Kado: Find New Tracks Based On Thousands of DJ Sets

Since the move to digital stores, the process of finding new tracks for DJs has remained relatively stagnant. A new app, Kado, intelligently cross-references hundreds of thousands of DJ sets to find high-quality related tracks that will mix well together. Keep reading to learn more about this new crate digging tool that’s powered by real music curators, not metadata-only algorithms.

Kado: Social Recommendations For DJ Sets

  • App: Kado
  • Availability: Limited beta launches today on GetKado.com
  • Price: Free 30-day trial, $9.99/month subscription
  • System Requirements: MacOS only at launch

Kado is a new joint venture from Ean Golden (DJTT founder), Rob McQueen (a former Twitter engineer), and AJ Asver (a former Googler who left to focus on music technology). It’s one of the first apps designed for DJs that takes advantage of the massive amount of data available surrounding DJ sets. With Kado, this data is used as a quality filter to help DJs find better tracks for their collection and save time searching for new music.

How Does Kado Work? The Ultimate Trainspotter

When was the last time you trainspotted a DJ on the decks, peaking at their track selections, or even just using Shazam? DJs always want to know what other DJs are playing – and that’s the core sentiment behind the Kado app.

The main difference between Kado and most other music recommendation engines is that it uses public tracklists from other DJs’ sets to power the search for good-matching tracks. The goal is to show you better recommendations for tracks that might work well in your collection  – based on songs that other DJs decided to include in a mix with the track you’re searching.

Here’s the intended workflow:

  • Drag a track into Kado that you want to find similar tracks to
  • The app cross-references “a database of over 250,000 DJ sets” to find other tracks commonly played in the same set

  • The Match results are focused around showing what tracks DJs played directly around the track you searched. Under each title, Kado even indicates how many DJs play it before, after, or in the same set as your searched track.
  • In the results, quickly preview each track, and sort the list popularity, key, or BPM

  • When you find a track you like: add it to a holding crate or get direct purchase links
  • Optionally, click the Kado icon on any result to get another set of results based on that track

Customized Results

Kado also has the ability to integrate your Serato DJ library, Traktor collection, iTunes library, and Soundcloud likes to get customized search results. After connecting any of them, hitting “Advanced Options” on the Match screen reveals the types of customization available:

These options unlock even more powerful searches. The DJSIM bar is used to determine how similar your DJ history is to that of other DJs – and allows you to favor similar DJs in the results.  Ean Golden shared his own favorite – using the “Only Tracks in my Collection” button to reference his own Traktor history:

“There is no way in any DJ software to see what songs I usually play before or after a given song. This would be really helpful when making playlists and planning my set in advance. You can configure Kado to only show your own playlist history and quickly see what tracks you normally play. I discover so many interesting connections that got lost in memory years ago.”

Discover New Artists, Labels

While using the Kado application, it’s easy to discover new artists or labels that fit your own tastes extremely well. Similar to what you might do on a store like Beatport, Kado allows you to quickly click into individual artists or labels and see everything that has been put out by them. But instead of just seeing their most purchased tracks, you can see what tracks are actually the most played in DJ sets (as well as a number of other sorting options).

Users can also click the “Follow” button on any artist or label to get all of their new releases in the Feed tab. The Feed acts as quick daily digest review of the most recent tracks that you actually care about based on what you’re following and playing.

A Beta Tester’s Review

I’ve been a private beta tester of the app for a few months – having used it in preparation for a number of gigs and as a way to build out playlists around a specific type of sound.

The app reminds me of few tools available to DJs – but in one highly effective package instead of a few disparate solutions. If each of these tools are private investigator firms, Kado is the entire Scotland Yard:

  • Virtual DJ’s built-in “Live Feedback” engine, designed to suggest a single next track. It’s a feature powered by other VDJ users and metadata filtering. But it’s not designed for digging – it’s designed as an in-the-moment solution for DJs, and until VDJ 8 only offered a single result.
  • Shazam / tracklistings / visual trainspotting – allowing DJs to find out the tracks that their favorite DJs are playing. It’s a manual process – and you’re limited to whatever mix you’re currently listening to.
  • Beatport’s “People Also Bought” recommendations, which suggest other purchases based on tracks in your cart. These recommendations can sometimes be winners, but it’s no guarantee that the tracks will work well together in a set.

The most practical application I’ve found is to start putting together a playlist for a mix or event, and then run each track through Kado. This allows you quickly flesh out a playlist without listening to hundreds of releases. It’s like asking every DJ you know “Hey, I like these songs. What do you think would go well with them?”

