In a shock move, Beatport has launched its own free DJ app, called Beatport DJ. Currently in public beta, it works 100% in a web browser. Because it interfaces directly with Beatport LINK, Beatport’s own music streaming service, it comes complete with millions of tracks built-in.
Beatport says that Beatport DJ is designed not as competition for existing DJ software, but to complement other platforms. Playlists you build in Beatport DJ show immediately in your “grown up” DJ software (assuming it is compatible, as most is nowadays), and cue points and loops also come across, making Beatport DJ a great tool for music prep as well as music discovery.
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Nonetheless, it is powerful software, with zoomable waveforms, key lock, effects, cues, loops, beat jump, Midi mapping, audio interface support, beatgridding and much more. Dig deeper and it has dozens of pro settings, some of which you won’t even find on established “name” DJ platforms.
One of its big features is automix, which can take any Beatport LINK playlist, including ones you’ve created yourself from within the app, and mix them “properly” – it does a far better job than many automix functions in other DJ software. You can shuffle, skip, and jump around among tunes when it is automixing, and “take over” to actually DJ those tracks whenever you want.
Check out this video, where I talk you through in greater detail some of these features, and demo the software.
This is big. It fixes two things for Beatport. One, it makes searching for music on Beatport fun again. Two, it turns Beatport LINK – the music streaming part fo the Beatport service – into a truly immersive music discovery platform, leapfrogging Serato, Apple Music, TIDAL and all the other streaming services.
And actually a third thing is that it’ll encourage uptake of Beatport LINK, because to get it, you have to be a LINK subscriber.
What other features really stood out for us? Obviously, being able to build playlists is excellent. You can click to buy tracks too (can’t do that in Spotify…). And we also loved the way when you switch into automix you get a “cover flow” view, a little like iTunes used to have many moons ago.
We were also excited when we discovered you can actually grab your playlists from existing streaming services (eg Spotify) and using a free tool called Tune My Music, import them easily into Beatport (match rate was about 80-85% for dance playlists).
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A Beatport LINK subscription starts at $15/month, although there is a free month offered when you sign up for the public beta of this app.
I’d really love to see proper back/forward buttons for library browsing, like you get on “real” browsers. And – if I’m nitpicking – I’d like to see key shift as well as key lock. But nonetheless this is an awesome first effort.
Adding cues and loops is great, but we’ve been informed since making the video that while Beatport is planning to have them carry across to DJ software, the feature is not implemented yet. Hopefully they can fix that sooner rather than later.
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Ideally of course, having software like this with ALL the world’s music, not just Beatport LINK’s catalogue, would be great. They could get there by merging Beatsource and Beatport, the two music streaming brands owned by Beatport, into one. We can but dream!
Meanwhile, this is a huge leap forwards for Beatport fans – especially those irked by the demise of its long-standing desktop discovery app, Beatport Pro.
By the way, if the app seems somehow familiar, that may be because it built on an existing web-based DJing platform, called You DJ – but it adds an awful lot of functionality on top of that that existing app.
• Try Beatport DJ beta it for free at dj.beatport.com.