@Mark > There are 3 ways of using the XDJ-R1:
- stand-alone unit with CDs or USB devices
- linked to rekordbox via WiFi to access the tracks in your rekordbox collection on the computer
- as a MIDI controller for rekordbox when connected by USB cable
When using the first or second options, you can use the free version of rekordbox which does not require a license; you are able to prepare and manage your songs, export them to USB devices and link players via the network (some models support connection via ethernet, the XDJ-R1 connects only via WiFi).
If you would like to use the 3rd option where the software performs all the mixing and you have access to additional effects, you would need to purchase a license for what's known as rekordbox DJ (or "performance mode"). This is available as a one-time purchase of $129US or on a monthly subscription for $9.90/mo, but you do have the ability to unlock a free 30-day trial of rekordbox DJ to see if it suits your needs.
There is no license for rekordbox DJ included with the purchase of the XDJ-R1 as it was manufactured prior to the inception of rekordbox DJ and was never intended to be used as a controller for it. Due to popular demand, the rekordbox team included support for the R1 as a compatible device, but a license must be purchased, same as for owners of the much more expensive CDJ-2000NXS2's.