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The quickest way to export to USB using Pioneer’s Rekordbox

Export Mode in Rekordbox

The 3 Step Tutorial

  1. Import
  2. Organise & Prepare
  3. Export

Pioneer’s software Rekordbox allows a DJ to analyse, prepare, and export music to USB or SD card ready to be played on the majority of Pioneers stand-alone DJ players. Including the XDJ RX2, XDJ 1000’s, XDJ 700, CDJ 2000 Nexus, CDJ 2000NXS2’s amongst many more.

Without Rekordbox, the DJ equipment doesn’t show vital information, such as the key, BPM or waveforms of each file. Rekordbox is ideal for making the most out of Pioneer’s CDJ & XDJ range.

 

Rekordbox USB Setup – Video Tutorial

We have broken down the basics of the software in this video tutorial. There are a few different ways you can physically get the music onto your preferred device, however here is the quickest and most convenient.

Rekordbox To USB – Export Mode Instructions

Step 1 – Import

To import your music to Rekordbox navigate to File> Import > Import Track, Import Folder or Import Playlist.

Alternatively, drag and drop tracks directly from folders on your computer or iTunes into the Rekordbox collection.

As soon as you import the music into your collection, Rekordbox will automatically analyse the files and add the beat grid, bpm, key and other information to each file.

Tip* If you already have music organised into playlists in iTunes then you can open the iTunes tab in Rekordbox, right-click on each playlist and import to the collection that way. If you have crates in Serato/Traktor then you can drag and drop from either straight into Rekordbox.


Step 2 – Organise & Prepare

After importing music to your collection, it is worth organising it into playlists within Rekordbox. To create a playlist, right-click on the playlist header in the left-hand navigation and create a playlist.

You can also create folders and intelligent playlists for extra organisation of your music library.

rekordbox playlists

Preparing Your Music

Rekordbox allows DJs to program and prepare hot cues, loops and memory points. You can recall most of these performance features on Pioneer’s DJ equipment. We have more lessons on where to set up, prepare and perform creatively with these features in our online DJ courses.

Step 3 – Export

Once organised, the simplest way to export the music to your selected device is to use the sync manager located in the bottom left of the program. Click Sync Manager, and a new window will open. If its the first time you have exported to your device you will need to check the box ‘Synchronise Playlists With a Device.’

Individually check each playlist you would like to add to the device and hit the arrow pointing to the right to add the tracks to your device.

Tip: You don’t need to drag the files onto your device within your computer or finder window as this will only create duplicates. Rekordbox has automatically added the files through the sync manager.

If you decide you would like to remove a playlist, uncheck that playlist in sync manager and hit the arrow again.

If you want to remove specific tracks, delete those tracks out of the playlist and hit the arrow again in sync manager. Rekordbox will remove tracks that no longer exist in the playlist.

sync manager rekordbox


Missing Files in Rekordbox

Please note that when imported, Rekordbox doesn’t duplicate the file on your computer. It reads the data from its original location. If you change the name or location of the original file, Rekordbox won’t be able to access it anymore.

Exclamation mark next to a song!

There is the option to relocate missing files in Rekordbox. Choose File> Display Missing Files > then highlight a song and click the Relocate button. You will then be prompted to point Rekordbox towards that files new location.

Extra Tips for Rekordbox Export Mode

Do you keep losing hot cues you have saved?

If you store any hot cues, loops or memory points on your equipment, you need to make sure you send that information back to Rekordbox on your laptop or computer. To do this plug your USB device in, navigate to the Sync Manager but press the arrow point left first. The Sync Manager will then update your Rekordbox collection with any new cues, loops or grid edits that you have saved during a DJ set.

How to import music or playlists from USB to Rekordbox software

You can import any music from your USB device onto any computer or laptop running Rekordbox, along with all the saved hot cues and track preparation. To do this plug your USB device in, navigate to the Devices panel within Rekordbox, right-click any playlist and select Import.

This feature is great for transferring music between different laptops or computers. It’s useful for moving your Rekordbox library, as well as importing your music to a friends laptop for a quick b2b!

import from usb to rekordbox

Do you own an XDJ RX2/RR/XZ?

Check out our online courses below specifically for XDJ players and units.

