http://www.robodj.com

Create Automatic Music Playlists for Your Internet Radio Station,
On-Air Broadcast Station, Store or Food & Beverage Venue

History

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History of RoboDJ

RoboDJ was first created in February 1999 (Beta Version 0.2) to address the issue of presenting background music for cafes. The idea was to play existing WAV (raw audio) and AVI audio music files then in use due to the hassle of playing CDs and using CD changers.  The program was moderately successful, but the lack of tag information (such as artist, title, and other information) severely limited the flexibility of RoboDJ. 

The next version, 0.5, was designed in June 1999 to incorporate the new WMA (Windows Media Audio, version 1) file format, which was designed to be comparable in sound quality to WAV files, but half the size.  The original design required individual folders to be dragged and dropped onto the player, taking a lot of time to establish play lists.

Version 1.0

After receiving some good reviews in Los Angeles, it was time to move forward with a more robust and more highly automated system.  At that time, MP3 files became all the rage, and the concept of tags within the files for artist, title, genre, album, and other information helped extend the usefulness of RoboDJ. 

A major rewrite of RoboDJ allowed for a new method of adding music files: Automatic scanning of the computer's hard drive.  This made RoboDJ much easier for novice users to use.  The WAV, WMA, and now MP3 file formats were incorporated into this version, RoboDJ Version 1.0, released in April 2001. 

After testing RoboDJ in various venues, it was discovered that different processors (Pentium 3, Pentium 4, and AMD's Athlon processor) treated the playback differently, so that the seamless transition between songs wasn't so seamless after all.  Also, RoboDJ went from 2 player engines to 4, allowing for extremely short sound files such as small announcements, musical stingers, and other brief (less than 3-second) sound files could be played in succession.  The timed play scheduler was rewritten to make it more user-friendly.  This resulted in version 1.5, released in October 2005.

Version 2.0

Now, we're up to RoboDJ Version 2.0.  There are many important differences in Version 2.0:

  • File Formats - Support of Apple's iTunes MP4 format (called M4A and sometimes AAC) was added.  Support for the non-tagged WAV format was dropped.  RoboDJ continues to support the Microsoft WMA format and the very popular MP3 format.  Support for protected (DRM) songs was dropped. 
  • Tagging - RoboDJ 2.0 makes extensive use of song file tags, including a fuzzy match algorithm to make allowances for misspellings and alternate spellings (such as "Areatha" for Aretha Franklin). 
  • Smart Tagging - RoboDJ is able to determine hit songs from other songs and tags them in the database so that they play more often than lesser-known songs.  RoboDJ also combines various genres into more streamlined genre tags.
  • No Duplicate Play - RoboDJ prevents duplicate play within X amount of time, set by the user.  There are 5 levels of replay, so that popular tunes can be set to play more often than obscure tunes.  Also, if there are multiple copies of songs in different folders or on different disk drives, or similar versions (such as a studio version and a live version), RoboDJ marks them all as played when one plays.  So, there is no need to remove duplicates from your computer. 
  • Holiday Exclusion - By default, songs identified with the holidays are excluded from play until manually turned on.  Since holiday songs can be in any genre (classical, rock, country, folk, etc.) this eliminates a holiday song from accidentally getting played at the wrong time of the year. 
  • Default Formats - In order to make it easier to set up RoboDJ quickly, the program automatically generates a main default play list based on the number of songs in particular decades.  So, for instance, if you have songs that are mostly 1990s, with fewer from the 1980s and 2000s, and still fewer from the 1970s and 2010s, RoboDJ will create a default format that plays more of the 1990s, less of the 1980s and 2000s, and still fewer from the 2010s and 1970s.  Also, RoboDJ automatically creates music formats for jazz, R&B, classical, and other musical areas (provided that the user has enough of those online to make the formats viable).  Of course, any format can be modified or deleted and any number of new formats can be biult. 
  • DJIQ - This is an automatic DJ algorithm which can be set to act like a DJ by building play lists based on title, artist, composer, album, and genre.  This results in two different versions of the same song being played back to back, or two different songs by the same composer being played.  DJIQ can be set to operate occasionally, such as 20% of the time, to very frequently, to not at all. 

Future Development

Future Development for RoboDJ will include more robust support of audio streaming, online purchase, and matching of music tempos.  Buyers of RoboDJ Version 2.0 will receive free updates in that series.  It's expected that the RoboDJ Version 2 series will be available for several years.

 

Send mail to robodj@live.com with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright 1999-2012 David Kaye
Last modified: 04/23/13