A democratic solution to the neverending party DJ problem

Some CS guys at my alma mater, UCLA, have come up with a technological solution to a longstanding social problem: what to play at a party? Their program collects popular tracks from wi-fi-enabled players at the party like the Zune or Touch, or other laptops, and makes it into a playlist. If people leave and their signal is no longer detected, their tracks can be taken off the list. It can also be set to work in a round-robin fashion with people “suggesting” tracks in turn.

Now, while it’s an admirable effort, it’s often the case that there has to be a DJ in order to prevent the other people in the party from playing their favorites. In fact, I’m pretty good at setting up playlists at parties precisely because I completely ignore all my own musical preferences. It would probably be good at a less-intense party where people knew each other and didn’t always need to have some Daft Punk or Black Leotard Front blasting out to make them want to grind.

Wi-Fi music polling device takes heat off the DJ [New Scientist]