Comment

Join The Discussion

59 Comments
  1. James

    Will rekordbox treat an android phone as a usb device for syncing purposes? All I wish to do is use rekordbox for main organisation and familiarise myself with the playlists I create on the move by playing them back? Dare I believe its as simple as selecting the android phone as a usb device and clicking sync as above?
    Tx

    Reply
    • Jamie Hartley

      Unless your android phone has an external storage device such as an sd or microSD I don’t think that would work. If you want to listen to your playlists on the move you may have to use a different app/program. I’m not too familiar with android phones myself so can’t comment too much. Will have a dig about and see if I can come across anymore info.

      Reply
  2. Cas

    Do you reckon a USB made with rekordbox will work on a pioneer car radio?

    Reply
    • Jamie Hartley

      So at a strong guess the Pioneer car radio wont show up as playlists etc. It will just show the folder son the device, one named Pioneer and one named contents. Within the contents folder will be all the artist names and within those folders the individual tracks. It is the technology within the the CDJs that uses the Rekordbox database file. You should be able to play mp3 files on a Pioneer Car stereo no problem however it may be easier to just drag and drop them onto the USB.

      Reply
  3. Liam

    I’m unable to export any files from rekordboxdj V 4.4.0
    When I attempt to export my set list it greys the export playlist option out.
    when I try to use sync manager it won’t let me tick any of the available boxes.

    any thoughts?

    Reply
    • Jamie Hartley

      Hmm, the only thing I could suggest is to try reformatting your usb to FAT32 format. Or make sure that you have the option checked above the devices panel in sync manager that says ‘synchronise playlists with this device’

      Reply
  4. Mark

    Exported playlist to usb, but once connected to cdj 2000 bpms are not in order from slowest to fastest

    Reply
    • Jamie Hartley

      On the CDJ 2000 just click menu on the top right. Then select sort and bpm to arrange by bpm.

      Reply
  5. Berry

    Is the color (Blue – RGB) of waveform in rekordbox saved in usb for playing in CDJ or i can control it in CDJ?

    Reply
    • Jamie Hartley

      Colours will only show on the CDJ2000NXS2 or CDJ900NXS. I think you can change how the waveforms appear on the actual settings within the 2000NX2 also.

      Reply
  6. claudio Rolo

    i have a old usb key with old analysed tracks (version 2.2) and i would like to put those tracks in a new usb with allready some recorbox analysed tracks. Can i do it without losing my cue points. I dont want to analysed again and lose all the loops that i have.
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Jamie Hartley

      Unfortunately you can’t transfer tracks from a USB back to your Rekordbox on your computer unless the tracks came from that same computer and Rekordbox library. (One of Rekordbox’s biggest flaws).

      The only thing you could potentially try doing is to transfer all the ‘artist folders’ within the content folder on your usb to your new USB’s contents folder. The only issue you probably won’t be able to transfer the playlist file to the new USB so your old music will be jumbled in with the new music and not organised into playlists.

      By the way I haven’t tried this myself but it would be the only way I could see this working. Let me know if you do have any luck with it.

      Reply
  7. Grant Moore

    when I export to my USB, in the contents folder of the USB it shows the artists name in seperate folders and doesnt contain any folders with playlists just individual folders for each artist. I feel like ive made these playlists for nothing.

    Reply
    • Jamie Hartley

      That’s correct. When you view your USB on a laptop it just has two folders: one called contents and one called Pioneer. The playlists are embedded within an xml file on the device.

      When this device is plugged into a CDJ/XDJ system it reads the folders and organised them into the playlists etc.

      Reply
  8. Ross

    Hi Jamie – when I open my USB to try and view playlist, I can’t even see a folder called ‘Pioneer’ – is this hidden unless plugged into Pioneer hardware? All I can see is the ‘Contents’ folder, again with every artist subfoldered and every track foldered again under that. I don’t own Pioneer hardware – so when I show up to my gig on Friday and plug into CDJ 900s, it will read the hidden folder and display the playlist as I created it? Big gig, shitting myself.

    Reply
    • Jamie Hartley

      This could well the case yes. The best way to double check that your music is on your device is to open your device in rekordbox and click on all tracks, or click to open the playlists tab in your device. This will show you exactly what is on your device and which playlists are there.

      Reply
  9. Jamie Powell

    Hi James 🙂 when i export my playlists I also have just subfolders inside the contents folder as Grant Moore was saying, but when i use remote box none of the playlists show up its all in the folder window as individual tracks. been trying all day there is nothing on the internet except what i have been trying but it doesn’t work. I am pulling hair out can you please offer me some wisdom 🙂

    Reply
    • Jamie Hartley

      Just to confirm are you using Remotebox the ipad/iphone application with the XDJ R1?

