Cloud DJ Review

Our Review by Angela LaFollette on July 6th, 2012
Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: INNOVATIVE
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Cloud DJ lets users scratch and sample songs in real-time for a true DJ experience.

Developer: Satoshi Takano
Price: $1.99
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4S

iPhone Integration Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar

Cloud DJ
is intended to allow musicians to mix and sample streaming music in real-time from SoundCloud, which is a a free social networking music app that lets users capture and share sounds on-the-go. Music lovers can also use their iPod library to create new beats. All songs can be scratched, streamed and stored as five second samples for use in a set—making this a worthwhile app for DJs and anyone interested in mixing their own tracks.

Users are free to use SoundCloud’s database to search for tracks, use ones that they have favorited or upload their own music. Thanks to the huge catalog of songs that are uploaded daily, users shouldn’t have a problem finding the perfect song, beat or audio clip.

When a tack is selected, users must wait a few seconds for the blue ring to complete around the music notes. This means that the app has finished converting the sound file. The time it takes to convert a streaming song depends entirely on the internet or wireless connection. The progress indicator turns red if an error occurs, but I didn’t have a problem when testing it out on 4G.

Cloud DJ’s best selling feature is its intuitive interface. The waveforms on the right make scratching tacks a breeze. There are two waveform modes to select: birds-eye mode or scratch mode. Birds-eye shows the entire track so users can jump to a specific point of an audio file while scratch mode displays a 1-second waveform that enables users to scratch the song in a similar fashion as an analog record. There are also a handful of sound effects and options that range from speeding up the playback and monitoring the cue before playback to altering the EQ settings and recording up up to six samplers split between two decks.

Cloud DJ has a few downsides worth mentioning for those considering purchasing it. The first is that it hasn’t been tested on 3rd-generation devices, which means it might not work as well as it does on 4th-generation devices. Also, there is no iPad version for those who would like to utilize the larger screen space. Lastly, there doesn’t appear to be a way to export or import the recorded samplers to iTunes or to SoundCloud. The app does save them after it is closed, but I didn’t see any option to actually name and save them for an unlimited amount of samplers that users can have access to at any time.

Despite a couple of minor inconveniences, this is the perfect app for DJs and aspiring musicians alike. With an intuitive interface that’s packed with tons of features, it’s safe to say that Cloud DJ is one innovative app well-worth the $1.99 price tag.

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