Press the Kado button on your results for endless fun

One of most enjoyable experiences is going “down the rabbit hole” with Kado’s results. Start with a single song, find another one that you love, hit the Kado button for a new set of results, and repeat endlessly. It’s an addicting way to dig for tracks – you get the feeling that an amazing new floorfiller for your collection could be just one click away.

A bit too much of the same artist in these results

I did find that results occasionally would feel a bit too obvious, particularly with drum and bass tracks. Perhaps the app can introduce a way to filter out Matches with the same artist or label to avoid telling DJs about songs they already know.

The next step for Kado absolutely needs to be to add Rekordbox compatibility. Many DJs like myself almost exclusively use CDJs for most of their gigs. Being able to reference that collection/history would be amazing – but for now it’s exclusive to Traktor and Serato collections.

A private Beta of the Kado app is available now – apply on the official site here. A full release is slated for two months from today. 

Author’s note: Aside from providing access to their application during the beta stage, the team behind Kado – which includes DJTT founder Ean Golden – did not influence the opinions expressed in this review.  

crate diggingfinding new dj tracksfinding new musickadorecommendationtrainspotting
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  • Crates: Beatport Track Digging, But Way Better

    […] Crates actually help DJs shop? I’ve spent the last day digging on Crates, cross-referencing with track suggestions from Kado, diving through new labels, and generally trying to flesh out my playlists for a gig in Amsterdam […]

  • Alex Matulessy

    When is is the windows version. As a window user i can not give my opinion about kado. The things i ve read about kado, is about DJ s and for DJ s. I m also a DJ (windows user).

  • Joel Smith

    Yeah $10 is a bit much but saving time is worth money. Besides DJTT has been providing us with so many great things over the years I am going to support it. There are sites out there that charge for articles or have monthly subscriptions with content that isn’t as good.

  • Reif Hand

    Is there a windows version on the horizon?

  • buxxxxxx

    surely you guys make some money when we buy new songs via Kado. In relation to the monthly fee we have to pay I say: no thank you. Way too much money.

  • kdejaeger

    I have a bunch of nice songs from ‘the mfa’. Which all end in a strange way. Curious what the tool will come up with.

  • DJ Nietzsche

    sadly, this sounds like another tool to take the personality out of music. more homogenisation. a good tool for DJs who play Top 40 tracks in after-office-drinks venues but not so good for those who think that music is something personal.

    Part of makes going clubbing good is that you go to different cities and different countries and you hear different styles, because of what is available in record shops and because local culture influences people’s tastes. instead we now have another tool to remove individualism, ironic when society is becoming more individualistic.

    if you let me get pretentious for a second, it is struggle that makes art. Convenience kills the soul.

    And besides that, all music adds to your knowledge of music. even hearing music you don’t like when digging still has its use. it all adds to your music knowledge.

  • 0ldsk00lwannab3

    buy records! discover long-unheard sh*t. you’re about to get inoculated while someone gets their pockets full with an algorithm. even if you use digital gear–archive it, then FX it. 10 1-dollar records will get you farther than this!

  • LJ

    My honest first impression is that $10/month is a lot for a service that is limited to one function. If the $10 allowed users to download the songs at no additional cost that would be worth it for me. This would be like paying Netflix to suggest shows to watch but not actually giving me the ability to watch them. I think it’s a great concept but I won’t even consider it for the cost.

    • buxxxxxx


    • buxxxxxx

      120 dollar per year. 5 yrs of use: 600 dollar and counting.
      Beside that, they make money on the songs you buy through Kado,

      It’s like a course: “how to price my software out of the market, even before going live.”

      • Ean Golden

        @buxxxxxx:disqus Kado actually doesn’t make any money off the songs you buy – those links are just there to make digging easier. The app is free for 30 days and usually saves people, including me, a lot of time every week. Try it out and tell us what you think!

    • Agungald

      Agreed.. its a bit much for 10 $ a month for me too.. i’ve already subscribing Spotify, if they would enable option to download the song too for 10$ hell im in!

  • Forevernow

    Testing this now and so far its been very good at finding new music . Ive used some pretty obscure tracks as the source ( Steve Reich/Coldcut for example) and the results are very cool. I play around 8 gigs a month, run the bookings at one venue, spend 100-200 uk a month on new music – anything that helps find a decent track is very welcome in my book. This is great – I’ll be signing up..

