I checked out the My Digital Life expo at New York’s Jacob Javits Convention Center today. It was pretty cool if you’re a video game fanatic. Companies ranging from Microsoft, Dell, Electronic Arts, Toshiba and Gateway were on hand, all with their high powered PC’s running a wide range of game systems. I’m not much of a gamer, but I did take a bunch of photos just to show some of the intense game systems that are out there right now.
Hewlett Packard displayed it’s printing and scanning wares at their booth. Nokia and Palm were the only two mobile handset companies on hand. Palm was heavily promoting its new Centro, which is really just a cheaper version of the Palm Treo, with a few extra features. I’m not so happy with my Palm Treo 700p, so even though they’ve got the new Centro out, it’s not such a big deal. With Spring having a 30-day exclusive on the new model, it’s even less impressive. I picked up a Centro and tried to get on the web. On the first try, the Blazer browser was loading…loading…and loading some more. Maybe I had it in my hand for 10 or 15 seconds, before I put it back on its display stand.
Nokia’s presence was impressive. The world’s top mobile phone manufacturer had all its top models on display. I was only there for a short time, but noticed that the people checking out the Nokia were mostly Asian, while the people checking out the Palm were generally White or African American professionals and twenty-somethings that where discussing the data and organizer options over the camera options. Nokia seemed to have a hold on the tech savvy, gadget crowd, while Palm had its business oriented fans. It wasn’t a scientific sample, by any means. But interesting nonetheless.
There were a few telecommunications companies espousing the benefits of voicemail to text services or the single phone number philosophy. Western Digital, the hard drive manufacturer, had a booth, but I didn’t see many people hanging around. Hard drives just aren’t that sexy.
One company that had a major presence was Best Buy, who were touting their Geek Squad services. I think they’re trying to beat Apple at their own game. Best Buy’s Geek Squad are supposed to be equivalent to Apple’s Genius Bar employees. But, I once went on an interview at the Apple store and et me tell you. You have to be an Apple fanatic–to the point that you should know every nuance of an iPod (even how to take it apart and put it back together) before they’ll give you a job at an Apple store. I can’t imagine that Best Buy can fill every Geek Squad bar, across their entire U.S. footprint, with computer techs as savvy as Apple Store employees. Needless to say, the Geek Squad area wasn’t crowded when I was there, but maybe that’s because there were no specific promotions going on at the time.
What does all this have to do with DJ culture? Well, not much. But if you’re M-Audio, you were THE ONLY software and hardware audio production company focused on DJs, mixing and music production at the event. I thought that was pretty smart of M-Audio to take the steps to introduce aspiring bedroom DJs to their products before the Christmas season.
I spoke to one of the sales reps, Tony, who kindly gave me a Torq T-shirt (thanks Tony!) about Torq’s Xponent controller. He told me that at this event, they were pretty much focused on the mainstream consumer who was interested in making and mixing music at the entry level. Xponent is a professional piece, which they left it out to keep it simple.
I have the X-Session Pro, which is M-Audio USB mixer that works with their Torq DJ software or others. For example, I use it with Traktor DJ, but I’m interested in trying out Torq with X-Session Pro or Xponent.
You can check out Xponent on the company’s web site, M-Audio.com. I’ve included a photo of the product below.
The company had a DJ on hand who demonstrated Torq software and digital i/o interface using Technics turntables and the company’s vinyl controller plates. I took a few photos and video, which I have posted below.