Beatport’s New Beatport Pro Software Misses The Mark

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Beatport looks to be in trouble since they’ve been taken over by SFX.  They laid off the entire engineering staff right before the holidays, claiming they were “spread too thin,” and haven’t really made any splashes since, so you can imagine our interest when they announced that Beatport Pro was coming out.  Their claim was that it was a “tagging, filtering, and organizational tool” that was “designed for the unique needs of DJs.”  Several of us are DJs with unique needs, and it made sense for us to download the program and give it a spin.

First of all, you need a Beatport account in order to log into the software.  Just like iTunes, the hope is that people will utilize the charts and purchase content.  It also boasts the ability to “work with” existing programs, but this is misleading.  Plugging in my S4 and Vestax controllers would be pointless because there are no drivers to support the hardware.  Loading up Traktor and Serato also did nothing, as your playlists from Beatport Pro don’t automatically transfer to your DJ software.  To truly utilize Beatport Pro, you need to export your settings as an iTunes library, then adjust your Serato or Traktor accordingly.

All isn’t terrible here, though, as there are two things in this software that make complete sense. One is the “Sync with Beatport” button. As most of the records that I imported are either unreleased or free downloads that weren’t sold on Beatport, this didn’t do anything.  But if you’re downloading popular or Top 40 records that Beatport recognizes, this could certainly come in handy as a tool to fill out missing data automatically.  The other useful feature are the “mood,” “venue,” and “set time” tags. If I’m playing at 10PM at a warehouse, my set will be completely different than a club at 2AM, and Beatport Pro can help me differentiate those playlists.

The fact of the matter here is that this software is no more helpful than the programs we currently operate in.  Being able to see waveforms doesn’t do anything for us.  Serato and Traktor currently offer most of the features that Beatport Pro does, and doesn’t require the download of an additional program to help manage playlists.  Beatport Pro also doesn’t actually analyze records or allow me to set cue points, two features that may entice DJs to hop on board.  Recordbox already exists for those that spin on CDJs and don’t want to bring a computer with them.  All in all, Beatport Pro isn’t offering much more than another hub for us to access their charts, and any real DJ has little or no use for it.

  • Brittany Michelle Gaston

    Sooo… how did the program work with turntables and cdjs rather than the use of serato or controller???

    • darkgrey

      lol please be sarcasm please be sarcasm please be sarcasm

    • Michael DjNappy Abernathy

      If you’re just using CDJs, Rekordbox is the standard software for orginization. If you’re using turntables, you would either be using Serato or Traktor, which Beatport Pro doesn’t work directly with. Or vinyl, which doesn’t require a program. Short answer is that it doesn’t.

    • djcoma

      Beatport Pro is not a program to DJ with. Think of it as an iTunes replacement specifically geared towards DJ’s. It’s not a Serato or Traktor replacement.

  • AnyRealDJ

    What are you even comparing this to? Because the playlists don’t automatically show up in Serato/Traktor it’s automatically inferior to iTunes? Seeing waveforms _is_ useful, and this is a 1.0 release of free software. Sure it has beatport stuff baked in, but for those of us that actually do peruse the charts for what’s coming out, it’s much nicer than the web interface.

    PLUS the fact that you can now finally FILTER AND SORT the store results by key, tempo, genre etc. is a HUGE move forward in customers getting usability out of Beatport’s library.

    Having Nappy on staff as the resident Debbie Downer and ghost producer conspiracy theorist is cool and all, but handing him a product review for something that is making an honest effort at being a tool in the new landscape of “digital DJing”, and then spitting out a garbage send up like this without any actual information is hardly journalism.

    • Michael DjNappy Abernathy

      I’m comparing it to iTunes and DJ software. Because the playlists don’t automatically show up in Serato/Traktor it’s automatically less efficient than iTunes. In both Serato and Traktor, you can create cue points on that waveform, so we appreciate seeing it because we can manipulate it in a useful way, not because it looks cool. The 1.0 release was largely pointless programming that exists elsewhere. That’s was what was offered up and that’s what I decided to review. I’m genuinely interested in how this product develops. But there’s definitely a difference between saying “please try harder” and being a Debbie Downer. I highly suggest you take note of the hundreds of records I’ve covered while you read my 8 sadboy articles.

      • http://djangoduval.blogspot.com Django

        I find it weird that people would turn their noses up at an alternative to iTunes. Windows users use Media Player, Winamp, MediaMonkey, Foobar2000, RealPlayer and many other alternatives to iTunes when it comes to a media player. Mac users have a lot less options, which is strange considering that Macs are usually preferred by music professionals. The main reason many DJs I know use iTunes is for lack of anything else. Not everyone LIKES iTunes.

        Also, I really don’t see why not being able to add cue points is a problem… That’s what my DJ software is for!
        My DJ software is not a media player, nor does it fetch metadata for me, and if I organised my music there, it wouldn’t reflect in iTunes or any other media player – that’s what something like this is for! They serve different purposes.

        Lastly, having waveforms in a media player used for previewing tracks is not “just because it looks cool.” I mean really.

        I’m not saying this is perfect, but it has a lot that we needed, and a LOT of potential. There’s so much that iTunes doesn’t do that Beatport Pro could, and in time probably will.

        By the way, previous versions of Beatport Pro WERE just a hub for viewing their store, so that component shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone – it’s been out for at least a year now (maybe more). You could have multiple carts, which was a huge improvement for those of us with gigantic Beatport Hold Bins. Seems a shame to not mention any of this in the review, because if you understand where this app started, it should make more sense to you.

        • Michael DjNappy Abernathy

          i evaluated as is. shit that isn’t on beatport isn’t fetched, so if you’re getting your records from people that aren’t putting them up for sale (free downloads) there is no need for metadata sync. and i’m saying that it basically does the same thing as itunes but doesn’t actually sync your playlists to DJ software directly. creates an extra step that could easily be programmed in.

          • djcoma

            The extra step isn’t Beatport’s fault per se. The people who make the DJ software (i.e. Serato) need to make their software work with it too. That will happen in time and the extra step will be unnecessary once they roll out those updates.

          • http://www.rockthedub.com/ khal

            I’d say it wasn’t Beatport’s fault if Serato and Traktor came after. That should’ve been a part of their design.

    • http://www.soundcloud.com/Galvanix Galvanix

      You can already filter and sort w/ iTunes with a huge amount of flexibility. The only advantage is a built in beatport store (wow!) otherwise it’s just more bullshit for DJ’s to get caught up in.

    • Nicholas James Concklin

      LOL OK butthurt Beatport Engineer

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  • DJ

    Its pointless if it does not export to Traktor, Serato, Recordbox. Just another marketing tool to hook your library with Beatport and I bet they analyze your library, otherwise whats the point apart from a good looking interface.

    • djcoma

      I think it will eventually. To make them work together is a 2-way street so Serato and Traktor are going to have to add features to their software. It will happen in time.

  • JMo

    I am finding this software very useful so far. I’ve never used iTunes to manage my music to begin with. I am a Traktor DJ using extensive playlists which in the end is not that useful when wanting to create a new one on the fly and finding similar music especially with my poor memory. So I like the filters Beatport Pro provides. I now just point Traktor to use Beatport Pro’s Itunes XML file. So the playlists integrate nicely. Easily syncing with Beatport to get album art and other meta data is nice and simple and speeds up the process. One little feature I really like though is that if I have already previewed a track it tells me. When sitting at my desk listening to hundreds of tunes it’s great not having to listen to it again and wasting time! By the way can you define “real dj?”