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iTunes 11 and bridge

Has anyone tested bridge after updating to iTunes 11? 

Brady Spear

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I've tried it this morning with the PC version. So far it seems to be working. I'd advise backing up your iTunes library files before you upgrade, just in case you run into any issues and have to revert back to version 10. I wouldn't expect problems, but I only spent 10 minutes or so with it.

I've not updated the Mac yet, so I've yet to test the Mac version.

The new UI looks like it'll take a bit of getting used to, but once I turned on the sidebar everything got a lot more familiar. Most of the functionality looks like it's still there, it's just not immediately obvious at first glance where everything went.

MouseAT 0 votes
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Just updated to iTunes 11 and used bridge without any problems on my MB running 10.7.5.

The Henrik Maneuver 0 votes
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Do you guys really find iTunes much easier for organisation? What do you like about it?

Gavin 0 votes
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As a mobile DJ, I have a large music collection - around 10,000 tracks, around 750 artists. That's unwieldy to navigate using the CDJs built in Artist list, so I need a way of segmenting my library into smaller "views" by type of gig (Mobile, Rock, Indie, 60s and 70s etc).

On a laptop, this wasn't a problem. I could take a playlist, chuck a couple of thousand tracks into it and call it a day. On a 6-line CDJ screen, not so much - even 500 tracks is too clunky to work with easily, so I'm trying to split stuff up as much as possible. This is why I'm so keen to see iPad navigation on the Nexus.

Anyway, for some of the genres I play, I've taken to using iTunes smart playlists a lot to manage music. I'll create a playlist folder, then create a smart playlist for each artist. This gives me easy hierarchical navigation of subsets of my music library, without album names or irrelevant artists getting in the way, and makes things a bit more manageable. The smart playlists make life a lot easier, as I only have to manage artists - if a band has a new single and I rip it to my music collection or buy it online, it automatically gets added to the correct playlists and exported along with the rest of my collection. Sooner or later I might have to restructure to avoid the 1000 playlists/device limit, but for now it works fairly well.

Ideally it'd be nice to have an option on the CDJ to break down a playlist by artist so that I can view a playlist as a hierarchy of artists natively without having to define everything manually, but until then this is what I end up doing to make large music collections manageable.

Plus, having one place to manage all my music for everything makes sense. It's nice to be able to rip, tag, create playlist and otherwise arrange music on my Mac in one place, and be able to export that to a variety of different places - my iPhone, Rekordbox, Serato Scratch Live etc.

iTunes may be proprietary, but most software seems to be designed to interact with it these days. If all music is in iTunes, it's easy to work with it or export it to other applications at any time. If everything is locked into a proprietary application like Rekordbox or SSL, it can be a pain in the ass to migrate playlists to anything else. Having spent the last month recreating all my old playlists from SSL in iTunes with a re-ripped (lossless) music collection, it's not something I want to repeat any time soon.

MouseAT 0 votes
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For me iTunes is perfect. File re-naming, tagging and organization is a breeze and It has all the tools I need. iTunes keeps your library neat and tidy automatically, has the standard mac key shortcuts and, lo and behold, the "undo" command. I also use smart playlists extensively. Rekordbox actually doesn't have any of these features so the choice is easy for me, except for setting cue points, loops and export to USB it's all iTunes here.

The Henrik Maneuver 0 votes
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So I guess the natural question then is if rekordbox had these features would it lure you away from using iTunes?

Gavin 0 votes
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Well, removing one step from the work flow is always welcome!

The Henrik Maneuver 0 votes
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@gavlar, i dont think rb doing smart lists and all that is really something i want to do in rb. unless rb will be able to share its library with other apps like radiologic or traktor!?! im not just a dj - i do radio too... rb is just here to load up the cdjs usb hard drive for me!

would rb be able to import files like itunes and look after them, keep them organised and tidy?
maybe the bridge just needs to be slick enough to monitor the differences between the imported playlists and keep them in sync :)

Matt Jackson 0 votes
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There are a few things I'd probably need to see in Rekordbox if I was going to spend more time using it.

The first is probably some sort of solid two-way sync with iTunes. Like many people, I play music on my computer for my listening pleasure, I work with other software both for DJing (although I'm working towards phasing out the 3rd party DJ apps) and other purposes, and like it or not, iTunes is pretty much a defacto standard for managing music on Windows and OS X. One way or another, much of what I do in Rekordbox also has to be available elsewhere else, and iTunes is a means to making that happen. If all the data is stuck in a proprietary Rekordbox database, that doesn't really help me when I'm not preparing music for use on CDJs. That said, I wouldn't mind migrating some of my gig only playlists into Rekordbox if the application is up to scratch and there's a way to migrate that data back to iTunes if I need it.

What else would help? Being able to view the contents of playlists broken down hierarchically by artist on the CDJ, enabling me to get away from a lot of smart playlists to recreate the same thing. Possibly an increase in the maximum number of tracks per playlist could be helpful there. An increase to the number of playlists per device would be REALLY helpful. Stability is crucial - I spend as little time in Rekordbox 2.0.1 as I can, as it's a bit unstable at the best of times.

