Pioneer DJ’s new DDJ-200 hardware is designed to work with mobile devices and streaming services primarily, and laptops/local music only as another way of DJing on top of that. It is able to work with a wide range of streaming services by being compatible with DJ apps from other brands as well as Pioneer DJ’s own WeDJ.
To use Spotify on it, then, you don’t use the (free) WeDJ app that Pioneer DJ recommends for the unit (check our first look review here), but instead, you use the djay app from Algoriddim, which is officially supported too.
djay has the added advantage of also working with iPad, up to and including the iPad Pro, so you get much more screen real estate to play with over DJing with WeDJ on an iPhone (WeDJ isn’t for iPad as of now).
Note that day in its full version is a subscription app (although at the time of writing you get six months for free), and you’ll need a Spotify subscription too to do this.
How to set it up
To get the DDJ-200 working with the app, you need to first power the DDJ-200 (plug it into your phone charger with the attached cable, for instance), then use the supplied mono (or “DJ”) splitter cable to take your iOS device’s headphones out to both your speakers and your headphones. Note that if you’re using a newer iPhone, you’ll need the headphones adaptor too, which removes your chance to charge the iPhone without yet another adaptor.
Next, you need to hit the preferences and go to Bluetooth Controllers, tapping on the DDJ-200 to get the two devices talking to each other.
To use Spotify, you hit the flashing music icon on either deck, and select Spotify from your options as a source. Log in if you’re not logged in already, and all your playlists etc are there. Tap a track, and you’re off.
It is smooth, and a great deal of fun. Tracks load instantaneously on any half decent connection, and you can DJ with them immediately. for parties, music discover and so on, this is great – although because you can’t DJ with any kind of locally cached files, you wouldn’t want to rely on it for long in any professional situation.
The DDJ-200 and djay integration is fine – you’ll find yourself using the iOS device more for stuff that you can’t do on the controller (I couldn’t see any way to use pad FX, although I may have missed it, for instance); by default the pads are halved top/bottom between loops (with variations triggered by holding “shift” as well) and four cues.
Transition FX – a big new thing in WeDJ, with loads of variations – is one effect only (filter transition), again as far as I could tell on a “first look” test.
None of these limitations are dealbreakers, because for me one of the advantages of Algoriddim’s software is that you can use this on a bigger screened device where it’s fine to use the touchscreen a bit more. The views, the FX, the sequencer and several other things on djay are better than WeDJ for me, and I am sure a lot of Algoriddim users would agree too. the choice is what’s important.
The only thing that irked me was having to go into a menus then another menu to change headphones volume.
This is a great way of DJing with Spotify quickly, simply and cheaply using a neat new piece of beginner hardware from Pioneer, and an established leader in iOS DJing software.
Many people will be happy to see this, and a lot of beginners who simply don’t understand why they can’t DJ with their lovingly crafted Spotify library will love this – it removes a huge obstacle for getting started in DJing.
• Check out our first look DDJ-200 video and article and our Q&A session from our live show about this unit at this post.