Pioneer DJ has released rekordbox 6.0 and rekordbox for IOS 3.0, and it comes loaded with a huge amount of new features.
The first thing I want to talk about though is the pricing scheme. Gone is the licensing model (you buy the software for a fixed price and then upgrade to newer versions for free), now you can get a free version that is limited and obviously doesn’t have the nicer features, or pay a monthly fee.
I fully understand why Pioneer DJ goes this route (they aren’t alone) but it always bothers me, because I hate paying more money for something that costed much less before. The previous version of Rekordbox costed around 130 USD, one time. With the new monthly plan model, you will pay that amount per year. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily, as you will get a lot of features back for the price, and the guarantee you are always running the latest version. But yeah, it still stings a little bit 🙂
The good stuff: cloud storage
The Creative subscription package at 15 USD/month enables the cloud features: upload your DJ library to Dropbox and use it on different connected devices. The tracks will live in your dropbox while the metadata (cue points and such) will be stored on Pioneer DJ’s servers. Add rekordbox for IOS 3.0 into the mix and the possibilities for working on the go from different devices, both mobile devices, laptops, and desktops become seriously large.
Even if you stick to the free version, you can still sync track metadata between your phone and computer, which is a pretty cool thing to have for free.
This is where things get a bit tricky. If you have one of the following mixers/controllers:
- INTERFACE 2
your hardware will work (meaning the performance version will be unlocked) with the free version of Rekordbox 6.0 (but you will lose some features as this is the bare-bones subscription level).
So many Pioneer DJ controllers won’t work with version 6.0, and those DJ’s that want to upgrade AND keep performance mode will have to subscribe to one of the plans.
Needless to say, Pioneer DJ will want to push as many DJ’s as possible to the paid subscription plans, so don’t expect to be able to upgrade at zero cost and keep all of the functionality. For a comparison table between the different plans, check this page.
I need MUCH more time to dive into this one, but there is much promise here, even if the new subscription model is certainly a hurdle to take. Expect a full review soon.
Shared key features of rekordbox for Mac/Windows (ver. 6.0) and rekordbox for iOS (ver. 3.0)
- Cloud Library Sync If you link your Dropbox account with rekordbox, you can upload a part or all of your library to the cloud when you use the Creative subscription plan. Then, when you log in to your Pioneer DJ account on another device, all your tracks, playlists, Hot Cues, etc. are synchronized. You can use this feature to create backups of your library, or to sync the library from your main computer at home or in your studio to your laptop or iOS device. You can also prepare playlists, tracks, and metadata such as cue points on your iPhone.
- Mobile Library Sync for use with iPhones If you don’t take out a subscription plan, you can still transfer music on your computer directly to your iPhone by connecting both devices to the same network. If you edit metadata such as cue points and playlists on your phone, the changes will be seamlessly synced to the library on your computer when you reconnect both devices to a single network.
Key features of rekordbox for Mac/Windows (ver. 6.0)
- Inflyte support If you use the Inflyte digital promo service, you can check out all the tracks in your Promo Locker without leaving rekordbox, then simply choose which files you want to import to your library. Want to skip a step? Switch on the automatic sync feature and all new files available in your Promo Locker will immediately import to your rekordbox library every time you go online.
- Centralized management for various sources of music Manage all your music in one place with rekordbox ver. 6.0. As well as the files on your hard drive and those in the cloud and your Inflyte Promo Locker, you can access tracks from the Beatport LINK and SoundCloud Go+ streaming services. All your files will be analyzed by the application, enabling you to view waveforms, create Playlists, set Hot Cues, and tag tracks – wherever they come from. Even better, support for the new DJ streaming service Beatsource LINK, which is provided by the DJ music distribution services Beatport and DJcity, will be available via an update to rekordbox late Spring.