      As far as the usb works with Rekordbox it will never show the playlists when exploring your USB in the finder on a mac or in devices on windows. The playlists show up when the USB is plugged into a Rekordbox ready player from Pioneer. The hardware organises the music in all those artist sub folders into the different playlists etc.

      Let me know which equipment you are using your USB with or if you’re using the remotebox application. Thanks, Jamie

      Reply
  10. Ben Gallett

    Hi. Is there a way to stop the continuous play of the tracks on a playlist once it is copied on to a USB? I have looked in the settings and I believe I have changed from “continuous” to “single” but it still plays on continuous on my XDJ 700. Hope that makes sense. Thanks. Ben

    Reply
    • Jamie Hartley

      Yeah if you hold the menu button on the XDJ 700 you can access the utilities.

      In there will be the option to select play mode as single. Simply click the selector knob in and rotate to select and click in again to confirm.

      Let me know if you have any problems.

      Reply
    • Ben Gallett

      You are a star! Just done it. Thank you very much. Ben

      Reply
  11. Kathleen

    Hi Jamie!
    I seem to have troubles with exporting my playlist to my USB. It has worked before however now I cannot get any file onto my USB anymore 🙁 (I deleted all the contents before, dumb me…) – I already tried formatting twice but cannot even select any USB in Rekordbox to export files to… Coudl you please help me out? cheers

    Reply
    • Jamie Hartley

      Hi Kathleen,

      Do you know which format you have formatted the drive to?
      Does it show up on your computer still but just not within Rekordbox?

      Thanks
      Jamie

      Reply
  12. kathleen

    Hi!
    It says FAt standard format (I couldn’t chose FAT32 however…). It does indeed show up on my computer but not thru Rekordbox…

    Reply
    • Jamie Hartley

      Ok cool.

      Can you open the SYNC manager still within Rekordbox? If you right click on any of the tracks in your library is there no option to export to device? Are you definitely in export mode not performance mode of the software?

      It sounds like an issue with Rekordbox rather than the USB. FAT standard format should be fine I think.

      Reply
  13. Kathleen

    hey Jamie!
    I can still open the SYNC manager within Rekordbox, but indeed I cannot export anything because Rekordbox doesn’t even recognize the USB station…
    (when I right click on a song/playlist the export option is in light grey, not white, so I cannot chose it). I’m pretty sure I am in export mode because it worked before…I organised all my tracks in Rekordbox in different playlists, really wouldn’t want to lose all hours invested in that… thanks for you advice!

    Reply
    • Jamie Hartley

      You have me pretty stumped. All I can suggest is to try a couple of different usb drives as it sounds like you’re doing everything right apart from Rekordbox isn’t reading that there is a USB plugged in. Wether this is just the way its formatted or what i’m not sure.

      Reply
  14. Serkan

    hi

    some of my files are not imported to my usb drive.
    But i can play those files on rekordbox within the performance mode or just normal rekordbox. So i whould think those files are not corrupted… but why will they not imported to my usb drive?

    ps. i edit all my tracks and make sure they are 320kb 44100 khz.

    Reply
    • Jamie Hartley

      The only thing I could suggest here is to try re format your usb drive (this will wipe it clean) and re export. It sounds like some of the files have corrupted somewhere along the export process if they’re working fine within the software.

      Reply
  15. Jerry

    Hi, i bought the xdj-rx2 yesterday and i am trying to get my head around rekordbox. I have been using traktor for years and have an external usb drive with more than 1 tb of music on it. What is the easiest way of getting that to work with th rx2? Copy to different drive and then copy it from one drive via export or synch? I want all my music and not just a couple of playlists. Is that possible?
    Thanks,
    jerry

    Reply
    • Jamie Hartley

      Hey, the best thing to do would to either keep all your tracks where they are but buy another external drive for DJing with. You can then drag and drop all your music into Rekordbox from your current drive/library for analysis. After analysis use either the sync manager to export playlists or select all in the collection, right click and export to your new drive. Therefore you will have a back up of your music library as well as a working drive for DJing with.

      If you want to use the same drive you currently have it will actually add the tracks to your device again when exporting with Rekordbox therefore taking up twice as much memory.

