Pioneer DJ has today launched its new Rekordbox v4.0 DJ app for iOS (iPhone and iPad), which adds a free beginner DJ app to the track preparation and Rekordbox Cloud library features of the previous v3.6 app. Sadly though, the promised Android app is not here, with Pioneer DJ offering no date for when it will drop.
May 2023 Update: Rekordbox v4.0 Mobile App Now Available For Android
The new Rekordbox v4.0 app for iOS combines track preparation (cues, loops, playlists and so on) with a full DJ app, similar to Pioneer DJ’s existing WeDJ app or, indeed, Algoriddim’s djay Pro AI.
Mobile DJ app with Rekordbox library sync
The big advantage for users over Pioneer DJ’s existing WeDJ app is that the new app has Rekordbox library integration.
This means that – for the first time, a new DJ can start out playing for free (probably using streaming services) on the Rekordbox v4 app, later add hardware (the new app works with both the DDJ-FLX4 and the DDJ-200 Pioneer DJ controllers), graduate to using laptop DJ software, start building an “owned” music collection (synced in Rekordbox Cloud, of course) and finally move to using Pioneer DJ pro DJ gear – all without the need to change platform at any point.
Freemium model for extra features
The new app is free, with SoundCloud and TIDAL integration, basic two-deck mixing, sync, cues, loops and some FX. There is a subscription option for more performance features, unlocking extra effects, better pad control, headphones cueing, and support for forthcoming hardware integrations – although the app does work without a subscription alongside the DDJ-FLX4 and the old DDJ-200. The subscription is a similar price to Algoriddim’s djay Pro AI (£45/$50/€50 a year, £/$/€7 a month).
When plugged in to a DDJ-FLX4 with a USB-C-to-Lightning cable, Rekordbox for iOS v4 works as laptop DJ software would, with all the hardware features and inputs and outputs in use, including headphone cueing – plus you can charge your phone or tablet via a USB-C power supply plugged into the controller.
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It is also possible to DJ wirelessly from the FLX4 using Midi-over-Bluetooth, for super-casual use. At this stage there is no word on any other hardware integrations.
• More info from the Rekordbox website. The app is on the iOS App Store now.
This is definitely a play for the brand-new, younger, casual DJs taking their first steps.
From a business point of view, it makes sense for Pioneer DJ to replace its completely separate WeDJ app with one that gets new users into the Rekordbox ecosystem from the off – hence adding a DJ performance app with the existing Rekordbox track prep app.
Android will come in the end
It’s disappointing about the Android version, but not altogether surprising. Android is much harder to release music apps for than iOS, due to the huge array of Android devices out there, and different versions of Android software that those devices run.
However, there is an actual Android button on the back of the new DDJ-FLX4, so Pioneer DJ does appear to be committed to delivering this at some point.
Biggest uses for serious hobby and pro DJs
For pro and serious hobby DJs, the main use of this app won’t be for DJing, with or without beginner hardware. Instead, the main purpose remains as it was with the previous app: As a way to prep music (check mixes, add cues and loops, build playlists etc) on the go, with all your work then showing when you open Rekordbox on your laptop or log into the Rekordbox Cloud service on pro CDJs.
Another potential use for the app is plugging a phone or iPad into units like the CDJ-3000s, the XDJ-XZ or the XDJ-RX3 (and presumably the Opus Quad), and DJing directly from music or services with that set-up.
Use Rekordbox software like a pro: Rekordbox Made Easy
It’s all about the cloud…
Pioneer ultimately wants DJs to sign up for its Dropbox-powered cloud services for their own music with a Creative or Pro Rekordbox subscription. This has been designed as a way to get them hooked early and aware of the advantages of Rekordbox from their very first steps in DJing, to make it more likely that one day, that is exactly what they’ll do.
The real question is how well those cloud library features catch on in the DJ community. Time will tell…