There’s music buying and then there’s streaming. These are two diverse approaches to DJing – the first sees you buying and downloading tracks, and transporting them to wherever you’re playing. With streaming however, you technically rent an entire world of music which automagically appears wherever you play (wifi permitting of course). But Pioneer DJ’s new incarnation of rekordbox 6 and rekordbox for iOS take a hybrid approach to this and allows you to access your library wherever you are. So no more social media “oh no I lost my USB” posts. This is the USP, but there is more than just this feature.
So let’s dig in, and then I’ll try to simplify it for you:
CLOUD-CONNECTED: NEW rekordbox introduces cloud library management –
Sync your library on multiple devices
April 14, 2020: Right now, we’re respecting the essential requirement of social distancing.
Like all of our friends in the music community, we look forward to being united once again on the dancefloor. Until then, to help you prepare, practice, and perform from your home, we’d like to announce that rekordbox ver 6.0 and rekordbox for iOS (ver 3.0) are now available. Loaded with a host of major new features, our updated DJ application now enables you to sync your whole music library on multiple devices via cloud-based application Dropbox*1.
What’s new in rekordbox ver. 6.0?
The way we enjoy music has evolved, with computers and mobile devices becoming the focal point for listening to our favorite sounds and emerging genres. Naturally, the needs of DJs have changed too. So, we’ve rebuilt rekordbox to offer centralized music management that stores your tracks in the cloud so you can play them via multiple devices whenever you like. Three new subscription plans – including a free option – offer different feature sets so you can use the package that best suits your needs. Choose from the Free, Core, and Creative plans.
For the first time, Export mode users can prepare sets in an advanced virtual DJing environment using Performance mode, which is now free of charge*2. Take out the Creative plan within rekordbox ver. 6.0 and you’ll always have cloud access to the latest version of your library – wherever you are. Prep playlists, tracks, and metadata such as cue points on your studio computer then download it all to your laptop. You can even choose playlists and tracks to transfer to and from your iPhone. So, if you’re trying out ideas like setting Hot Cues on a new track, you can update your library from your iPhone and the changes will be reflected on all your devices. And if your computer goes missing or gets damaged, the music and metadata in your DJ library will be up to date and safely stored in the cloud.
Keen to drop the freshest sounds into your mixes? rekordbox for Mac/Windows (ver. 6.0) now integrates with Inflyte, the global music promotion platform. Use rekordbox for Mac/Windows (ver. 6.0) to browse the tracks in your Inflyte Promo Locker and, if you have Dropbox enabled, rekordbox can even automatically import promos for you.
The new rekordbox for iOS (ver. 3.0) also brings a host of new features to enable smoother preparation for performances and support for more file types. Read about all this and more in the Key Features information below.
Want to learn more about making the most of the new rekordbox 6.0 features? Join us on the Virtual rekordbox tour we’re doing! For more information on dates and times, register now – www.pioneerdj.com/rekordbox-tour/
rekordbox subscription plans
With the release of rekordbox ver. 6.0, we’re ending the previous licensing system. From now on, you’ll be able to use the application with your choice of a free plan or two monthly subscription plans. This means you can select the plan that best suits your lifestyle, and the way you DJ, and you can easily use advanced features. You can switch between plans whenever you like if you want to try out features included in a higher plan, e.g., Cloud Library Sync.
We’re offering a 30-day trial of rekordbox ver. 6.0 subscription plans. This offer is open to everyone, even if you’ve used a rekordbox free trial for a previous version of the application.
Following the free trial, a special introductory offer will be available until July 13, 2020. Anyone who subscribes within the offer period will remain on this introductory price of £6.99 per month (Core plan) and £9.99 per month (Creative plan). These monthly introductory prices will be locked in for all future rekordbox 6 updates. If you cancel your subscription, you’ll need to re-subscribe at the full price.
Prices will increase from July 13, 2020 to £9.99 (Core plan) and £14.99 (Creative Plan).
Check out the table below to discover what you can do with each plan.
Free of charge
When a Hardware Unlock device is connected (selected Pioneer DJ products)
*1 A Dropbox user account is required. A Dropbox Basic free plan includes 2GB of storage. You can earn more space for your Dropbox Basic account or upgrade to a paid subscription with more storage (as of April 14, 2020).
*2 Performance mode is free when controlled via PC/Mac or a Hardware Unlock device, or when using the Core/Creative plan.