      Reply
  16. Johnny

    So I have a bit of a problem I bought the new rekordbox USB and when I go to sync manager to export tracts onto my USB the USB device doesn’t come up. I tried formatting the USB to NTFS as it was exFAT (default) not sure what else to do

    Reply
    • Jamie Hartley

      The best format is FAT32 for Rekordbox and Pioneer equipment. If you can format to that it would be best. I’m guessing that Rekordbox doesn’t read NTFS.

      Reply
    • Johnny

      @Jamie Hartley that’s the problem, the USB only has two format options of NTFS and exFAT which is default. Funny thing is the USB is Pioneer Rekordbox brand. My cdj2000s read the USB perfectly which comes up with all tracks and playlist but they just aren’t Rekordboxed as I can’t get through to sync manager!

      Reply
      • Jamie Hartley

        Very strange… which USB stick is it? Are you using windows or a mac?

        Reply
  17. Bijay

    Hi Jamie, just wondering, how i can add or updates new tunes into my usb existing Playlist?? You showed up in video for deleting tunes in playlist and then updating in USB.. same thing but Question is for adding tracks please.. i hope you got , what i mean..
    Many Thanx
    Bijay

    Reply
    • Jamie Hartley

      Hey it works the same. Just add new tracks to your playlists then head to sync manager and update with the right arrow. This will add any new tracks in the selected playlists to the device also.

      Reply
  18. Paul

    Hi. I get how to sync iTunes playlists to my USB drive. But when I look in my USB drive on my desktop, I just see a folder called ‘Contents’ and all the tracks in there, but not organized in playlists. However, they are in playlists in the desktop version of Recordbox. So will they be in playlists when I use the on a Pioneer DJ player? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Jamie Hartley

      This should be fine if your playlists are showing within the Rekordbox software on the device. It’s normal for it to only show a folder called contents and one called Pioneer on the actual USB via my computer.

      Reply
  19. markmcder

    Hi Jamie,

    I was trying to back up my files from one USB and transfer to another (Via a hard drive). I did back up Library and saved to my hard drive, then went to the new USB and went Restore Library.

    Nothing is showing up in the new USB and now the old USB isn’t showing my playlists. However, If I plug my old USB into my CDJ 2000NXS they are showing my playlists.

    How can I get my playlists on the old USB to re-show in Rekordbox
    How can I get my new USB to mirror my old USB

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    Mark

    Reply
    • Jamie Hartley

      Hey,

      Are you using Rekordbox 5.0 the latest version? If so you can now insert a USB, right click on the playlist within the device section and import a playlist back to the Rekordbox software. If you do this with your old USB and then re synchronise with your new USB from the Rekordbox software.

      Let me know if this works or not for you.
      Jamie

      Reply
  20. markmcder

    Hi Jamie,

    Thanks for this – quick question. Do you need to do it with each individual playlist?

    Thanks
    Mark

    Reply
  21. Graeme

    Hi Jamie,

    I am currently using 2 XDJ700’S & a DJM450. How do you export the CDJ/XDJ settings from Rekordbox to then use on the hardware? I have no problem exporting songs but It doesn’t apply the settings such as Waveform colour, Autocue etc to my XDJ’S. Is there a way to record mixes using just my setup and a USB? Or would I need an external device?

    Thanks,

    Graeme

    Reply
    • Jamie Hartley

      Hey Graeme,

      The XDJ700s don’t have RGB coloured waveforms. It will only show within the rekordbox software as the coloured waveforms. However settings such as auto cue can be saved to your usb. If you go to the gear icon then navigate to CDJ & Device and then to my settings you can choose all your settings for the CDJ/XDJ there. If you check apply settings on devices automatically next time you sync your USB it will store these settings. Now when you plug you USB into the XDJs the first thing you will need to do is click the menu button and hit load settings.

      Hope this helps.
      Jamie

      Reply
  22. markmcder

    Also – they playlists aren’t showing on the USB. 🙂

    Reply
    • Jamie Hartley

      Do you mean that you have all your music on your USB but its now showing any playlists. If its not showing playlists within Rekordbox i’m not sure you can import just all the tracks. It has to be playlisted to import for some reason.

      If you can access the USB’s playlists within the Rekordbox software then right clicking to import on each should do the job.

      Sorry I can’t be more help.

      Reply
  23. Dizzydcube

    I exported tracks to my usb stick using Rekordbox dj with all the cue points but when I plug the usb stick onto the Cdj 2000 there’s no wave form. Why?

