First to the end result. On my DJ-stand, I have a small LCD screen facing the dancers. I dim the lights to the minimum to make it as non-disturbing as possible, yet visible from across the room. The display shows information like this:
And for the cortinas, I have another layout:
So to the technical details
As explained in a different post, I use Foobar 2000 as my DJ software. After searching wikis and forums, I found the 'Now Playing Simple' plugin. Thank you, Skipy Rich, for making that available!!
The plugin writes information about the currently playing song to a file. I have configured it as follows:
As you can see, it writes the information to the file 'np.csv' on my Desktop. The formatting string you see is:
Then I needed to display that file in a nice way. I therefore wrote a simple Java servlet program to read the file, parse it, and output a nicely formatted HTML page. That servlet is right now a big hack, but it works. If you are interested in the code, please let me know! I will then see if I can tidy it up a bit, and release it under a open source license.
Some interesting (?) details:
I use Jquery quickfit to adjust the size of the text. That way, I make sure the text fits, no matter how long the song title, name of the orchestra, etc.
I use Maven Console Plugin to package the servlet into an executable file. When I start DJing, I simply double-click on the packaged file, and I am ready to go! Thanks to you, my colleague at Kantega, Eirik Bjørsnøs, for making computer programming simpler!
I then display the HTML on an external screen using Google Chrome. As the HTML is available over the network, I could also display it some other places. For example an iPad closer to where the people are in the milonga.