One thing the application really needs - multi core track analysis. Serato Scratch Live runs rings around every other application I've ever used in that regard. There's nothing like running SSL on a quad core processor with hyper threading and watching it analyse 8 tracks simultaneously. Having to leave Rekordbox on overnight to analyse is painful by comparison.

MouseAT 0 votes
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Hi Gavin. I have starting using Rekordbox a lot more than iTunes, but just one feature would really help - iTunes allows you to convert file formats (eg. .m4a to .mp3) I think it would be a MASSIVE help if Rekordbox had a similar feature. The dealbreaker for me would be if you could import .m4a files from iTunes to Rekordbox and Rekordbox then AUTOMATICALLY convert the file to the necessary format so it will run smoothly on hardware such as cdj900. Your thoughts on this would be appreciated. 

kieran nock 0 votes
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@kieran m4a's play fine on the cdj range - why do you want to re-encode as mp3, have you had issues?

The only itunes format the players wont play is the apple lossless files - itunes music store m4a's are fine!

going from an already compressed format to another really isnt going to do your music quality any favours - something i wouldnt suggest you or any other dj do, if you want the best sound that is! 

Matt Jackson 0 votes
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@Matt    Sorry for the confusion, but I believe you have answered the question within a question lol. I see my problem was with lossless files and not m4a's. Thanks for the info

kieran nock 0 votes
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what we really need here, in that case then, is to lobby pioneer some more to support flac / aflac  (aflac being the apple lossless variety)... its been mentioned on here before quite a few times to no avail....

the last thing you really want to do is duplicate all your lossless files for mp3's coz thats a real pain... and there would be no way id want to delete the original files as once in mp3 its getting no better and no going back!

New thread time... Pioneer Pelase Support Lossless Formats

i bet they come back with... use wav or aiff... its not like HD space is a real issue these days?!?!

Matt Jackson 0 votes
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@kieran > I'd be interested too to hear why you re-encode into another format. Seems an unnecessary part of your work flow. Plus there are already some great program's out there that will re-encode tracks for you - my favourite is EZ CD-DA.

Gavin 0 votes
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@Matt > as you well know, increased support means great costs which ultimately have to be borne by the end user. Saving HD space is, for the most part, a moot point at this stage as you point out. This main issue is adoption by other providers - and flac hasn't been firmly nailed down as the format we should all be using.

Gavin 0 votes
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Gavin, As previously mentioned the main reason is because of lossless files. Another reason is because mp3 file format are smaller files and so I can cram more information in, but as Matt has pointed out this is a very foolish thing to do due to the negative impact on sound quality. 

kieran nock 0 votes
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I use iTunes to be my main storehouse for music, and export the songs I want to DJ with to Rekordbox.

The main reasons I do so:

 

1)Rekordbox (2.0.1) is S-L-O-W - just trying to click a 20+ song playlist on my USB is painful - typically rekordbox 'stops responding' for 30 seconds, then comes back and does what I need it to.  There is no way I would import my huge music collection to rekordbox. It simply would not be able to handle it.  iTunes is stable and fast.  Hopefully rekordbox will one day be as stable as iTunes, but it has a lot of catch up to do...

2)iTunes can re-encode to any format. I purchase songs in AIFF format to DJ with, but Mixed in Key does not read AIFF files. So, I purchase AIFF, convert to MP3, scan with Mixed in Key, and then rename the 'Comments' section of the AIFF track to the correct Camelot key signature. (I realize that the new rekordbox can figure out keys, but it can't use the camelot format...)  Also, I can use the MP3s to put on my iPod for mobile listening, to transfer AIFFs to my iPod is a waste of space, IMO

 

Nate Schilman 0 votes
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OK, on the subject of lossless I have two main points:

1) There are two main lossless formats in general use. One is FLAC, which seems to have been pretty much universally accepted as THE lossless format of choice in the non-Apple world. The other is Apple's proprietary ALAC format, which rules the roost on the Macs simply because iTunes doesn't have FLAC support, and Apple refuse to add it. Both formats should be supported by any audio device that aspires to the word "professional".

2) Secondly, disk space usage is not as moot as certain people like to claim. If the capacity of a drive is small (USB pen drive, internal laptop SSD etc.) then being able to shave 30% off the size of a music collection without losing quality can make a significant difference, and can make the difference between being able to fit a music collection on a drive or not. My music collection is around 10,000 tracks right now, and eats up around 360GB on its own. SSDs seem to top out at around 500GB. High performance 2.5in drives top out at 750GB. The only 2.5in 1TB drive in existence is a 5400RPM Seagate drive that's not only slow but is also too tall for some machines and enclosures.

Maybe one day we'll have laptops with 2TB of internal storage and 500GB pen drives. Until then, we have to work with what we've got.

MouseAT 0 votes
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Hi Gavin,

The reason I use iTunes is so that I have a single place to organize playlists. I can easily access these playlists in Rekordbox when I play using the DJ Link, and I can also easily access the playlists when I occasionally DJ with Traktor and vinyl control (I still like to use the turntables from time-to-time). I don't think Traktor can access Rekordbox playlists (correct me if I'm wrong).

Brent Silby Maestro B 0 votes
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