Future Jock, Revisted – By Dan Walsh – MB 135

May 16, 2011 by Dan Walsh


Way back sometime in the first five years of MB (1994, issues 18 and 19 to be precise), then-primary tech writer Henry Collins and publisher Bob Lindquist did a two-part feature called “Future Jock” where they talked about what might be in store for DJs and their gear in coming decades. As we’ve delved into the MB archives to find material for this retrospective issue, it’s been fun to see how things have changed. And in the case of “Future Jock” it’s especially interesting to see the mixture of accurate and incorrect predicting our tech-minded MB scribes were able to muster.

Take, for example, the opening paragraph of Future Jock, Part 1:

“The year is 2000 and DJ Digital Jam is cranking up his computer work station. He begins to download musical selections for the upcoming weekend jobs. Quickly checking his play list for the evening, he then dials out to perform a loop back diagnostic on his remote systems. Tonight, “Dee Jam,” his preferred handle, will be telemixing to four client sites. He will be spinning new wave Latin music at one club, progressive hip-hop at the second, techno at the third and Top 40 at the fourth.”

Well, remote DJing hasn’t caught on quite yet; but of course it is well within the realm of possibility with current networking technology. Only within the last few years have internet connection speeds, bandwidth capabilities, video hardware and audio/video software all developed to the point where a completely “telemixed” performance might be done with acceptable sound and video quality.

More on target were Henry’s predictions about digital playback. While the “Future Jock” series predated the advent of MP3 as the defacto standard of digital audio file storage, he foresaw DJs leaving behind vinyl and CDs (and MiniDiscs, which at the time seemed poised for possible ascendancy—oh well, sorry Sony) for hard drives packed with tracks and/or online “file server” storage.

Again, just recently—in this case, very recently—that last idea has really come to fruition. Online file servers, now known more affectionately as “the cloud” when taken as a group, are now capable not only of storage, but real-time playback. Amazon’s new Cloud Drive and Cloud Player let you not only store music you’ve purchased at the mega-commerce site, but also upload your other music files to store (ultimately for a fee, of course) and play everything back from a computer…or even a smartphone. (We should track Henry down and see if he had even an inkling that we’d be able to play music from the phones in our pockets. Who knew?)

After looking at the courageous attempt at prophecy made by an earlier MB writer and editor, the current crew has realized we need to man-up and take our own crack at the ole’ crystal ball. Look for new generation of “Future Jock” (or maybe some other hip new kinda title) in the near future!

Dan Walsh Dan Walsh (110 Posts)

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