organising cd’s when playing out

i’ve been grappling with the problem of how to prepare and organise cd’s for playing out ever since my numarks started venturing into clubs and bars. given that a friend who has moved to cd mixing recently asked me how i organise my cd’s, i’m thinking this may be a larger problem. so, in case you were wondering, here’s my approach.

i had 600+ cd’s before i got my decks, all in the bigger 200 cd cases. trawling the whole lot around with me each time i played out didn’t seem reasonable. taking my favourite 20 cd’s of the moment seemed limiting. what i now do is keep all the cd’s (in some kind of order) in the larger cases and keep a smaller one (i think it holds 48 cd’s) as the case i use for going out - the equivalent of my record bag. i’ve been doing this for the last couple of months and so far it seems to be working fine. 

the other thing i find useful is to have some kind of bookmark so you can mark the place of the playing cd as you flick through the case. this helps me keep cd’s in whatever order i’d chosen, although i have to confess by the last hour of the night i’m generally jamming cd’s in any available spot (not a major problem as things have usually got a bit ‘freeform’ by this stage of the night anyway).

a bigger problem i have is how i burn downloaded tracks to cd. burning individual tracks to a cd seemed like too much of a waste (and too bulky) so i burn compilations of tracks with 10 or so tracks on. the thing is, i need to burn 2 copies to give me the flexibility to go from one track to any other. this also seems wasteful and it can be tricky keeping the cd’s together.
for this reason, i can see a major advantage in moving to a fully digital dj setup. i can but dream…

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