updated 05:00 pm EDT, Tue August 22, 2006
Cortex HDC-1000 USB Mixer
DJs are frequently protective of their music collections and will often go to great lengths to transport the music they need for sets or studio work. Laptops and digital mixing systems such as Final Scratch have helped DJs keep stacks of vinyl records at home, but most of these still require that the DJ use fragile media. A viable alternative may be the HDC-1000 controller just released by Cortex. Instead of CDs or laptop hard drives, the HDC-1000 can index and mix music on up to four separate USB storage devices at the same time - eight if the owner has a USB hub. Though it can only accept MP3, WAV, and CD audio formats, it can load them from multiple file systems, including the HFS+ system used by Macs. It can be rackmounted and currently sells for $500.