    Reply
    • Jamie Hartley

      The CDJ2000’s don’t show a scrolling waveform, just the overview small waveform. It’s the CDJ2000nxs that show up the scrolling waveforms.

      Reply
  24. Stephen Byrne

    Hi Jamie. I Was wondering what to do if I needed to change usb sticks during a set? After I load a track from usb1 and want to change genre which is saved on usb2 will the current track loaded from usb1 just stop if it is unplugged to make way for usb2? Also wondering what is the largest usb device compatible with xdjrx2? Can I use a 2tb hard drive? Thanks

    Reply
    • Jamie Hartley

      Hey Stephen, If you’re playing a track from one usb you won’t be able to eject it otherwise the track will stop playing. On CDJ’s you can have a different USB in player number two instead. If the CDJs are linked you can access either USB 1 or 2 on both CDJs.

      The XDJ RX2 also has two USB slots so you don’t need to worry about having to eject a USB mid set.

      You can use hard drives with Pioneer CDJs and XDJs. Here are the specifications for drive formats from Pioneer’s website:

      The specifications of USB devices that can be connected are as follows.

      -Supported file systems
      FAT16, FAT32, and HFS+

      -HDD capacity limitations
      As per the specifications of the file systems.

      -Other
      If multiple partitions are set, only the first partition can be used.

      Reply
  25. Izie Carter

    Hi Jamie,

    I’ve been trying for some time to export playlist to USB. On rekordbox it says that playlist has been exported to usb and showing as such- but when i plug usb into XDJs the playlist does not appear and the tracks cannot be found on the usb! driving me crazy- hope you can help.

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Jamie Hartley

      Hey, could you let me know if anything shows up on the XDJs? Can you see a list that says ‘playlists, track, key, artist, bpm etc’ or does it say that there is no usb?

      If your tracks and playlists are showing up within devices on Rekordbox it sounds like there could be some sort of clash between the USB and the XDJ. I would try re formatting your USB device and re exporting. The best format settings for Rekordbox and Pioneer equipment is FAT/FAT32. If you’re using a mac this can be done within the disk utility application. Let me know if you’re still having issues after that.

      Reply
  26. David

    Hi Jamie, I just bought myself an SSD Samsung T5 with 250gb, on my macbook the external device shows up, but can’t be found inside rekordbox… can you help me? thx!

    Reply
    • Holland

      Make sure you have it formatted in the supported formats Pioneer DJ support. FAT32 is usually the best

      Reply
  27. Steve Handsley

    Hi Jamie, I’m able to successfully export tracks to my USB in rekordbox. However, when using remotebox via my IPhone, the tracks only show up under folders rather than playlists, artists etc. I then get a message telling me that the XDJ R1 library cannot be found. We recommend creating the library with Rekordbox. However, I have already done this in Rekordbox. Also, if the tracks I can access under contents, it gives a warning that these have not been analysed and yet they have. Any help would be much appreciated. Cheers Steve

    Reply
    • Jamie Hartley

      Hey Steve,

      Sorry to hear you’re having problems. This is something I will have to research further myself. I’ve honestly never really used the remotebox app and an iPhone with the R1. If I can find a solution myself i’ll let you know. Sorry I can’t help any further at this stage. It may be worth dropping a message to Pioneer in their forums.

      Jamie

      Reply
  28. Ernest Vanoverbeke

    Hello Jamie,

    I imported my MP3 files from my USB to rekordbox and let rekordbox analyze them. Once they were analyzed i put them all together in a playlist and tried to export them back to the same USB. When i check my USB i can’t find my songs anywhere (i did get 2 new maps with the names “Content” and “Pioneer”). Do you know where i could find my songs or what went wrong? +will a CDJ2000 be able to read these files?

    Reply
    • Jamie Hartley

      Hey, I would recommend storing your music on your laptop or a different drive to the USB drive you plan to use in the CDJs. So if you already have your music stored on a USB I would drag and drop that to a different location and wipe your USB clean. Then drag the files into Rekordbox from that location and export using the sync manager to the clean USB. No need to drag and drop anything onto the USB device. Rekordbox will do this for you. Let me know if you’re still having issues.

      Jamie

      Reply
  29. myyann

    Thanks for your post! Before I met an issue on import music to Rekordbox, especially Apple Music. Luckily, I found a tool called DRmare Apple Music Converter in a forum. It helps me convert Apple Music to common audio formats and then I can transfer Apple Music to Rekordbox.

    Reply

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