KADO: inspiring your digital crate digging

We get approached by all sorts of different boutique software and hardware companies to cover their products. From super-niche peripherals and connectors, to the big players, there’s all sorts, but we always have a soft spot for the underdogs.

Here we have KADO, a small macOS app that gives suggests tracks to buy based on whatever you’ve dragged and dropped. In the past, we’ve seen apps that try to help you choose what songs to play next, and apps that help you transfer your collection between DJ software. Soon, you’ll be able to try out KADO, a small bit of software that’s designed to help you crate dig online by giving you suggested tracks based on what file you just dropped into the app.

KADO works by scanning a huge database of DJ sets that have been uploaded online and working out who played what tune before/after your track, and within the same set. The list relevance is sorted based on data like key and BPM to help you even further and you can tell it to just suggest tracks from your collection for a bit of inspiration. It’s actually quite clever, really.

Thanks to a service login account, the app also lets you save tracks to a crate for future review, as well as preview the tracks and buy them on Beatport or search Google for other options.

You’ll be able to play with the macOS beta from 6 December, with a Windows version expected sometime after January, once the open launch happens. The service will be free for 30 days, and then $9.99/month.

Here’s the press release:



KADO makes finding the perfect music for DJ sets fast and easy by guiding you towards tracks you’ll actually want to play – saving DJs an immense amount of time in the process and helping them discover amazing new gems.

SAN FRANCISCO – Two former Google and Twitter employees with a love for DJing have teamed up with one of electronic music’s most respected experts on DJ technology to create a new application for DJs. KADO makes DJs lives significantly easier with intelligent recommendations of tracks they will actually want to play. Using data from over 200,000 DJ sets (and growing), KADO provides DJs with personalized suggestions based on what other similar DJs have played.

“We want you to spend more time DJing and less time searching,” says KADO co-founder AJ Asver, a DJ who left Google to focus on music technology. “Give KADO a starting track and it will show you highly curated tracks based on what other DJs like to play next.”

The concept of a personal DJ assistant stems from the days of record stores with clerks who got to know DJ customers on a personal and taste basis, setting aside music just for them. KADO revives this spirit in a digital age by analyzing your existing music library, playing behavior, artist similarity, taste preferences and more. KADO then takes it one step further by using data from actual DJ sets from around the world to learn how tracks are connected to each other.


  1. DROP a track into the app – KADO will match it against its library of millions of tracks and sets.
  2. DISCOVER what other DJs played after or before your track – analyzing over 200,000 DJ sets and filtering them based on your own tastes.
  3. DIG into results – find tracks or remixes by artists and labels that are being played by other DJs based on your preferences.
  4. ADD tracks to your crate or download them – KADO links you directly to purchase tracks within the app, continually learning from the music you choose to crate

The founding team stresses that KADO is not designed to eliminate the process of digging, but rather streamline it by ensuring DJs find the best music quickly so they can spend more time DJing.

“Our mission is to make the world dance more”, says KADO co-founder Rob McQueen, previously an engineer at Twitter. “We believe KADO will inspire DJs to play because they are getting better quality music from far less prep time.

Ean Golden, KADO’s product designer, saw the need for a proper discovery tool designed by DJs.

“Every day thousands of new tracks are released, and it’s impossible to stay on top of a growing collection without spending countless hours every week,” Golden says. “We solve the problem by suggesting great music other DJs are already playing and then custom tailor those results to fit your music style. It’s everyone’s favorite record store clerk, available 24-7, with the intelligence factor turned up to 11.”

Early Alpha users agree that KADO supplies a vast improvement on their DJ set preparation:

“To me personally the software is spot on because as DJ’s, we like to always source new music and this works exactly like being in a record shop and looking for vinyls,” says one KADO Alpha user.

“This is the new way to find the right music easily,” says another KADO Alpha user.

KADO is available today in limited beta for select DJs worldwide, but everyone can apply on www.getkado.com for early access. The desktop application is free for 30 days and then $9.99 per month after.





My thoughts

I’ve had a bit of a play with it over the weekend, and it’s a really clever idea. If you’re hunting for “clubbier” genres like techno, tech house, or deep house, you’ll find plenty of results coming up that match. The software is easy to use, but can get quite granular when you dive into the advanced options. This is definitely a tool for the DJ that likes to do a bit of planning, or is open to inspiration, rather than gut instinct.

The one thing this isn’t is a Shazam-like track identifier. If DJs (as is too-oft the case) don’t bother – or refuse to – provide a tracklist for their podcast/mix, you’re not gonna know what it is. As far as I can tell, KADO takes a different approach to track selection from some of the other apps we’ve seen. Rather than rely on logical steps in choosing music via things like key and BPM, they’re making use of more flexible human elements first and foremost.

Now… price.

I understand why KADO needs to be Software As A Service. I’d imagine there will be some element of curation for the mixes that are scanned and databased. But $10 feels like a lot. Spotify, Netflix, and all sorts of others are around that price and actually provide hosted content. For something like this, you’d have to be a fairly regularly paid DJ to warrant the outlay, but at that level, I’d imagine your workflow would be pretty honed when it comes to shopping around for new tracks. For two or three dollars, though? I would imagine plenty of people would throw some money into the pot.

It would also help to provide some part of the service for free. Like allow 10 free matches per month. This would at least encourage users to keep the app around even if they didn’t pay. Hearts and minds.

Your thoughts

Does this look like it could help you in building your collection?

The KADO beta is macOS only at the moment. Check out the KADO site for more information and to sign up to the beta.

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