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Crates Online Service Review

Joey Santos
Last updated 4 October, 2018

1964

The Lowdown

Crates makes hunting for songs on Beatport a more systematic and enjoyable affair. Music nerds will love the crate organisation options, and those who want to go beyond the Beatport Top 100 will find that there are thousands of songs out there just waiting to be discovered. Essential for Beatport diehards.

Video Review

First Impressions / Setting up

Browser
Crates works with your Beatport account, so it requires you to login or sign up if you don’t have one yet.

Crates requires you to have a Beatport account, so when you get to the site you login with your username. If you haven’t shopped on Beatport yet, you’ve got to sign up in order to use Crates.

I logged in with my account and got to work.

In Use

Interface
The Crates interface may look cramped and daunting initially, but it’s got a lot more track discovery, tune organisation, and song preview options than the standard Beatport website.

Crates is split into three sections: First, you’ve got the main interface in the middle of the screen, which displays tracks that have been pulled from Beatport. It looks a lot like the browser section of your favourite DJ software, with fields like Title, Artist, BPM, etc. This is also where all your search results are displayed when you look for a song on Beatport.

A nifty feature here is that it has the option to grey out songs that are part of a re-release, meaning they’re part of another dance music compilation album. This prevents you from buying a song twice (or even three times, as was the case with me before).

At the top you’ve got the music player, which has a track waveform preview, transport controls, as well as your shopping cart and account button.

Lastly, to the left you’ve got the Search bar interface where you type in the song you’re looking for. Below the search you’ll find three tabs: Crates, Profile, and Track. Crates is where you’ll find your crates section, which lets you create multiple crates to store music in either for future purchase or just for reference while you’re digging. Profile shows you more information about an artist who you’ve clicked on in the main window. You can view their top downloads on Beatport, as well as other data like social media links and their bio.

The third tab will be of greatest interest to DJs who use Beatport as their main source of music buying – this is where you can add the track to any of the crates that you’ve made, plus it also has the ability to search for a full-length version of the song over at YouTube. Handy for previewing what the entire track sounds like as opposed to the short snippet found on Beatport.

Clicking on the Dig Deeper option in this tab brings up a list of tracks that Crates think will go well with your chosen tune. You can then preview them in the Crates player, add to your crates or shopping cart, or resume digging. It’s fast, easy, and works really well – you’ll find yourself putting songs away in a crate, and being faced with the decision to blow all your cash on them or go through the painful experience of whittling them down to fit your budget (gig more to buy more, then!).

Conclusion

Digging
If you like digging for tunes on Beatport, you’ll love it even more when paired with the power and speed of Crates.

I do a big chunk of my music shopping on Beatport, and what annoys me about it is the rather archaic browsing experience. It’s easy to get lost in a click hole of song after song after song, and then when you want to backtrack because you forgot to add a track into your shopping cart or Hold Bin, that’s potentially lost forever.

Crates makes hunting for songs on Beatport a more systematic and enjoyable affair. Music nerds will love the crate organisation options, and those who want to go beyond the Beatport Top 100 will find that there are thousands of songs out there just waiting to be discovered.

Crates simplifies this entire process while giving you a repository for tunes that you’ll want to consider buying. It’s like taking along a record bag to your favourite music shop round the corner, except this time you don’t have to deal with the music snobs and body odour!

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