In a recent sit-down with NPR, turntable prodigy and longtime Kanye West collaborator DJ A-Trak gave an overview of Serato, a piece of software that lets DJs spin MP3s and other digital files with an old-school turntable setup. The software, he explains, offers a compromise between the convenience of digital files and the tactile experience of spinning vinyl. But it also changed how DJs found new music:
Part of what made the switch to digital quicker and easier was I did a couple of big file trades with a couple of DJs. You would meet up with another DJ and you had a hard drive with a certain amount of gigs of mp3, and just swap. Then suddenly you're like, 'Whoa, this guy just gave me a folder of like 200 a capellas.' That's a great arsenal. And quickly one thing that became very apparent to me was that right as I started doing a couple of these trades that in a matter of moments would quadruple the size of my song library, I also started accumulating music in a lot of different genres.
Somewhere, some record label executive just choked on his sandwich. [NPR]