Wedding music

When we started thinking about the music we want for the wedding, our first thought was to just use an iPod, speakers, and a big iTunes playlist. We’ve got plenty of music, and that’s what I’ve always done for parties, so it’s kind of the obvious thing to do for this too. But then we realized that a wedding has several distinct parts to it — guest arrival, ceremony, aperitivo, dinner, cocktails and socializing — all with different musical requirements. Even if we could make a playlist that can handle all this, we’d still be unable to change gears as the mood changes, something that you generally need a DJ for.

We actually know a fair number of DJs, so we thought we’d recruit one for the day. The problem, however, is that most of the DJs we know don’t spin the kind of music we listen to and may not be familiar enough with the music in our library to be able to keep a good flow going. Most DJs we know spin goth, industrial, and dance music, which is not exactly what we have in mind for this. Going over the list of potential candidates we came up with exactly one person who we think could do a good job, but he’s more of an acquaintance than a friend so we’d feel a little weird about asking him. There’s also the possibility of last minute backing out when you’re not hiring professionals.

While talking about some of the other things we’re planning to keep the party interesting, we hit on the perfect solution for the music: a jukebox! User-generated music selections! We can provide different music libraries for different parts of the evening and let guests pick out what they want to hear. I did a little looking around and found SilverJuke, a software jukebox for OS X (and Windows) that does pretty much everything we want plus a couple things we didn’t know we wanted. SilverJuke plays music in true jukebox style: people can queue up songs they want to hear and if there’s nothing in the queue it will play randomly selected music until someone picks out more. A nice bonus is that is has a full screen kiosk mode so people can’t exit the program or download pr0n or whatever.

The one down side is that it doesn’t support iTunes playlists, but I’ve found an AppleScript for iTunes that will export iTunes playlists in M3U format, which SilverJuke does support. We’ll make playlists for the different parts of the evening and let people have fun with them (having fun is the whole point of the party, after all).