Native Instruments has announced that Traktor 3.2.1 is now available to all users. It brings Catalina compatibility and Kontrol S3 compatibility and and a host of other improvements and fixes, but stops short of working seamlessly with the new Apple Music app… for now.
Find out what the community thinks about this on our LIVE show
Before we look at the Catalina and Music app issue, let’s list what’s new:
- Kontrol S3 integration
- Key highlighting function now works better via a new “key reference” function
Kontrol S4 Mk3 improvements
- No longer possible to accidentally switch to EXT while track is playing (to avoid stopping the music)
- Relative tempo mode now works as it did on the Kontrol S4 Mk2
- Music folders now import alphabetically, not randomly
- iTunes non-Unicode characters now displayed properly
- Collection export and track relocation can now be cancelled while in progress
- Tracks can now be searched by colour
- Multiple Loop Recorder fixes
That Catalina news…
So while Traktor Pro 3.2.1 works with Catalina, it doesn’t work seamlessly with Apple Music, the iTunes replacement, yet. The development team tell me that they had it working but there are issues they didn’t foresee and so it’s not ready for roll out yet.
Luckily though, the Music app has the option to manually export the XML file that the “old” way of reading an iTunes library requires with Traktor, and so it is still possible to DJ with your iTunes playlists – it just takes a bit of a manual workaround for now.
• Here’s the official article on how to do it from the Traktor team.
To find out more, click this link (forthcoming).
Just like the Kontrol S3 announcement recently, this news is in truth relatively minor in itself, but for Traktor users worried about where their platform is going after those huge Native Instruments layoffs recently, any news is dissected and analysed for clues, good or otherwise, about where the platform is going.
Having spoken with the Traktor team personally at ADE and after voicing to them many of the fears our community has shared with us on Traktor’s future, I can impart some encouraging news for Traktor users to fill in the picture a little more here:
- Traktor is now operating more independently from the main producer-focused thrust of Native Instruments than before, which the development team feels is a good thing (the “One Native” strategy that Native Instruments used in its PR assault upon the 20% layoffs is apparently separate to Traktor, which maybe explains why Traktor wasn’t even mentioned in that press release, to the alarm of many users at the time)
- The Traktor team acknowledges that it needs to do more to stay in close touch with its users, intends to act on that, and appeared sincere when they told me this
- The Traktor team’s policy is now to release batches of smaller fixes, features and upgrades much more frequently than before – so expect more news pieces like this over the coming months, including for Traktor DJ, which has barely been touched in the year since launch – the days of “one or two software releases a year” are gone, says the team
- While the days of Traktor designing and building its own hardware appear to be over, that doesn’t mean Traktor branded hardware is over per se – just that the company is likely to use third parties to manufacture Traktor-branded gear in the future. This needn’t be bad news: Let’s face it, if it works for Apple and most of the rest of the DJ industry, there’s no theoretical reason why it can’t work for Traktor – and if it means more hardware, faster, potentially everyone will win
Based upon what we knew when the layoffs were announced, we felt we couldn’t recommend Traktor as a platform to new users at that time – there was just too much turmoil and there were too many conflicting signals coming out of Native Instruments.
Now, though, there appears to be a tentative pathway forward, and we feel that if Traktor can focus and stay close to its still-loyal user base, and of course assuming there is no more downsizing at Native Instruments that affects the Traktor team further, the platform’s future does appear to be a little more assured. Let’s hope so…
Has this release fixed anything you were waiting for? Are you feeling a little bit more optimistic now, if you’re a Traktor users Let us know in the comments..