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DJ Conversion Utility 4.0 Library Migration App Review

Joey Santos
Last updated 13 July, 2020

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The Lowdown

DJ Conversion Utility (DJCU) is a Mac app that lets you transfer your current DJ library to other DJ apps and music management software, including Serato DJ, Virtual DJ, Traktor, Rekordbox, and iTunes / Music. Version 4.0 adds a new graphic interface and friendlier workflow that makes library conversion easier than in previous iterations. It’s the best DJCU yet, and should delight existing users and entice new ones into the fold.

Video Review

First Impressions / Setting up

If you’ve been DJing for a while now, chances are you’ve come across some controllers that have piqued your interest, but aren’t compatible with your software. You buy it anyway, install the compatible software, then come to the realisation that it takes quite a bit of work to transfer your DJ library because stuff like hot cues and playlists made in your old DJ software don’t show up in your new DJ app. Back in the early days of digital DJing (I’m talking about the 2000s) you had no choice but to do everything manually, carefully adding hot cues back and recreating precious playlists.

Today, you’ve got specialist apps that do all the DJ library heavy lifting for you (with various extra features thrown in) including Rekord Buddy, Rekordcloud, and the app we’re looking at today: the Mac-only DJCU.

What makes DJCU different is that it’s the simplest, most no-nonsense of the bunch: all it does is convert your DJ library to another one of your choosing (we’ll go through the conversion options later). This makes it a streamlined app, though previous versions have been a bit tricky to use because of their dated interfaces.

That seems to be in the past with DJCU 4.0: it’s got a slicker look now with a simple workflow that can get your DJ library file converted in a few clicks.

Library conversions

DJCU can transfer you library from one app to another, though whether it works both ways depends on what DJ app you are converting from and converting to. (Transferring your library to Engine Prime is covered by Denon Conversion Utility, a separate app from the same developer.)

There are currently four big apps in digital DJing: Traktor, Serato DJ, Virtual DJ, and Rekordbox. The good news is that DJCU can convert your library to all of these. It can also convert to music library / management apps like Mixed In Key and iTunes / Music.

But DJCU doesn’t necessarily convert to and from all of these apps: some are two-way conversions (eg Rekordbox to Serato DJ, Serato to Rekordbox) while others are one-way (eg Virtual DJ to Rekordbox, Rekordbox to djay Pro). Furthermore, some app conversions aren’t possible such Virtual DJ to Serato DJ, though a workaround is possible here by going from Virtual DJ to Rekordbox, then Rekordbox to Serato DJ.

It can sound confusing, so here’s a list of the possible conversions (full “conversion recipes” at the bottom of this review):

Rekordbox <–> Serato
Rekordbox <–> Traktor

Virtual DJ -> Rekordbox
Rekordbox -> djay Pro
Rekordbox -> iTunes

Mixed In Key -> Rekordbox
Mixed In Key -> Traktor

I wanted to try it out with my Serato DJ library converting to Rekordbox (works with version 5.6.0 at the time of this review, no version 6.0 yet) and got to work.

In Use

 

The DJCU interface is the biggest “new” on here: gone is the dull, text-heavy main menu. In its place is a simple screen that has four logos: Traktor, Serato DJ, Rekordbox, and Virtual DJ.

The way it works is you pick the DJ app you are converting from, and then the screen that follows shows you the available conversion options for that particular library. In our example we’re exporting from Serato DJ, so you click on the Serato DJ logo which brings you to the Serato DJ conversion options screen.

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Here you can pick rules for hot cues and cue loops when you convert from Serato DJ to Rekordbox DJ (because DJCU only converts Serato DJ libraries to Rekordbox DJ, as noted in the conversion list above). You can also choose to export songs that were added to my library after a certain date, along with other conversion parameters. Once you’ve made your selections, you just click “Start Conversion” – a few seconds later another screen will pop up which will let you choose playlists you want to export too.

