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How to DJ with Spotify - the hurdles and solution

How to DJ with Spotify - the hurdles and solution

Written by: Dexxter Clark
djing with spotify is one of the hottest topics of the last few years.
But despite some software efforts there doesn’t seem much of a development going on over the last few years

Yes you can run an AUX cable into your mixer with your phone or laptop connected.
But that is not the real dj experience, is it.
You miss a lot of features like seeing the key of a song or speeding up or slowing down.

There is DJ software out there that supports DJing with spotify.
How cool would it be to have the full spotify library at your disposal when you are spinning in a club?
That you could select on the [CDJ show menu]
Search for a song, download it and bam play it with pitch control and the whole shabam.

why isn’t it available already
Is it because of technical difficulties?
I can’t imagine. The CDJ 2000 nxs2 are pretty powerful machines.
But doesn’t Pioneer know we want Spotify?
I can’t imagine. This is wanted since day 1 spotify came out?

Ok, Denon than.
Those standalone players are even more powerful than the CDJs.
But, also not Denon, and any other non-industry standard brand.
You would think that someone would make a device that could make a dj player that could handle that.
But there are some software alternatives out there for dj controllers.
So, what’s the deal here?

But is it even legal to play Spotify songs?
The venue has to pay the royalties so technically it is possible.
So the DJ has no obligations.
BUT… the terms of serice of spotify prohibit it.

The Spotify Service and the Content are the property of Spotify or Spotify`s licensors.
We grant you a limited, non-exclusive, revocable licence to make use of the Spotify Service, and a limited, non-exclusive, revocable licence to make personal, non-commercial, entertainment use of the Content (the “Licence”). This Licence shall remain in effect until and unless terminated by you or Spotify. You promise and agree that you are using the Content for your own personal, non-commercial, entertainment use and that you will not redistribute or transfer the Spotify Service or the Content.

So, what I read between the lines is that someone wants to drive a bigger car.
Well it’s not the producer.

But I still don’t get it
They venue pays money to music rights organisations.
Downloading music of of youtube is just as illegal as spinning with spotify, even when a play on spotify brings money in the pocket of a producer
it has another advantage. They can exacly track what track is played and who deserves to get money for that.
That is less administration for the dj. and the producers get the money they deserve.
It seems to be a win/win in my book.

Okay, so money is the problem.
Make a spotify license for DJs! Problem solved!
You pay 30,- a month for high quality songs.
That could NOT be the problem, since DJ pools exist with unlimited downloads.
There can’t be a problem.
But still … it is still not here.
Beatport tried it a few years back and it failed.

But do you even WANT to do it?
The quality can be poorer than mp3.
You can switch to 320kps but that is not availble for all songs with a paid account
On the other side there are even djs downloading songs from Youtube.
Yes, that’s still a thing and a discussion for another day.
But your internet connection can fail.
And then the club is silent.
Of course you have to predownload the track before you can play it.

But back to the burning question.
Is there a way to use spotify and spin with your CDJs?
Well, yes and no,
Yes it is possible, and no, because it’s not the way you want it to work.
You need a laptop and software and use your CDJs as Midi Controllers.
The only software I could find that somewhat supported the CDJs is: algoriddim djay
algoriddim djay is avaliable for €55,-

So, if it is illegal to spin with Spotify, do you get a fine?
Currently not, but the PRO (performing rughts organisation) can force you to quit a performance.
That is not something you want on your resume.
“yeah, I was finally on Tomorrowland and I got to spin 2 songs and then I had to quit"

For the serato fans there is a version with the Tidal streaming service.
Which can offer you high quality FLAC streaming
it’s not spotify, but it’s streaming with a big library.

So, is it possible? Yes
But there are some caviates.

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photo author dexxter clark
Dexxter Clark
Music Producer / YouTuber

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