroom competition trainer app sounded perfect - anyone found anything similar for non-iPhones?



    So, what software/apps do you like for these tasks?

    How do you organize your music?

    What gadgets do you like for portable music?
     
  3. stizzz

    stizzz New Member

    I'm an apple user all the way.

    iTunes makes it easier to organize music, and you can import your music onto it. In terms of software/apps, there is a new ballroom trainer app (for iphone, ipod touch) that someone designed that makes playlists of rounds, based on your iTunes library. There are apps in the iTunes store (yes free!) that lets you change tempo. Unfortunately I don't think the ballroom app lets you change the tempo, but I downloaded something on my iPhone called "Tempo" that allows you to do that seamlessly. it doesn't alter your song at all, just in the program.

    in terms of music organization. Generally speaking, I always organize by "Artist," then "Albums" then "Songs." (order of hierarchy). But iTunes automatically does that for you, too.

    Gadgets, I use my iPhone, iPod (it has a big storage capacity) and my MacBook Air.
     
  4. Janson

    Janson Active Member

    I tend to just have my list of music files (can open in Windows Media or VLC Player on the computer) that I rename the 'Album' as Jive, Waltz, Samba etc. All MP3 Players and whatever can pretty much sort by album, so playlist incompatibility and corruption isn't an issue.
     
  5. manteca

    manteca Member

    Music Library: iTunes, I like that I can easily create playlists of all types and load them onto my music players. Buying music online is a breeze ... maybe a little too easy.

    Sound System: Bose SoundDock. I like that it's ultra portable and still has great sound. Built-in battery automatically charges itself and the iPhone when it's all plugged in. Battery lasts about 2-4 hours. Stereo input for other types of players. The only thing I might change if for would be the JVC Kaboom, but that's a pretty big honkin' boombox, really nice but much bigger.

    Gadgets/Music Players: iPhone and iPad. I usually just use the built-in music player. For social nights, I bought an app called Djay which lets me preview and cue up songs using headphones >> without interrupting the song that's currently playing. Has a lot of other useful DJ features like changing the tempo, faders etc.
     
  6. raindance

    raindance Well-Known Member

    Thanks for all the comments so far. I'm encouraged to hear that you can import music (stuff bought elsewhere) into iTunes.

    Will the droids or windows phones work with iTunes, or do I need to go the iPhone route if I want iTunes to be my primary portable music source? (And if I want to use apps like Djay or others, that means I would need iPhone, those won't work on an iPod, right?)
     
  7. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    I use iTunes at home and on my phone. Pro: You easily can define new playlists. You can tag the music (title, style, rhythm, ... up to 25 categories). You´ve also got an build-in equalizer. Neg: you cannot fade and blend between two sources, because itunes only got one sound-processor. A tone pitch is missing, too. But it´s ok for me.

    Also give Audacity a try:

    http://www.dance-forums.com/threads/standardized-music-speed.26953/page-2#post-952363
     
  8. manteca

    manteca Member

    Djay works on the iPod Touch, but not the mini iPods.
     
  9. BOWEN

    BOWEN New Member

    Use "Ballroom Player", it's a new app made just for organizing your ballroom rounds. You can setup tempo, duration and sequence in the app.
     
  10. raindance

    raindance Well-Known Member

    Is it available for Android?
     
  11. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    Also just the other day MusicMills was just released! Designed by Brent Mills one of the leading dancesport Music Directors in the business. You can make playlist/folders, design rounds, edit tempo on the fly, set start and end points, create fade outs.

    It is for both IOS and Android. And it is free.
     
    scullystwin42, j_alexandra and Sania like this.
  12. ballroomdancertoo

    ballroomdancertoo Well-Known Member

    Larinda, went to the site MusicMills and there wasn't anything about android. also the price says 2.99. if possible can you give me a link to the site you mentioned?
     
  13. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    I got it from the IOS app store. And Brent specifically said that it was also for Android. I'll try to find his post on that.
     
  14. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

  15. ballroomdancertoo

    ballroomdancertoo Well-Known Member

    thanks for the speedy reply. will check it out.
     
  16. flying_backwards

    flying_backwards Active Member

    Tried it for the first time just now. Seems good. The very first iphone app I've ever installed or used. But it seemed easy to start and came with music pre-loaded. The standard rounds were WTFQ, no Viennese; but that's likely a setting I'm just not seeing. I think this will be handy. Will try it at practice tonight.

    I have not yet tried MusicMills.
     
  17. Sania

    Sania Well-Known Member

    Just bought music mills - Will be interested to check it out, as I occasionally DJ for socials
     
    Larinda McRaven likes this.

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