DJ Streaming Guide

In a digital age where everything is streamed over the internet rather than bought at the shops, it’s no surprise that the creators of DJ software are racing to implement streaming support.

In this guide, you’ll find everything you need to know about DJ streaming in 2019!

Which software works with my streaming service?

When comparing plans, it’s worth noting many of these services offer family plans for a little extra per month which might be better value for money should your family want to share a plan with you.

Also remember that the AAC format holds better quality audio in smaller files so don’t be put off by 256kps AAC as it is equivalent to, if not slightly higher quality than a 320kps MP3 file.

It’s also worth checking with each service what music is on offer as some major artist such as Beyonce, Jay Z and Taylor Swift aren’t available on all platforms. Many offer free trial periods which we recommend you use to evaluate the service.

Service Compatible DJ Software Price Per Month Audio Quality
Amazon Prime None £7.99 Not disclosed
Apple Music None £9.99 Not disclosed
Beatport Link Rekordbox, Virtual DJ, WeDJ Link: £14.99 LinkPRO: £39.99 LinkPRO+ £59.99
Beatport LINK: AAC 128kbp/s Beatport LINK PRO: AAC 256kbp/s
Beatsource Not available yet but soon Virtual DJ, Rekordbox, Denon DJ Not Confirmed Not disclosed
Deezer Virtual DJ, edjay £9.99 320kbps
Google Play None £9.99 320kbps
Spotify None £9.99 320kbps
Soundcloud GO+ Serato DJ, Virtual DJ, Rekordbox, WeDJ, edjay, Traktor DJ 2, Denon DJ (coming soon) £9.99
256kbps AAC (320kbps MP3)
Tidal Serato DJ, Denon DJ Premium: £9.99 Hi-Fi: £19.99
320kbps and up to 24-bit/192kHz

 

What Streaming Services Work With My Software?

DJ Software Streaming Services Available
Algoriddim DJay Tidal, Soundcloud
edjing Deezer, Soundcloud
Denon DJ Tidal (Beatport Link, Beatsource Link and Soundcloud Go are coming soon)
Rekordbox Beatport Link, Soundcloud GO (Beatsource Link coming soon)
Serato Tidal, Soundcloud GO
Virtual DJ
Deezer, Soundcloud, Beatport Link, IDJ Pool (Beatsource Link coming soon)
WeDJ Beatport Link, Soundcloud GO
Traktor DJ 2 Soundcloud GO

As you can see here not all streaming services are for use in a public performance.

The problems with streaming in performances.

It’s not always legal

Streaming music for live performances can be a bit of a minefield and truth be told it’s not something we would recommend for professional DJ’s at the moment.

The first thing you need to check with your streaming provider is the legality of public performance. Unfortunately, many of the providers don’t permit the use of music for anything other than personal use. DJ focused streaming pools such as Beatsource won’t suffer from this issue, but it’s something worth checking before running into trouble with the law.

Internet Connection

Another issue to remember is the internet connection needed to access these tracks. Most clubs and bars don’t offer robust and stable internet connections. Public Wi-Fi is also notoriously weak.

Many creators of DJ software recommend DJ’ing with Wi-Fi turned off for performance reasons with most computers performing background tasks while connected to the net. The locker functionality offered by Beatport and Beatsource offers the DJ an opportunity to save the track locally. This allows the tracks be played offline, which is our preferred method.

You never own the music

It’s worth remembering that with streaming you never own the music you’re playing. As we saw when the first DJ streaming platform, Pulselocker went bust, far too many DJ’s lost libraries and playlists with no warning whats so ever.

You should never replace your library with streaming as there is no guarantee you’ll have access to it from one day to the next. Ask any DJ who lost music in the Pulselocker collapse, and you’ll see why you should still purchase those essential tracks for your performances and use streaming as a back up/request solution only.

Metadata is easily lost

Every time you stream a track for the first time, your computer has to analyse the download to work out the BPM, key and length of the track. This adds temporary stress on to your system. Most software will, however, save this analysis for the next time you stream that exact track. 

The problem is when searching a track. Many streaming services offer the same song many times over. Thanks to various albums containing the same songs, it’s easy to load a different copy of the same track meaning all your hot cues, metadata and analysation lost and you need to reanalyse.

Not every track is what it seems

Another big problem with streaming is the ease in which you can accidentally load a cover version or remix of a song. Not every artist allows their music to be on streaming services, most notably Taylor Swift, Jay Z and Beyonce have all removed their music from all services bar Tidal.

However, cover versions of these tracks are found on the services, meaning it’s easy to play the wrong version accidentally. It is also tricky when using streaming to check if the track is a dirty or clean edit.

The main issue, however, is that streaming services do not need to upload extended versions or DJ edits of tracks. As 99% of their customers are just listening casually on phones, the extended mixes sometimes are missing. Meaning the DJ will have to mix with radio edits and tracks with very little intro/outro.

Streaming a track for the first time in Serato with very fast internet.

Streaming a track for the first time in Serato with very fast internet.

 

Video Guide

Want to learn more DJ skills?

Learn with Crossfader, here are some of our best selling courses!

 

Published: 15th November 2019

In this article we break down the essentials you need to know about all the streaming options available to DJ’s and the reasons why you shouldn’t depend on them!

Leave a comment