Hit all the right notes with Virtual DJ

Get the party started with the help of this capable DJ program.

Gone are the days when you had to haul expensive, large equipment to a wedding or party to crank out the tunes. Now that music has gone digital, you just need your computer and an expansive MP3 playlist. And with Virtual DJ, you can mix and scratch your tunes like a professional to be the life of the party.

Now, we don't have a lot of experience with DJ software, but we think it speaks to Virtual DJ's smart design that we were able to immediately drag and drop a track to play. The program immediately pulled our iTunes playlist and other music files from our PC and displayed them in a tree menu for easy browsing. We selected a track and dragged it to the deck. Once it started playing, we were able to virtually "scratch" our track using our mouse to turn the dial. We did find it a little cumbersome to turn the dials with just our mouse; mixing hardware might be a good investment if you are serious about spinning. Virtual DJ includes dials that let you applying various effects, including backspin, beatgrid, and overloop. You have two decks so that you can start playing one song and have the next one ready to go to make a smooth transition without interrupting the music. Blue and red sound waves at the top of the window representing each deck let you visually mix your tracks. For any newbies out there, an ample online Help guide will answer any questions you have beyond the normal setup, but we found ourselves quickly becoming comfortable with the program by just playing around with the dials.

Virtual DJ does install desktop icons without your permission. You'll also want to pay attention during installation, or it will install a toolbar and change your default search to Ask.com. However, it does uninstall cleanly. We recommend this program for all user levels.

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