  • Adam Arthur

    This sounds like a very powerful service.. though I have to admit, at first, the thought of this service killed a part of my soul a little.. but then I had to remember that there are two types of DJ’s out there.. The first I guess I would call “Service DJ’s”; those who DJ for a career and do it to play what the people want and whats popular, and I would think a service like this would put all of those DJ’s in-line and keep the clubs bumpin’ and happy and keep the DJ’s employed.. And for the other DJ’s who I would call “Performance DJ’s” who take DJing as an art, an expression and spend all their time their time digging not only for the most ground breaking and amazing new music and new styles, but also look for music that expresses their own artistic vision and their own image and style.. I guess all-in-all this service would benefit them too as it could keep the two worlds somewhat separate. Or it would programmatically reap the rewards of their hard work.. not sure which.

  • HaveYouProcreatedWithGizYetEan

    The Ferengi-“DJs” are taking over…
    Only problem is that this pre-chewed-food/sets they are serving ain’t that fresh.
    DJ Craze (the 3xWorld-DJ-Champ that Ean didn’t want to jam with) wouldn’t rely on such tools, cause he got style and skill…
    Banning me is only proving that I hit a nerve…

    • zendoo

      Troll says troll things. *flounce*

  • WouldntYouLike2beAcunTROLLer2

    This is too funny to be true. Ean’s like the Kim Kardashian of DJ-ing. He fails to deliver, but is bringing out a app. When is the corresponding Emoji-Palette being launched? I only buy them if all Emojis contain the DJTT-Logo, which is like the equivalent of “DJ-Elitist approved”…

  • Tiago Andrade

    Well, great ideia! I’ve been searching for an app like this for years, since i didn’t found one, it became my thesis project. I also wanted the main goal to be a new way to DJs discover music. I created a prototype of an online platform where DJs could help each other finding matches. In it, DJs could upload their best transitions and gain recognition based on the quality of their match’s. They could obviously search for transitions based on one song and also request a match if there wasn’t one available. Each transition contained a comment section where you could specific what kind of transition it was (melodic, toneplay, wordplay, etc). I wonder if you also think about this. Because if not, it won’t improve DJ sets quality, it will only make them sound all the same (Just my point). Feel free to reach me if you wan’t to discuss anything about my project. I will start testing the app right now. Cheers

  • Jake Bergeson

    Honestly, I think this looks like a great new tool for digging or finding new music. If it delivers on it’s promises, I think it’ll be a hit! Excited to try it out.

    • Nicky H

      Yeah at first I was like meh.
      But I can see the advantages when prepping during the week, saves trudging through loads of sites.

      • DJ Nietzsche

        if listening to music is trudging, maybe you should do something else

        • Nicky H

          I didn’t say anything about listening to music did I?

        • zendoo

          Every working artist feels like that sometimes. That’s the reality of it being your job. But you still do it. The only person I’ve met who didn’t say that was Brad Bird. He literally wakes up every day and says “Holy shit my life is awesome.” But he’s the only one I know.

      • Ean Golden

        @jakebergeson:disqus and @disqus_5F9GWhJQmn:disqus – Our initial alpha testers told us that Kado is saving them around 2-3 hours of internet searching per set. With all the music previewing and searching in one window – it massively decreases browse time. One BIG time saver, is to passively look for new Dj music by allowing Kado to play tracks in the background while you do other things like cook breakfast! 🙂 I love listening to new tracks – but I hate glueing myself to a screen for 6 hours to do it. The record store was a lot better..

  • Rudy.cz

    So nice! Soon everyone will be playing same music 😉

    • Nicky H

      Well you could use it in reverse.
      See what everyone else is playing & then play something else.

    • LJ

      Done 🙂

  • mikefunk

    Cool but 10 bucks for a month it’s kinda steep considering I’l be using it just few times a week. Not like internet radio everyday for hours. Cut it in half and maybe then. Or once off fee for 60 bucks or something.

    • mikefunk

      I am saying this because I live in Poland and 10 bucks here is like 40 in US. Not everybody lives in US. That’s all. Or maybe you can provide local prices like Netflix does. Still. Great tool and I will probably end up using it.

    • Ean Golden

      @mikefunk:disqus Thanks for the feedback Mike – we absolutely want to make it a good value for everyone and will look into ways to make it affordable for all users. Honestly though – if we can’t save you $9 worth of time per month – then the app would suck and not be worth downloading or working on. The Kado team wants to save you MANY hours of time every month and make Dj digging fun again – hopefully that’s worth $9? That monthly subscription is important because it provides revenue for us to continue working on the quality of those results every day. Some products just focus on selling you something once – and then they don’t work on the actual experience.

