The Best DJ Download Pools In 2014

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record pools
Last updated 10 May, 2017

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Digital Download Pool
Imagine getting all the hottest releases complete with DJ-friendly edits and remixes, straight to your inbox. It’s possible if you join a digital download pool! With so many online, though, choosing one can be a daunting task. In this article, we roundup the best ones right now to help you make an informed choice. Pic: Do Androids Dance

Before the turn of the millennium, record pools were the music resource for professional, gigging DJs who needed the freshest tunes ASAP. Pools used to be the DJ’s source for new releases before they were made available anywhere else because of their strong ties with record labels and publishers, so getting a coveted spot in a record pool meant access to new tunes “hot off the press” in vinyl or CD shipped to your house for a fee. In exchange for membership in a pool, DJs would rate the tracks and give them airplay at clubs they would gig at.

Today, record pools have made the transition to digital, letting members download music from their sites instead of mailing tunes in the post, cutting shipping cost and wait time, and also making it a lot more convenient for DJs.

Why should I join a digital download pool?

With music distribution and DJing going digital, DJs now turn to blogs as the de facto outlet for new songs, many of whic can be downloaded as soon as they’re put up on the web, but keeping tabs on all the music blogs online can be tricky. Also, since anyone with a laptop and internet access can grab songs from these blogs, “exclusivity” goes out the window. These two areas are where DJ pools still fill an important need.

While they may not be the primary source of music for all digital DJs these days, pools still occupy a very important niche in the DJing landscape; they’re a great resource for Top 40 / hip-hop / dance tunes with DJ intro edits, clean versions, and studio acapellas. They’re also an outlet for exclusive remixes, mashups, and re-drums of old songs, all of which are handy for open format and mobile DJs. Finally, pools set themselves apart from music blogs by having excellent customer support, with the best pools giving you e-mail updates on the latest music uploads to their system so that you download them immediately.

How do I join a digital download pool?

In the past, you strictly had to be a professional gigging or radio DJ in order to gain access to a record pool, since labels are basically handing out promotional copies of music so DJs can “break” them into their club or scene before it comes out in other mainstream outlets. These days, you can simply fill out a registration form at the pool’s site and, after paying the requisite subscription amount, gain access.

Wondering how to choose the DJ pool that’s right for you? Check out this article.

Top digital download pools (in no particular order)

iDJ Pool

iDJ Pool

Mostly EDM and hip-hop/R&B selection. The interface is a bit old-school, looking more like an FTP site than a modern web page, but that makes downloading entire folders of music easy to do in one sitting. Lots of good edits, remixes, and mashups to be had here.

Format: 320kbps MP3
Cost: US$50/month for access to their entire catalogue, or US$25 for urban and US$15 for country archives
Visit: iDJ Pool


Late Night Record Pool

LNRP

Comprehensive urban music selection, but also has a wide variety of other dance music genres (EDM, trap) to download. Offers the ability to download all versions of a chosen song (eg Clean, Dirty, Intro, Shortcut, Instrumental) with one click.

Format: 320kbps MP3
Cost: US$47/month, US$127 for three months, US$227 for six months, US$397 for one year
Visit: Late Night Record Pool


Digital DJ Pool

 

DDJ Pool

Good selection of urban and dance music with a more modern layout. They’ve got a “Featured Songs” section which reviews a new track daily, though majority of these songs are urban (with the exception of the occasional Top 40/EDM/UK Garage track). Great pool for hip-hop DJs.

Format: 320kbps MP3
Cost: US$12/month, or US$1 for a five-day trial for new members
Visit: Digital DJ Pool


DJ City

DJ City

Massive selection of dance music, including hip-hop, indie, and club Top 40. Lots of exclusive remixes and edits of popular tunes. Has a daily chart section and a well-curated DJ news portion on the site dedicated to the craft. Awesome for club DJs who need a wide selection of chart music.

Format: 320kbps MP3
Cost: US$90 for three months
Visit: DJ City


Promo Only (POOL)

Promo Only

The only pool in our line-up that uses its own download client/music player called “POOL Player” with an intuitive interface for easy searching. Impressive amount of music in this pool with different genres, and also includes video downloads. Awesome e-mail support with daily new release updates sent to your inbox by default. Another great pool for club and mobile DJs that need a variety of up-to-the-minute chart music, and a great resource for VJs.

Format: 320kbps MP3 and M4A, HD for videos
Cost: Starting from US$12 for a basic subscription to US$100 for the top-tier platinum membership
Visit: Promo Only


Direct Music Service

DMS

Easily searchable modern web interface lets you quickly scour through its vast catalogue of music from the 1950s and up. Has a good rock/indie dance/new wave selection, apart from the usual hip-hop and chart music, but of greater note is the impressive house/electro section. Good all-around pool for mobile DJs.

Format: 320kbps MP3
Cost: From US$29/month for the starter subscription to US$64/month for the professional one
Visit: Direct Music Service


Franchise Record Pool

Franchise

Another pool with a huge selection of music beyond urban and Top 40 music. Has a few videos, but mostly focused on hip-hop and r&b. The pool has a mobile app for Android and iOS that lets you preview songs online and download them to your PC. The pool also has its own software called TRACKer, which is a social app that connects you with other DJs in the pool, and lets you get in touch with the artist/label when you’re playing their tracks, among other features. Cost-effective pool for DJs that need a lot of music and some videos.

Format: 320kbps MP3, MP4 for videos
Cost: US$19/month
Visit: Franchise Record Pool


Masspool

Masspool

Modern web interface, mostly dance, urban, and Top 40/Pop music. Good electronic music selection, but no rock/indie tracks in the pool. Easily accessed and regularly updated Top 50 chart for different genres in the pool.

Format: 320kbps MP3
Cost: US$24/month
Visit: Masspool


My 12 Inch

My 12 Inch

Tons of urban tracks, as well as Top 40/Pop and radio hits. Has an extensive video section for VJs, one of the largest in this roundup. Web interface is a bit dated. Fantastic pool for hip-hop and club DJs that need both music and video for their performances.

Format: 320kbps MP3, MP4 for video
Cost: US$50/month, US$540/year
Visit: My 12 Inch

Conclusion

In the end, you have to choose a pool that meets three criteria: The pool has to have the genres you’re interested in, it has to offer the formats you need for your performance (eg videos if you’re a VJ), and it has to fit your budget. If you’re a busy individual who also happens to DJ a lot of mobile or club gigs, joining a record pool can save you from having to manually scour through new-release blogs in an effort to keep your library up to date, plus you also get those important intro/outro edits that make DJing radio singles easier. Again, while pools aren’t the primary way of discovering and breaking new tunes these days, they’re still a practical, time-saving resource to stay abreast of new tunes and remixes without having to do the “search and download” process manually.

Have you joined a record pool already? If so, what’s your favourite? Did we miss any? Share with us your suggestions in the comments section below.