Your Questions: What Do All The Names For Different Versions Of A Track Mean?

Ricky Martinez | Read time: 2 mins
beginner Track version names
Last updated 29 March, 2018


Subscription-based DJ download pools are great places to get music from, but they often list many versions of the same song. What do all the version labels mean, asks our reader today?

Digital DJ Tips member MUR write: “When I am downloading music from places like BPM Supreme and so on, I don’t know what some of the version terms mean. I mean terms like “Short Edit”, “Radio Edit”, “Clean Intro”, “Dirty Intro”. Especially clean and dirty intro, that’s confusing! I thought it had to do something with clean and dirty lyrics, but I don’t think it does. Can you help please?”

Digital DJ Tips says:

A “Radio Edit” is usually a version that is around three or so minutes, which is the usual sweet spot for playing on regular radio shows, meaning not those shows in which the DJ is mixing songs as if it was a performance in a club. For the latter scenario, some labels and record pools release so-called “Mixshow” edits.

In addition to the above, “Radio Edits” could also be songs that have been censored to eliminate swearing, due to restrictions imposed by radio communications agencies (in the US, the FCC has long had a list of such words; you can check a terrific comedy routine on this that George Carlin did decades ago).

Meanwhile, record pools also offer a variety of shorter versions, edited by contributors to the pool. These include, for example, so-called “Cutdown” versions, which reduce the length; “Short Edits”, which can be anywhere between about two and a half minutes to close three minutes long; and then there’re also “Super Short Edits” which can range from about a minute and a half and just over two minutes, although I’ve found them as short as one minute. These edits are especially useful for mobile DJs who want to satisfy the dancers with a bit of a famous song, or a song that would be a good transition.

“Clean Intros”, variously called “Clean DJ Intro” or “DJ Intro Clean”, are edits of usually mainstream songs that when the single or album version or the Radio Edit was/were released, didn’t contain at least an eight-bar intro that a DJ could use to beatmatch and transition from one song to another in a far easier way than otherwise. Some pools offer similar where the intro is 16 bars long.

“Dirty Intros” are similar to the above, except that any original use of swearing language has not been censored.

Has this helped? Got anything you’d like to add? Please do so in the comments below…

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