The key to running a successful software based DJ system as laptop DJ, is to buy a dedicated laptop for the task, and to only run the operating system and DJ Software on there, and never allow it to run other applications or even connect to the internet.
This way the installation runs and remains clean and largely error free, will rarely have a corrupt file, and won’t get infiltrated or bogged down with several other applications.
This advice is given by DJ’s including me who have been using DJ software and PC’s for many years, and have found this method of laptop DJ’ing to be just as reliable as conventional DJ’ing from CD’s.
Hard Drives For Laptop DJ’s
With large laptop internal hard drives, you can store thousands of 320-bit MP3s though a lot of DJs use CD-quality WAV or AIFF files instead.
Video files take up much more space , so an external hard drive is necessary.
Sending video signals also uses more bandwidth than audio, so while a USB 2.0 drive is good for audio, FireWire 400 or FireWire 800 are better connections for video.
For video drives, pay attention to drive speed (7200 RPM is essential) and the chip set.
The 500 GB external drives have fallen to low prices now, and terabyte drives are coming down in price.
Italian Laptop DJ Giuseppe Ottaviani playing live with two Apple Powerbooks running Ableton Live & Traktor, two keyboards, two different mixers and an effects machine during Crasher Hyper Royale night at Gatecrasher One, Sheffield 2007, Picture by Brian O’Mahony .