Despite my recent quips about Beatport and it’s ever growing library of mislabelled music genres, they have made me smile today. News is surfacing about a new project called Beatport Pro. This is purported to be the next big thing in DJ music library organisation and from what I have read so far, it seems set to be something high on my list of possible choices moving forward.
Don’t get too excited as it’s not yet available, but reading through the features is definitely wetting my appetite for more.
I have used Traktor for my main Music Library management tool for many years now, but this method can be somewhat cumbersome. I do enjoy the way Traktor allows you to set up a hotkey to add tracks to a pre-determined ‘preparation list’. Something that I have wished for in iTunes, but not been granted.
I love short-cuts, so being able to sift through my collection using the down arrows, followed by a key to pre-listen and another key to skip through the preview, followed by hitting another key to add it to a playlist is a very neat way to build playlists. I might show you how I have this set up in a future tutorial, but for the time being let’s focus on the beatport thing!
Looking at the beatport pro webpage, it seems that Ean Golden (DJ Tech Tools) is heavily involved in this project and as such you can find more details over on his site. The below video will give you a look into the world of Beatport Pro.
Tagging will Change my Life
On a recent commute, I wanted to organize some music for a gig and so opened up Traktor to perform my usual method of creating playlists for an outdoor event. As I began building lists I noticed that some tracks overlapped the lists. I wanted to add some of the tracks to two lists and thought that tagging would be a better alternative to this.
Interestingly enough, almost ALL other Apple software, such as iMovie, iPhoto and Final Cut Pro, offer tagging of files and photos. This means you can add a number of tags to your files for you to search them in different ways. Even Native Instruments Maschine has tagging in their sound library.
Tagging is ideal for music, as music has different moods. Perhaps one track is ‘Dark‘, but it is also ‘Tribal‘, or maybe it is ‘Feel Good‘ but also ‘Floaty‘. Whatever terms you would like to label your music, the option of tagging expands the potential for searching and organizing your library. As I am playing an outdoor party, I wanted to organise my tracks as “Dark“, “Light“, “Sun Up / Down“, “High energy“, “Wobbly” and a series of other tags.
Adding tracks to multiple playlists is a huge pain in the ass and it seems that Beatport might be onto the answer here with Tags.
Integration with Traktor
The library is said to work with a number of recognized DJ software programs, including Traktor.
Whilst they haven’t built a specific integration, it is possible to export your Beatport Pro Library as an xml file, (same as iTunes) and then re-direct your iTunes connection from Traktor to the xml from Beatport. It is not yet clear if this xml updates automatically each time you make adjustments to your library, meaning that you may need to export your library every time you make a change, causing you to reconnect and import collection each time. If this is the case, it could be a deal breaker for me.
Evolution of DJ Library Software
The technology industry is constantly accelerating and innovation continues at record pace. I am sure that it won’t be long before Traktor upgrades their library system to follow suit with this. The big question is, do you move to an external music library software?
As I mentioned earlier, I have always used Traktor’s library to manage my music, despite it’s minor flaws. My reasoning for this is, that when you rely on third party software, you are never truly in charge.
When iTunes made their last set of dramatic changes, complaints were heard across the land. When we get used to something that changes, we often find it hard to re-adjust our methods. Moving your collection to Beatport, might be a great move, but as with any big change, comes potential issues.
I am very interested to see how the launch and adoption of Beatport’s latest version of Beatport Pro goes down!
Is this something that interests you, or would you like to see improvements to Traktor’s own internal Library?
Consider adding your voice to the Traktor Feature Request section, where there is already a request for Track Tags. If Native Instruments brings tagging to Traktor, then you won’t have to go through the hassle of switching your library back and forth.