*3 Use of the feature is limited with this plan.
*4 Selected products only.
– rekordbox for Mac/Windows (ver. 6.0) can’t be activated with a ver. 5 license key.
– Subscription plans used with ver. 5 (or earlier) can’t be used with ver. 6.0. A subscription plan for ver. 6.0 is required.
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)
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 the individual playlists and tracks you need. Any updates you’ve made to playlists or tracks on your phone will be reflected when you connect to
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.
rekordbox for Mac/Windows (ver. 6.0) specifications
macOS Catalina 10.15 (updated to the latest version)
macOS Mojave 10.14 (updated to the latest version)
macOS High Sierra 10.13 (updated to the latest version)
Forgive me — my head is in other things right now, and my polite declination to sign an NDA meant I didn’t get to see press materials before today. But I find this somewhat confusing as to what you can and can’t do, and just what you’ll need to spend to enjoy the full delight of cloud-based rekordbox play. But here’s my best attempt to simplify it for you:
rekordbox is now subscription only with three tiers — free, core (£/$/€ 6.99), and creative (£/$/€ 9.99). These prices rise steeply at the end of July, but early adopters get to keep the reduced rate.
In the broadest possible stokes — free is a library manager with some additional but limited playback features (including DVS) but is activated when plugged in some Pioneer DJ hardware. Core gets you full DVS, and Creative is full-fat everything.
You need the full Creative subscription for cloud syncing.
You’ll also need a dropbox account. A free one might do (2Gb) if you do partial libraries, but some will need a paid Dropbox account.
WOT NO CDJ?
Something stood out to me, and that’s how the CDJs and XDJs have dropped off the hardware unlock list. In rekordbox 5, CDJs and XDJs unlocked performance mode so that you could use them with a laptop. But now, according to the approved unlocking hardware list, you’ll need to fork out £6.99 a month now. Have I understood that correctly?
So rather than be confused, I fired off an email to Pioneer DJ Europe and got the following response:
“…our lower priced models support hardware unlock as the Hardware unlock costs for these products have been incorporated into the price as they are designed primarily for use with rekordbox performance mode.
For products such as the CDJ-2000NXS2, HID control of performance mode is not mandatory, therefore we have not incorporated the Hardware Unlock costs into the product so users have the option of using a DJ performance software of their choice. We want to avoid having customers pay for software that they may not use. Our CDJ series, such as the professional grade CDJ-2000nxs2 are primary designed for standalone USB playback utilising on-board processing without the need of a computer.”
So basically, a typical CDJ Nexus setup is designed to be used without a laptop. But if you want to use it that way in this new subscription model, you’re going to have to pay. I see the logic, but some will be readying a post at change.org, or sticking with version 5 for as long as they can hold out.
In the style of Montell Jordan – “This is how we cloud sync”
With rekordbox 6, you can now essentially publish your library in whole or in part to Dropbox, and have it available to you anywhere at any time. And being able to make changes on the fly in the iOS app and have them sync back to your centralised library is a great tool too, and more or less essential for this to work. God knows others have tried and failed to make this happen.
I love the idea of a plethora of services, all syncing across devices. It’s absolutely where we should be in these connected times.
But like streaming, I see it as a backup and as a failsafe for when established workflows fail. And by that, I mean existing media being lost, damaged, forgotten, or stolen. I suspect that most users will prefer the security of having prepared a USB device first, and knowing that it’s as simple as plugging and playing, but having an added layer of security knowing that their library is always available via the cloud. Depending on being able to download a huge library when you arrive at your gig is foolhardy.
What will be most telling is how much of an impact the new subscription tiers will have. Rekordbox 6 draws a line under the former heavily layered options, and it seems that there will be winners and losers cost-wise. And you can be damned sure that the losers will be very vocal in comments boxes. They already are.
I cannot help but think that no matter how slick it is, adoption will be slow, especially if an expensive subscription is required to do what they did before. And I’m not sure that a cloud library and 3Band waveforms are enough to get the majority to update, but I’m sure more will come along that will entice people to click the subscribe box. Obviously new hardware will probably be rekordbox 6 only, and will doubtlessly appear on the unlock list too.
But when all is said and done, I’m happy to see their subscription model being streamlined, although a more simple free/paid two-tier solution would be much better. I’m also happy to see the technology being implemented. One day, our discussion piece about being able to log onto other people’s libraries might become a reality.