Review: DJ Player 5.8 for iPad
With streaming music services revolutionising the way people access music, it was only a matter of time before someone got a streaming music service right there inside an iOS DJ app. This is exactly what iMect, the maker of DJ Player for iPad, has done in the imminent new 5.8 version of that app. By plugging music streaming service Deezer in to DJ Player, the company has neatly offered iPad DJs immediate access to many millions of tunes.
You may not have heard of Deezer, but you will. It is the big rival to Spotify, a streaming service containing over 20 million licensed tracks available for online and offline playback. Currently, Deezer is available in over 200 countries, covering every European country and many others besides (but with the notable omissions of the US and Japan as we write).
As a service, Deezer is easy to use and you can try it for a 15-day free trial, during which there is a limit imposed on how much audio you can stream. The music library is vast and has content for most desires. There are many large labels offering their content via Deezer including Universal, EMI, Warner and Sony BMG.
Within DJ Player, Deezer tracks are only displayed in the library if you are online. (Offline playback of Deezer tracks is only possible using the Deezer app.) This is OK, since we all know how restrictive and costly storage is on iOS devices, but some offline access would nevertheless be preferable. However, it is quite seamless the way you can not only access tracks from your Deezer playlists but browse the Deezer library entirely within the DJ Player library view.
This is incredibly powerful, especially since DJ Player can analyse those tracks displayed. For example, you could search Deezer for a particular phrase and a stack of tracks get returned in the library view.
The details displayed are the same as any track from your Music Library on the device (including artwork, duration, title and artist). If you start the analysis of these search results you will also see BPM added to the details.
If you load a Deezer track into a deck, it behaves exactly the same as any other track in your Music Library. You can apply cues and loops as normal which are stored ready for the next time the track is loaded. The only difference is that you know the track is being streamed as the waveform gets built every time, but this is a quick process in DJ Player.
Deezer is the biggest news, but there are some other notable additions:
- Post-fader FX – If you turn on either of the Space effects (like Echo) and cut the track in and out using the crossfader, the echo will continue even when you’ve cut the audio of the track completely. You can quickly get some great dubby style sounds going on and it’s a pro addition to the software
- Auto loops and cues combination – This is another cool feature and can be rather effective, depending on where your cue points are placed. Set a bunch of cue points on your track and during playback go into the Loop FX page (for beatgrid dependent auto-looping). Play with the loop increments a bit until you’ve got a setting you’re happy with. Then jump back onto the deck screen and start pressing those cue points. You’ll find that the auto loop length is carried with you as those cues are pressed – particularly effective if you’ve set the loop length to one of the fractional figures and you’re then glitching your track up. Great fun and all on-beat too
- Filter on track library screen – A quick and effective way to bring back a subset of tracks, on which you can sort as normal
There are a few new settings too: you can choose to reset the tempo fader on track load, set maximum cache size, and choose to hide cloud music. The maximum cache size is of more use if you’ve just analysed your entire library and found that your iOS storage appears to be limited. This ability isn’t available on any other DJ app I know of.
DJ Player goes from strength to strength and continues to be one of the most professional-focused DJ app available with a constant supply of fresh surprises for us. The Deezer support is great news. It’s not Spotify which means no US coverage, but outside of the US Deezer is actually more widely available.
This update to DJ Player brings with it a host of new features, most notably the inclusion of Deezer, a music streaming service. While the service isn't offered in the US, it's available in 200+ other countries in the world, making it a good alternative if you don't have Spotify where you live.
- DJ Player 5.8
- From: iMect
- Price: $19.99
- Reviewed by:
Are you excited by the idea of having a streaming music service right there in an iOS DJ app? With post-fader FX, DVS and Midi support, do you agree that DJ Player is the most fully specced iOS DJ app out there? Please share your thoughts in the comments.