beatport 10 years

Gosh. Has it really been 10 years since Beatport first opened it’s digital doors to DJs? How time flies! According to my receipts, my first ever purchase was Self Love by Guy J, way back in 2007.

Remember this?

beatport flash site

Beatport’s first site… made in Flash.

How far we’ve come in a decade. Just in time for Beatport to celebrate 10 years since they launched, the company refreshed the site, fit for 2014. The original site that Beatport launched was built entirely in Flash. If you never used it, you can imagine the hellish experience it caused. After far too long, the company launched a new, non-Flash site that was faster and cleaner, but it still needs Flash to be able to preview tracks in the player.

So here comes the Beatport Pro beta, with a new look, new thinking and no Flash. You can visit the site now and take a tour round.

Fresh logo, fresh decade

Beatport logo 2014 dark

One small change that comes along with the new site and anniversary is a refreshed logo. The concept of the headphones stays, but a change in font goes along with a stripped down, minimal interpretation of the old logo. It’s simply simpler.

And this is the philosophy the new site seems to go with. While Beatport first launched at the spearhead of the digital music revolution, a lot has changed in the way we use digital. We’re more portable… more mobile. The new site is aware of that, so it works across virtually any screen size.

beatport pro screenshot

The term ‘responsive design’ might be a web 2.0 buzzword, but the need to have ecommerce sites adapting to mobile as well as desktop is most definitely a modern requirement, and a welcome improvement for travelling DJs.

Straight from the press release, here’s some of the key changes you’ll notice:

  • Mobile optimization: Using responsive Web design, Beatport Pro is accessible on mobile phones, tablets, and more, allowing DJs to search, shop, and listen on the go.
  • Search enhancements: Not only do search terms display as you type, results are delivered quicker and clearly – with many more changes to come – making crate digging faster and easier.
  • User experience: A new visual design functions better in low-light conditions and features updates to overall layout and link placements to improve usability, making shopping easier.

Right now the site is heavily in beta, meaning things are still broken and unfinished. Currently, you can only play around and test, you can’t buy, for example. A message pops up asking you to go to the old site to complete your sale. But it sounds like the developers are going to be adding more features throughout the beta, listening to feedback from us, until they are ready to launch.

Here’s the full press release:

BEATPORT UNVEILS NEW & IMPROVED MUSIC STORE: BEATPORT PRO (BETA)

NEW, MOBILE-OPTIMIZED TECHNOLOGY WITH MANY USER IMPROVEMENTS
AND NEW LOGO MARK THE BEGINNING OF A NEW BEATPORT DECADE

BEATPORT, the principal online destination for electronic music culture, today released the beta version of its new online music store, renamed Beatport Pro (pro.beatport.com).

Created exclusively for the professional DJ, Beatport Pro compiles all the music and services DJs have come to expect from BEATPORT over the last 10 years into a sleek, easy-to-use platform that is faster, more flexible, and more responsive. The entire site is rebuilt and redesigned from the ground up on a new technology platform that will make it easier for the developers at Beatport to add features, make changes, and push updates in response to customer feedback.

Key changes at launch include:

  • Mobile optimization: Using responsive Web design, Beatport Pro is accessible on mobile phones, tablets, and more, allowing DJs to search, shop, and listen on the go.
  • Search enhancements: Not only do search terms display as you type, results are delivered quicker and clearly–with many more changes to come–making crate digging faster and easier.
  • User experience: A new visual design functions better in low-light conditions and features updates to overall layout and link placements to improve usability, making shopping easier.

Beatport Pro was designed not only to better meet the needs of customers with the dedicated features they require, but also to more quickly innovate as those needs change with the rapidly evolving dance music landscape.

“Beatport has grown into the leading destination for fans of electronic music culture of all stripes over the last 10 years, and Beatport Pro represents our commitment to the DJs that are the lifeblood of this community,” said Lloyd Starr, President of Beatport Pro and COO of BEATPORT. “It’s a commitment that Beatport was founded on, and one that remains a decade later. I would like to personally invite anyone with constructive feedback, suggestions, and ideas to share them so we can continue to make Beatport Pro the best DJ resource available.”

For the duration of the beta, Beatport Pro will live alongside the existing store, allowing DJs and other visitors to switch seamlessly between the two experiences as they familiarize themselves with the new site.

Coinciding with the launch of Beatport Pro, BEATPORT also unveiled the first redesign of the BEATPORT logo since the site launched 10 years ago. The new logo, now live across all BEATPORT properties and products, reflects the philosophy that music should be expressed, shared, and celebrated with others.

“The new Beatport logo is all about connections: the universal connection with music; the sacred connection between DJs and fans; and our shared connection with one another as members of this vibrant community and culture,” said Clark Warner, BEATPORT’s Executive Creative Director. “Headphones represent the beginning of these connections, not the end. They’re the point where the DJ first interacts with the music, and with that spark, sets the soundtrack to our musical experience.”

Tin (ten) years happy

Wikipedia says that the tenth anniversary is tin (or aluminium in the US) and though I doubt Beatport will be receiving a can of baked beans as a gift, they certainly have a few things lined up to celebrate. Over each of the next 10 weeks, a host of dance music stars will be revealing their insight into the music that defined the last 10 years. Beatport are also giving away some free tracks from each artist, which you can grab over on the ‘decade’ page.

My take

Having had a bit of a play, and remembering what the first Flash site was like when it first arrived, I’m so glad Beatport are listening to our needs. Admittedly, I’m not a power user. My workflow for music tends to take in apps like Evernote to do my digging/remembering. By the time I get to Beatport, I almost always know what I want to buy. This is partly to avoid the lure of the charts, and forge my own library, away from ‘popular’. I do sometimes use the ‘My Beatport’ feature to follow some of my favourite producers. And so it’s nice to see little things fixed, like the ability to unfollow artists you’ve previously followed. Oh, and I love the little loading animation between pages.

loading robot animation for beatport proAs music discovery becomes ever more important, sites like Beatport need to constantly work towards helping shoppers find the music they want. With the previous site refresh, they introduced the ‘My Beatport’ section of the site, to help users keep track of the artists they like and suggest similar music. With this redesign, the instant search results should help you explore the massive catalogue more efficiently.

One question that has remained an issue for a long time on the store is just how genres are decided for releases. It’s also a question we’ve asked of Beatport several times, without an answer. There have been so many complaints about the seeming randomness of how tracks are categorised, which not only makes browsing harder, but also dilutes genre perception. Since Beatport is easily the largest of the online stores, their audience reach is very wide.

Tangible evidence of this can be seen with Progressive House, which used to be a very specific style of music, influenced by House and Trance, with tribal elements thrown in. For a great example of this, check out some of Sasha’s earlier work. These days, Prog is basically a catchall for anything that used to be called Electro House but people don’t want to call EDM. I mean, according to Beatport’s first week of #beatportdecade, Hardwell is Progressive House…

THIS is Progressive House.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biETx7JOoRs

I think I can speak for everyone in the team when I say that I hope the new site brings with it an improvement in genre categorisation.

What do you think of the new site concept? Do you have a preferred music shop online? What was your first ever purchase on Beatport?