When one of CH's designers tipped us to the Pacemaker, the world's first hand-held DJ system, (right after we also heard about it when in Europe recently), we knew it was worth checking out. Fortunately for us, we had the chance to experience it first hand when co-founder Ola Sars stopped by our offices earlier this week. In person, the "PSP of music's" look, feel and usability surpassed expectations; it's an innovative product in a great package.
The unit's black turntable-based design features solid construction and heft that makes it seem like the serious piece of equipment that it is. With a 120GB hard drive, the ability to preview tracks, adjust beats per minute, split and cut loops, crossfade, alter levels, add effects and more, the Pacemaker achieves the founders' goals of packing all the features of a full-fledged system into a gadget that's "the size of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich."
One of the round panels is a full-color display and the other is a touchpad that navigates through the menu, selects and cues tracks, adjusts volume and a performs a couple other tasks, all with a few intuitive motions. Buttons on the front and side round out the system, connecting with a USB 2.0 jack to your PC and using a mini line out.
Though arguably nothing compares to vinyl, the Pacemaker caters to audiophiles supporting WAV, FLAC and other files for sound quality 25 times better than what you get out of an iPod. It comes with a free embedded software client, comparable to iTunes but with mixing. All your mixes are automatically saved by default, which means they can then be edited or shared via the community platform Pacemaker's introducing.
An included DC charger enables seven hours of DJ use or 20 hours of listening to music off the battery. Both Mac and PC compatible and supporting 28 languages, the Pacemaker's set to reinvent deejaying as we know it—or at least make the "everyone's a DJ" cliche ring even more true.
Priced at €520, it's Due out on the European market this December (and expected to hit the U.S. in early '08), you can reserve yours from Pacemaker now.