Pioneer DJ has released a brand new public beta version of Rekordbox 5.4.4 with a wild new feature: track analysis data sharing. The new functionality aims to reduce the overall amount of time that users spend analyzing their music by allowing them to instead download the data from a server. Keep reading for the details so far on this new beta.
Rekordbox 5.4.4 Beta’s New Analysis Sharing
The popup changelog in the Rekordbox 5.4.4 beta
“Let’s share track analysis data for better DJ life!” is probably one of the most hilarious-sounding change log notes I’ve ever read in a DJ software update, but Pioneer DJ really wants users to use this functionality. Essentially, with this new beta, all track analysis data is uploaded to Pioneer DJ’s servers and shared with other users. “The more tracks you analyze, the more users can experience faster track analysis!”
Ultimately, this feature has been introduced to create value for Pioneer DJ in the long run. The release notes for this new version make it pretty clear what their goal is: to increase the value of their subscription plans by making this a feature that only paid users get. “We are planning to include this feature in the subscription plan in the future.”
How Does It Work?
According to the moderators over at the Pioneer DJ forums, here’s how the system will work.
As you analyze a song, Rekordbox will “first check to see if a fingerprint of your song already exists in the database, then it will match it and download the analysis file instead of generating it.”
If it doesn’t match a fingerprint in the database, it will upload the beatgrid and analysis metadata (apparently not cue points, loops, etc) to Pioneer DJ’s servers for others to use.
Right now it’s very much a black box that performs in an unknown way – and so far in my testing, I haven’t been able to get a track to download analysis info (let me know in the comments if you’re able to). This has made it pretty hard to tell what users will get from this functionality.
There are a few big open questions that Pioneer DJ hasn’t publicly released the details to, so we’ve sent them over to them and are waiting on official comment.
Will Pioneer DJ servers only use one computer’s analysis data for a track, or will it “double-check” the data from multiple sources to make sure it is consistent?
How much faster can downloading a track analysis file be versus actually analyzing songs?
How will the servers ensure that the data is correct in the event that slightly different tracks with identical tag metadata are uploaded to the server?
If re-analyzing a song that already has cues, loops, and other ‘personal’ metadata, will that be shared as well?
In the final release, will DJs be able to disable track analysis sharing – especially if they aren’t getting the results back unless they pay for a subscription?
How Can Users Turn This Off?
While this is just a beta, there is a mildly controversial aspect to it: there’s no way to turn this track analysis data off in the preferences. This means any user who uses this beta is giving Pioneer DJ their beatgrid analysis results.
How Can I Try This Out?
To try out the feature, you’ll need to download the public beta of Rekordbox, which is available here on Pioneer DJ’s official forums. Important note: This could have a serious impact on your library and collection, so make sure you back it up first before installing the Beta. In Rekordbox, got to File > Library > Backup Library to make sure you’ve got a solid backup.