- 3Band waveform gives a visual representation of frequencies Understand how a track sounds without even listening to it. 3Band waveform uses different colors to indicate the volume of each frequency band. The three elements are either stacked (full waveform) or layered on top of each other (enlarged waveform) depending on the view you choose, so you can see the composition of the music just by looking at the waveform.
- Blue = lows
- Amber = mids
- White = highs
- Light option in Skin settings greatly improves screen visibility outdoors If the sun’s shining on your screen, switch the Skin setting to Light mode and you’ll get a much clearer view of all the information in rekordbox. Whether you’re playing at a festival, pool party, or other outdoor event, browsing tracks becomes easy thanks to the specially designed white background and high-contrast interface.
- Auto Relocate automatically finds missing tracks Never “lose” a track again thanks to the Auto Relocate feature. If the track you want to play next is missing because you moved it, rekordbox will search all locations within a specific folder chosen by you (e.g., your Pioneer DJ folder) until it finds the track, corrects the path, and plays it from the new location.
- Ableton Link support for syncing with various apps and hardware Synchronize the tempo of the master rekordbox deck with other apps on your device, apps on external devices, and hardware that’s compatible with Ableton Link technology. Go back-to-back with DJs using different performance applications, keep samplers and instruments in time with your tracks, and sync your music with VJ and LJ software that supports Ableton Link.
Key features of rekordbox for iOS (Ver. 3.0)
- Mobile Library Sync Sync the library on your iPhone by connecting it to the same network as your computer. You can download your entire library or choose the individual playlists and tracks you need. Any updates you’ve made to playlists or tracks on your phone will be reflected after Wi-Fi sync is complete.
- Support for direct connection to CDJs and XDJs Find, review, and prepare tracks whenever inspiration strikes and play them directly from your phone on selected CDJs and XDJs. There’s no need to import files to, or export them from, your laptop. So, if you’re sent a hot new track just before your set (or even during it), you can play the analyzed file with Hot Cues, etc.
- New GUI and features for smoother preparation Enjoy a smoother workflow. We created the new design and fresh features to help make it easier to prepare for gigs, even using a small screen. All of the following can be operated one-handed:
- Playlist Box – for intuitive music management Reference the playlist/collection you’re browsing and keep an eye on the destination you’re sending tracks to, which appears at the bottom of the screen. With Playlist Box, you’ll always know where you’re moving tracks to and from.
- Quick Cue – rapidly call up and set cue points Flick the Quick Cue button to the left to set your Memory Cues, flick it right to set your Hot Cues, and tap it to set Realtime Memory. There’s no need to switch screens.
- Realtime Memory – set Memory Cues on the fly Set a Memory Cue point by tapping the Quick Cue button. You can do this when the track is playing and even during Auto Beat Loop. This saves the process of stopping the music and pressing cue, then Memory, so there’s no need to interrupt the groove.
- Dual Control – preview specific points in mixes Check how a mix will sound further down the line. When you switch on Dual Control, all functions will be linked for both decks. So, with both tracks playing in sync, you can Beat Jump forward or swipe the waveforms and both tracks will advance by the same amount. This enables you to hear how the mix will develop without waiting for the tracks to play to that point.
- Independent A/B Decks – easily prepare each deck When both decks are displayed in Player mode, you can view Deck A or B on its own by swiping left (to see Deck A) or right (to see Deck B). You can then select a new track or adjust any of the cue or grid settings for that deck only. Swipe again and you’ll switch back to viewing both decks.
- Expanded features comparable to Export mode experience Preparing for gigs and DJing with rekordbox for iOS (ver. 3.0) feels similar to using the latest version of rekordbox Export mode (ver. 6.0). Use Beat Jump and Manual Loop, edit track and My Tag information, and find suitable tracks to play next with the Matching feature. You can play more file types too, including WAV, FLAC, and ALAC, as well as MP3 and AAC files.
Pricing and Availability
Available now. Free plan, Core Plan 10 USD/month (limited time 7 USD a month), Creative Plan 15 USD/month (limited time 10 USD/month).