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Spotify Axes DJ Software Streaming In Virtual DJ

To some DJs, integrated streaming music services are the pinnacle of modern music collections. To others, the unreliability and dependence on good internet, service is too risky. In the last month, Spotify has made a minor-but-impactful update to their terms of service that has crippled streaming inside of Virtual DJ . Keep reading for the details.

Virtual DJ Breaks The News In Update

In their most recent (9/8/17) software update, Virtual DJ noted a major change in their music streaming capabilities – a complete removal of Spotify from the streaming library options:

2017-09-08 Update: Spotify is currently no longer available in VDJ 8 as they have recently changed their terms in regards to using Spotify inside Professional DJ applications. We are in discussions with Spotify in order to restore and improve the service but currently no ETA can be provided.

Content Unlimited, Deezer, Groove Music and Pulselocker are still available as content providers.

Prior to this announcement, even in Virtual DJ Pro, there was always a major limitation that prevented streaming or caching two songs at the same time:

[…]the current licensing terms of Spotify do not allow the streaming or caching of 2 tracks simultaneously.

VirtualDJ’s implementation respects this license limitation, but as a result, please be aware that the Spotify experience might not be ideal for DJ use.

What About Algoriddim djay?

Editor’s Update: We’ve gotten an official comment from Atomix. Amazing stuff here – apparently, a major label has stepped in and directly targeted DJ integration of Spotify streaming in a single app:

VirtualDJ and Spotify have been working together over the past 10 months to discuss and implement an integration. The legality of using a consumer streaming service for a DJ application is a complicated question, especially for professional paid DJs, and last month one of the major labels reached out to Spotify with questions about their integration with VirtualDJ Pro. We therefore decided with Spotify to suspend the access for now, until we can sort through the licensing questions.

In comparison, look at Algoriddim’s djay. That software is still able to stream directly from Spotify – something that’s likely part of a more robust deal crafted between the two companies. The djay 2 app can connect and stream (faster than VDJ ever could) tracks from the Spotify library.

Spotify was first added to djay back in 2014 – and has continued to be a major selling point of the software since then. Watch Ean’s test of the streaming capacities of djay Pro in a DJTT video review here.

The Algoriddim team reached out to specifically note:

Algoriddim has officially partnered with Spotify to give users seamless access to the streaming service from within our apps, with the ability to mix multiple tracks at the same time and the functionality you’d expect from modern DJ software. This integration is official and available to all Spotify Premium subscribers.

The Dangers Of Streaming Someone Else’s Library

This all goes back to a well-deserved criticism of streaming DJ music: it’s the DJ form of sharecropping. If you don’t own your own music collection and rely on an external source, it could disappear at any time leaving you high and dry. If the terms of service are suddenly changed right before your big gig and your music disappears, what would you do?

While many DJ softwares have embraced Pulselocker, a DJ-oriented streaming service, we can’t help but see this as a major lesson for software developers and DJs. External dependencies are bad – and DJs should keep building their own music collections locally, not as playlists on someone else’s server.

Next: How Streaming Services Could Improve For DJs

  • Try it before you knock it

    Lol, none of yall seem to have even used Spotify+VirtualDJ in a gig. Let me tell you – it’s a lifesaver for niche requests. The flexibility of being able to field requests LIVE (even for songs you’ve never heard of before) netted me a 70s high-school reunion party, an 80s birthday party, and a pop/charts gig (brand new pop songs) all the space of a week.
    Now that Spotify integration has been removed from VirtualDJ, I’ve moved to Deezer, and it’s great.

  • Kevin

    Though you can still do that with whatever form your music collection is in, even with something like SpotifyI buy music and don’t stream BTW as I like to own my music/give the artists decent money.

  • cyberfunk77

    I’ve got FAR too many personal edits, remixes, bootlegs, mashups and the like to ever move to a streaming service. Never mind simple DJ friendly extended intro’s missing from most Spotify tracks! I demo’d Algoriddim and Spotify at home once and I have to admit it was fun but never for professional use IMHO. On a side question, how many years away are we from having ubiquitous free or paid high speed internet necessary for streaming style DJ sets including in remote locations?

  • ElephantLeg

    Exactly. I find stream sources are too low quality to sound all that good on the dance floor. If I can get them, FLAC/ALAC, etc. uncompressed really does have more to them, but only if they’ve never been compressed.Even High Quality MP3s are better than stream quality MP3s. If you’re paying for a service, at least get something good out of it. MP3 record pools are way better than streaming services.

    • CUSP

      That sounds a lot like what I said.

  • Klaus Mogensen

    So basically Algoriddim is saying: We really hope the record companies won’t notice us, and stop us too

  • Lord Warden

    Though you can still do that with whatever form your music collection is in, even with something like SpotifyI buy music and don’t stream BTW as I like to own my music/give the artists decent money.

  • Daddy

    Though you can still do that with whatever form your music collection is in, even with something like SpotifyI buy music and don’t stream BTW as I like to own my music/give the artists decent money.

  • poxy1985

    Though you can still do that with whatever form your music collection is in, even with something like SpotifyI buy music and don’t stream BTW as I like to own my music/give the artists decent money.

  • “If the terms of service are suddenly changed right before your big gig and your music disappears, what would you do”

    Pirate.
    That’s what happened in Australia when Foxtel, the only service you can stream Game of Thrones through, fucked up their service and collapsed due to “unprecedented demand”.

    And I guarantee that’s what a shitload of people will do until this service is restored.

  • Dan

    That is why vinyl is still king

    • Chris Lewis

      Vinyl, CD, Digital, it does not matter. OWN your music library is the point!

      • boojummert

        Nobody “owns” music really.. music is for every body or else it’s not worth listening too

    • Baroque Obama

      you can lose your vinyl though. real DJs only play music they keep in their heads by shouting at strangers on public transport. everything else is hipsterdom.

      • Dan

        Real DJs have a car

        • Be

          Real DJs write their own software. 😛

          • cyberfunk77

            …and plugins like Steve Duda

    • CUSP

      Arguably, Master tracks are better than Vinyl, there’s simply more to un-mixed-down tracks, and when you have to pull the music from a lossy platform like vinyl, you really don’t get the full feel.

  • Göran Svensson

    Beatport will jump on this train in wav-audio quality

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  • Chris Lewis

    What ever happened to OWNING your music collection? Half the art of DJing is curating and creating your own sound via what you choose to play. This is how house music was BORN! Frankie Knuckles did not start out playing house music(it did not exist), he created house music by careful curation and defined it by selecting records from many sources that fit a certain sound.

    • Though you can still do that with whatever form your music collection is in, even with something like Spotify
      I buy music and don’t stream BTW as I like to own my music/give the artists decent money.

    • CUSP

      Exactly. I find stream sources are too low quality to sound all that good on the dance floor. If I can get them, FLAC/ALAC, etc. uncompressed really does have more to them, but only if they’ve never been compressed.

      Even High Quality MP3s are better than stream quality MP3s. If you’re paying for a service, at least get something good out of it. MP3 record pools are way better than streaming services.

    • you only own the music you have a copywrite to. all else is liscense to use.
      so who cares if you own the piece of plastic in came on or the one you burned it to?