Artificial Intelligence Is Your Next DJ
Helen Sung | Friday, September 8, 2017
SparkDJ is an app programed to use an algorithm that will make your party experience seamless with DJ-mixed music and live crowd interaction. Guests can make song requests on the app, which will automatically adapt the requests to its playlist based on genre, rhythm and other factors — all at a cost much lower than hiring a DJ.
James Jones Jr., Notre Dame alum and founder of SparkDJ, came up with the idea when he was maxed out at three to four gigs per week DJ-ing at Finnies, Club Fever and typical college parties. As an undergrad, he taught himself to code in order to develop a mobile app that would offer on-demand DJ services remotely. The project stemmed from an invitation to DJ for a house party that needed his talent, but for which he did not have time. Jones pre-recorded tracks for the hosts and they loved it. Soon, that became a fully developed mobile app available on the Apple App Store.
“There’s a lot of analysis, a combination of technology and manual effort involved. This is more complex than I ever thought it would be but I believe it’s going to be worth it,” Jones stated in an interview with TECHdotMN.
Once downloaded, users can requests songs and vote others’ requests up or down. Event hosts can set thematic or genre guidelines and each request will be adapted to the playlist, curating a customized mix. Users can download the app for free, and hosts pay $1.99 per hour.
SparkDJ differentiates itself from other streaming services, such as Spotify or Soundcloud, in that songs are selected from a DJ’s perspective to make effortless transitions between songs.
“The feeling of walking in a club and hearing live music is something we cannot yet use technology to reproduce, and I don’t think SparkDJ will find ever top that,” Jones stated in the same interview.
The app charges a higher rate than streaming services, but much less than live DJs. “There’s bound to be a percentage of those who will find the cost benefit of this unique experience to be worth paying something for,” Jones said.
Jones’ clients are both individuals and businesses looking for music to brighten their events.