Posted in communication and networking, education, electronic imaging and displays, music

DJ Baby App

At the risk of looking waaaaay too indulgent (and I’m not even a parent yet):

DJ Baby is a simple iPhone/iPod Touch app that lets even small children rock the turntables. It’s dead simple to use: Each of the four “records” has a vocal sample, and the button with the musical note starts and stops the  backbeat.  Clicking on the needle varies the vocal sample a little.  You can try out the app online (Flash required), although it’s more engaging with the touchscreen interface.  Plus, if you shake the device, there’s a bonus sound effect!

The app is definitely easy to use: Basically, if you trust your kid to hold the device, then they’ll be able to figure out the interface.  And the target audience–say, 6 and under?–will almost certainly find it diverting, although children in the older part of that range might not be willing to play long at a stretch without asking to play something else.

The simplicity has some consequences: there’s no way to save a beat, nor is there a way to create your own sample, whether by recording your voice or using a track from iTunes.  You can see why: It would defeat the whole purpose of the app if you were constantly being called over to fiddle with settings.


Beth Kelley is an applied & digital anthropologist with an overall interest in how people engage with and are impacted by their environments and vice versa. This has manifested itself in many ways, by looking at creativity, playful spaces, built environments, and environmental enrichment, sustainability, design research, and integrative and collaborative models of learning such as through play and hands-on learning.