  • nem0nic

    This is a smart product in a couple ways. First, as stated it helps users parse through music in a more efficient way than logging into Beatport and pressing LISTEN on all of the new releases. Yes, it’s possible that some users with no imagination will use this as their sole discovery tool and end up recreating other DJs mixes. But I can see other DJs using it to discover new artists and labels that they might otherwise not be exposed to.

    The other way that this is a smart product is that it could easily be the engine that powers a lot of bigger things. That could be an online music store, an “agent” in a DJ software browser… even statistics and marketing efforts for music publishing.

    There are a lot of ways this adventure could play out. Kudos on Kado, sir.

  • zendoo

    As a technology, that’s pretty cool. I’m skeptical where they got a quarter million “DJ sets”. From which DJs? If it’s from every set being played, then your track selection is going to be, of necessity, statistically average in quality. If not, I’m imagining two servers sitting together in their datacenter, one running Pandora, and the other running Rekordbox, duct taped together with “DJ Panbox” scribbled across the two. =)

    • Ean Golden

      that’s creepy, how did you find out about our patented DJ Panbox technology?!

    • Ztronical

      Yeah my first thought was thats a lot of djs and how are these sets found, updated. Maybe there is a giant live feed of sets but how? I am obviously missing something because searching for dj sets does have a lot of results, but to somehow database those, wouldn’t that be lot of work?
      Guess having a former google pro might help.
      Too bad Mac only, an app like this would be used mobile a bit more? When I am at home and laptop or desktop is used (both Windows) I am usually not searching for music.
      I used to use Beatport more and also Itunes, but now most my searching is done mobile with Google Play, Digitally Imported Radio, and Soundcloud.
      I still usually buy from Beatport.
      But this app looks awesome, any help and especially from people with a goal such as Djtechtools has.
      I will buy as soon as it is mobile or pc.

  • tniz

    Ean, when the app makes recommendations does it identify tracks you already own and tracks you would need to purchase?

    • Ean Golden

      @disqus_laVzLxIIFR:disqus Absolutely, good question – after syncing your Dj collection, you can choose to exclude songs that you already own and show things in the crate you need to purchase.

      • tniz

        Is there the capability to sync with iTunes or just Traktor/Serato. Sorry, for hitting you twice with the question, also asked on twitter as the firewall at work doesn’t like disqus

        • Luiz Zen

          Can Kado read from a Traktor collection export (NML) file, instead of the original/hot collection file? Just for safety purposes. I really don’t like any apps dealing with my collection file, who knows what they are doing? (is the app loading the file as strictly read-only mode? is it writing something to the file? can the app possibly set my collection file as corrupted due to any internal bug? shit happens) 😉

          • zendoo

            SO MANY TIMES has MiK corrupted my Traktor collection file. It’s very, very annoying. Eventually, it will always corrupt it when trying to export cue points for 20k songs, after crashing a bajillion times first.

          • Ean Golden

            @luizzen:disqus We do a read only action, certainly absolutely no writing or changing your collection in any way. @flickenzedu:disqus that sucks! we would never want to negatively impact your collection and only read from it.

  • Admiralty

    If you can’t find the next track (or don’t have the nuts to take a risk) then perhaps you shouldn’t really be playing out in public.
    Maybe listening to the music you have would be a better option?

    • Ean Golden

      Good point Dr.

      Kado is not really intended for live use, but mainly as a music searching tool to help DJs find new tracks that are similar to other songs they like. I personally agree, once you get on stage – then the music searching should ideally end. Many Dj’s (myself included) find themselves spending more hours searching for new music than we spend playing the set. Kado hopes to make that a bit more manageable so we can all play out more.

      • CUSP

        Right, this tool should be used in conjunction to your other music searching techniques… a powertool for looking up other (good) songs. I know I listen to other people’s sets to hear a song/band I like (typically radio streams and Shazam), then I “crate dig” based on a few of those kernel songs, then I run those bands through music-map, Discogs, and LastFM, etc. but sometimes, I really DON’T want to hear a ton of “crappy songs” on someone’s feed, or bands that aren’t really all that good… having just one, good, remix. If this app lives up to its’ hype, then all you’ll be getting is nothing but the good stuff (other people play).

        There’s a danger to using power tools though, everyone starts sounding the same, because looking for good songs to play is hard, sometimes painful even. Having to endure a bunch of less-than-ideal songs is something we all want to avoid. I’m curious to see how well this works with underground and fringe genre songs.

    • Nicky H

      It’s not about listening to the music you already have though is it?
      Did you even read the post?

    • ...

      -garbage dj ideology