This year I will celebrate 25 years of DJing, so let me take this opportunity to look on the technical side of DJing rather than the production. If I start by dividing the last 25 years into three main eras, the first was by far the longest one.
From the late '80s until around 2005 was a time when I played solely with vinyl; after that, I used CDs as a sound carrier until 2011; then, finally, Pioneer invented the USB-plug generation of the CDJ player-series, which I have been using for the past two years.
I would never have expected that there was a technology that could still have been invented that would revolutionize my way of DJing so radically. Without exaggeration I can definitely say that it made me a far better DJ, although saying that, I am in no way suggesting that it would improve the basic skills that every DJ should have, such as the ability to mix in an exciting way, to mediate a unique story with the choice of tracks, or simply to entertain with their appearance — no technology could ever do that.
What it did was to help me prepare and organize my music in a much more efficient way than before, and the most important thing was that it gave me maximum control over the moment when I am selecting the next track in a live situation — and so delivering that killer sound.
I almost cannot believe that I actually played with CDs for six years because in the end, when I used to carry a bag with over 200 CDs around with me, I often failed to find the perfect connecting-track for the next mix. When I am using all the options that the Pioneer players and the corresponding Rekordbox software offers, I averagely need one minute to fish out the best possible track out of the thousands that I have pre-organized that are all in the 'style' and 'theme' folders on my USB-stick. I never wanted to become a laptop-DJ for many reasons, so I had to wait for six long years until there was finally a way for me to enjoy all the advantages of digital DJing yet at the same time prevented all the disadvantages of laptop-DJing. Thank you, Pioneer!