Becoming a DJ now is easier in some regards. To purchase music, one can sit at home and buy songs from iTunes or Amazon. Storing music is a lot easier as well. Keeping music on a external or internal hard drives is far more portable compared to lugging around CD cases like these:
The only way you could play CDs was through a duel rack-mountable CD player or a CDJ, which is like a turntable except for CDs. Now there are various ways to play music. You can use a iPod, CD player, or computer but there are also media players as well. These can read music from memory cards, jump drives, and external hard-drives. I use a player called the Cortex HDC 1000 which reads USB devices. The downfall to these players is their small screen. It can be hard to scroll through hundreds of songs looking for a particular one. This is the reason why many DJs are moving to computers.
I know some mobile DJs who use desktop computers while others use laptops. Using a desktop has several advantages. first off, they are typically cheaper then laptops. Desktops also have the ability to be customizable. You can pick out a keyboard, a monitor, and a wireless mouse of various brands. for example a DJ may want a glow in the dark keyboard, a 22 inch monitor and a touch pad instead of a wireless mouse. You couldn’t have this with a laptop. The ability to replace broken components is also a major advantage. it is far cheaper to replace monitor compared to fixing a laptop screen.
Laptops have their own advantages as well. The biggest advantage is their portability and quick set up. It’s a lot easier to bring a laptop to a club or wedding compared to a desktop. Prices for laptops have dropped drastically as well. You can pick up a decent laptop for a relatively cheap. Here is a picture of my system. I just started running a two laptop system. I use one as a back up if anything were to fail.
As you can see, technology has made a DJ’s job easier. It has provided many more options and methods of playing music. Now it is up to each DJ to pick their preference.