DJCU will then start the conversion process – it takes a few seconds up to several minutes depending on how large your library is. Since I was converting a demo library (18 tracks, one playlist) the wait was short.

The cool thing is that once it’s done, DJCU automatically launches Rekordbox with your newly converted Rekordbox XML library file. No need to move files around and copy paste directories – it does it all for you, which is a nice touch especially for those who don’t enjoy doing that kind of manual file management.

All the tracks in my Serato DJ library made it, including my playlist, plus my hot cues were there too along with their associated colours. Hot cue labels also made the jump, and for those that didn’t have labels I found the word “DJCue” in the box. Quick and easy.

The process is the same for Virtual DJ: click the Virtual DJ icon, choose your hot cue / cue loop options and other parameters, pick the playlists to include the export, and you’re off. DJCU creates a Rekordbox XML for it too, and opens Rekordbox.

This is because both Serato DJ and Virtual DJ can only be converted to and from Rekordbox, and that’s why the process is similar.

If you’re converting from Rekordbox, it’s a bit different. You click on the Rekordbox icon, then you choose which app you want to convert your Rekordbox library to: Serato DJ, Traktor, djay, or iTunes / Music. No converting straight to Virtual DJ unfortunately.

One downside to DJCU is that if you’re not running Rekordbox 5.6.0 (eg you’re on Rekordbox 6) it won’t work as smoothly. It’s safe to assume that an update for this will be made available by the DJCU team soon as the XML bug with Rekordbox 6 is sorted by Pioneer DJ.

Conclusion

It’s a simple app that gets the job done. We particularly like how much the interface and usability have improved from previous iterations. That said, there is some room for improvement in the other DJ app conversions: a single button click would be ideal if you wanted to convert your Serato DJ library to Traktor, for instance, because currently it’s a two-step process of converting from Serato to Rekordbox, and then Rekordbox to Traktor.

DJCU does what it sets out to do, and it does it quickly. I liked how simple it was to use, which is a substantial improvement compared to its predecessors which sometimes felt a bit like a throwback to Windows 98 shareware apps (in both good and bad ways).

There are other conversion apps out there if you want to do more: Rekord Buddy is an obvious one, which also does music library management apart from just converting and exporting DJ libraries. Rekordcloud is another, though it’s more of a “Swiss Army Knife” in the sense that it does many other things that digital DJs might be interested in.

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But if all you want to do is transfer your track metadata and playlists from one DJ app to another (and provided your DJ apps are covered in the conversions list) DJCU should be on your shortlist. It does the job well, its one-off pricing model will appeal to many, and we can’t stress how much its usability has improved – though a bit more clarity in the available DJ app conversions would be welcome. Recommended.

DJCU conversion recipes

We got in touch with DJCU developer MixMasterG, and he’s listed conversion recipes for all the apps. For example, if you wanted to convert Traktor to Serato, you simply follow the recipe below (eg Convert your Traktor library to Rekordbox, then convert the Rekordbox library into Serato. It’s worth noting that you don’t actually need to own Rekordbox to do this, DJCU simply needs the resulting Rekordbox XML file).

1. Traktor -> Serato
Convert from Traktor -> Rekordbox
Then convert from Rekordbox -> Serato

2. Traktor -> iTunes
Convert from Traktor -> Rekordbox
Then convert from Rekordbox -> iTunes

3. Traktor -> djay
Convert from Traktor -> Rekordbox
Then convert from Rekordbox -> djay

4. Serato -> Traktor
Convert from Serato -> Rekordbox
Then convert from Rekordbox -> Traktor

5. Serato -> iTunes
Convert from Serato -> Rekordbox
Then convert from Rekordbox -> iTunes

6. Serato -> djay
Convert from Serato -> Rekordbox
Then convert from Rekordbox -> djay

7. Virtual DJ -> Traktor
Convert from Virtual DJ -> Rekordbox
Then convert from Rekordbox -> Traktor

8. Virtual DJ -> Serato
Convert from Virtual DJ -> Rekordbox
Then convert from Rekordbox -> Serato

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