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How To: iTunes DJ

How To: iTunes DJ

One of the most interesting updates to iTunes 8.1 is the addition of the iTunes DJ playlist.

Currently my iTunes library contains over 4000 songs. Instead of culling the songs I don’t listen too or don’t even like over the years I have expanded my storage.


As a result I find I use the ‘Party Shuffle’ playlist while I am working to throw up songs I haven’t heard in a while. When Apple released the iTunes remote I felt I had taken a technological leap controlling my music with my phone. That leap has taken a stride further with iTunes DJ.

Basically the iTunes DJ offers any iPod Touch or iPhone user the ability to queue up songs in the playlist. Guest users can vote for songs and the song with the highest vote gets played next.

The more users with iPhones you have the more it is going to be voting for the next track, but the tool is even useful for single users.

To set up iTunes DJ, click on the playlist on the left hand menu of iTunes and then settings along the bottom right of the main iTunes window.

The following window should now appear :


You can control the automatically generated playlist as well as setup access for guest users via the iTunes remote application (available on the iTunes Apps Store). You can set a custom greeting, offer the option to allow users to vote for the next song and if you want to add a little security you can password protect the iTunes playlist. This would be useful for larger parties where only 2-3 people are granted permission to control the music.

dj3When a user loads up the iTunes remote application on their iphone they will not only see each iTunes device on your network (AppleTV etc) they will also see the DJ playlist greeting.

It should be noted that all users need to be on your wireless network and I am not sure I would grant everyone at a party access to my broadband internet connection.

Clicking on the iTunes DJ playlist displays a list of tracks that can be queued on for playing after the current track.

Once you find the track you want to play (and select it) the iTunes remote will display the upcoming tracks together with the current vote count.

Users can add and vote for as many tracks as they like and obviously the more votes a particular song gains the faster it moves up the playlist

In this example we voted for the Pixies ‘Monkeys Gone to Heaven’ that can now be seen as the next track to be played.

Songs that you have personally voted for appear with a little heart icon beside them.

Back in the iTunes desktop application you can see the playlist change to reflect our Pixies vote. You will also see a bizare mix of upcoming tracks.


This is a great addition to the iTunes system and would be great in a public setting (legalities pending) where you have a larger group of users. In the domestic setting though you may think twice about opening up your network to everyone with an iPod Touch or iPhone ?

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