I have been sitting on this for a while mainly because I was waiting for the newest version of an app I was helping Beta Test come out. That's right. I was helping to make something better and I was doing it FOR YOU! (and myself as well)
Let me tell you how nice and liberating it is to be able to run your own music without having to deal with inept techies who can't seem to understand the complexities of "pause" and "un-pause".
There are a myriad of options for running music from your pocket. They range into the thousands of dollars area to the low hundreds. A very popular one is the Show Cues App. However if you are broke (or cheap) then 90$ for an app seems like quite a bit.
If you think that's not pricey enough, you can go the Media Star route. (The most modern version of the much coveted MP3 tech) This one is pretty swank as it can control your lighting and whatnot as well.
However, if you are like me and just need some fades, pauses, and other random sundry features let me tell you what I have got goin' on in my pants.
If you JUST need to start and stop music your first stop is the iJet remote control. (well that and an ipod type device.) Now before we go any further, let me set a few things about the iJet straight. You will see or hear some people bitchin' about how it doesn't work right. The fault is actually on both sides.
The iJet buttons don't work if you just quickly press them. This is by design so it can't accidentally go off in your pocket. You have to hold the button down for about half a second. The problem is that I have found this information nowhere in the documentation. You just kind of have to "discover" that for yourself. So it's a mix of operator error and manufacturer omission. Once you are armed with this information, it makes the whole set-up work fine.
One of the cool things about the iJet for me is the fact you can tether up to 7 remotes to one device. If you are a weird anal retentive artist type like me and want to activate your music while holding a prop and not have to go to your pocket this is a great thing.
Speaking of remotes in your pocket, let me tell you about an old tried and true trick. If you glue some tiny fake costume jewels to the play button (and any other button you plan to use a lot) you can easily activate it from the outside of your pockets.
Go Go Gadget Go Button app!
If you need something a little more stout than just the default ipod playlists then I highly recommend an app called Go Button. It's much cheaper than the aforementioned options and has recently been updated with a much better functionality than it's first iteration. It's also the program I have been helping to beta test. Many of the features it was missing in version 1 have been suggested and implemented making it a much more complete show cue interface. One of my favorite features is the ability to customize your remote button's functions.
It also let's you loop, fade, and edit songs. Like any show cue program you can layer music tracks and other various helpful commands. For self-run music it's quite handy especially now.
(For those of you who just want to have your own sound person running your music you can use this for that too or use free programs like This One to run your music and sound effects.)
You have many options to help run your music yourself. If you need it, drop the hammer on the expensive ones. If you are like me and have 40-50$ laying around to commit to such a project you can't go terribly wrong with iJet and Go Button. There will always be naysayers to every solution. It's up to you to decide for yourself by being a smart consumer. Listen to your heart...