iPod/Computer vs. Hiring a DJ

I have received calls from a few people considering renting sound equipment so that they can play music from an iPod or computer at their event. Some of them mention how expensive it is to hire a DJ so I thought it might be helpful to list the differences between doing it yourself (DIY) and hiring a professional disc jockey.

 iPod/computer playlist device                                     DJ Service*                                                                                
 Music selection is limited to what you buy No extra cost for access to their music library
 Create your song sequence in advance Each song chosen and played at the right time
 Need additional sound amplification equipment* Equipment rental included in service fee
 Need to install the equipment yourself* DJ does installation while you do something else
 Need additional power cords to reach the outlet DJ has extra supplies for this situation
 Determine the best spot for the equipment DJ knows where the best spot is
 You may need to adjust the volume of each song DJ controls volume to maintain consistent level
 Stop music to make an announcement Inherent function of having a DJ
 Need a microphone to make announcements* Rental included in fee
Playing a song out of sequence may be difficult Inherent function of the DJ
Need the music louder for dancing DJ has already made that adjustment
You organize activities such as a cake cutting DJ probably already has it under control
Include songs with choreographed dances DJ knows not to play all of these at once
You motivate the guests to participate The DJ has techniques to make it fun
Party ends and you have to pack up equipment Inherent function of the DJ
Return the equipment Not your problem
Cost: Maybe $150 for extra equipment $300 to $500+
Overall experience rating: eh, maybe a 3 out of 10 At least a 7 out of 10

*For fun DJ entertainment and/or equipment rentals in and around the Harrisburg PA area, contact Rhythm System at www.rhythmsystem.com or 717-540-8826