Denon SC5000 Players Get Rekordbox Import in 1.0.3 Firmware

The Denon DJ SC5000 media player was one of the most important hardware releases of 2017 because it was a clear challenge to the Pioneer DJ domination of the industry. In our review, we lauded the many obvious-but-unmatched features that the hardware brought to the market. With a new firmware being launched today, the SC5000s will now be able to read rekordbox databases directly.

v1.0.3 Firmware for SC5000s

The SC5000 update underway

The official press release  for this firmware update contains two items in the change log:

  • Direct import of rekordbox® database — automatically and elegantly converts hot-cues, saved loops and playlists into Engine format, directly within the SC5000 player
  • Adjusted pitch resolution for more accurate BPM setting during DJ performance

Importing Rekordbox

Let’s be clear – this firmware update only applies to SC5000 players, so if you’re expecting to be able to do the same import on the Denon Engine desktop software side of things, you’re out of luck. It also mentions nothing about waveform creation and BPM detection, so that also might become prohibitive, slowing down the speed at which DJs are able to use their Rekordbox drives.

Our Test

We’re testing the firmware today and updating this article with our thoughts on how elegant the solution is:

So far, we’ve installed the new 1.0.3 firmware (takes about 3-5 minutes per unit). Upon plugging in a Rekordbox USB to the front of the SC5000, we get to this screen allowing us to start the import process.

The import process is relatively fast – we did about 4,000 tracks in 40 minutes. We’re still waiting on the final import to finish up to test how the import actually performs. The import completed, and now we’re presented with a full set of playlists from Rekordbox:

All of the Rekordbox playlists and tracks showing…

The import works just fine – but it is limited to just BPM, cue, and loop data. BPM gets instantly re-analyzed when you load a track (as the player needs to make its own waveform and beatgrid. It’s much easier to browse than by navigating the Contents folder on a Rekordbox USB.

The biggest issue is that all playlists are listed at an equal level. Almost every DJ I know uses folders to organize their playlists – so to see all 100+ playlists I have at an equal level is incredibly frustrating. Why wouldn’t Denon treat these as crates?

Overall, this feature still feels half-complete. We really hope that Denon DJ can make it polished in 1.0.4.

Ultimately, if Denon continues to improve this feature, it could convince many more DJs to invest in the #changeyourrider concept. Having to start fresh and prepare a whole new collection and sync it onto a new drive represents a massive inconvenience for any DJ – so eliminating that hurdle makes so much sense.

Denon DJrekordboxsc5000sc5000 prime
Comments (29)
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  • Slim Tim

    followed the exact instructions and it said “failed to load track, file unavailable”. Come on guys….. Return to sender and back to pioneer I go…

    • ATGR Production Team

      Good thing you found out about DeCU then Tim 🙂 no more worries and the beatgrid as well

  • djdemand

    soooo……where’s the MCX8000 refresh??

  • Linz&Mars

    Very exciting. Nice work Denon.

  • Reticuli

    “Adjusted pitch resolution for more accurate BPM setting during DJ performance”

    Someone had already said the pitch resolution was far beyond even the Hanpins and the original CDJ-1000mk3, with more pitch range options. The numbers I was told seemed at the limits of 14bit pitch faders similar to what you see on Virtual DJ with the best pitch faders and two decimal places (further decimals basically being a random number generator). What’s the pitch resolution now at the various ranges? What were they before? If they’ve improved it, clearly the info I was given before was in error.

    Why does RB transfer have to be done in batch conversion? Is the nature of the RB meta info such that it will never be possible to just load a track and expect its RB cues, hot cues, and loops to be loaded individually without the entire drive’s database and playlists converted over?

    Also, with all the other customizations available on the SC5000, have they added the ability to customize the HUD info and the browser information, like the ability to hide the moving waveform and the BPM that I can do so easily in Traktor or by just editing the XML skin for VDJ?

    Finally, have they added link track offload function from a laptop for Engine Prime?


  • no dev here

    a new version of id3-tag with implementation of loop,cue,bpm,key,beatgrid and waveform information would be nice.
    the waveform is just another bitmap, like the cover art and the rest is its just text or a time code.
    and then you don’t need to export import converting metadata because its in the mp3

  • Kevin Basher

    Huge update!
    This will help a lot for the SC5000s to gain traction in club world!

  • Paul Dakeyne

    Hi all – Paul D. from Denon DJ here: To address this article’s reported ‘4,000 tracks imported in 40 minutes’ – On most of the usb 3.0 flash drives we’ve tested, we’ve clocked roughly 1000 tracks a minute import. Slower drives, especially drives with physical platters will take a performance hit simply because of the read/write head having to move back and forth.

    • Spacecamp / Dan

      I tested this twice with a brand new USB 3.0 Samsung flash drive. No physical platters. It took 35-40 minutes for a 4,000 track library each time.

      • Ywe

        Maybe a good option is to select the playlists you want to “convert” so the time it will take is a whole lot shorter? If I get somewhere with my RB usb and there is Denon I won’t have the time to do it all, rather I’ll just want to do the stuff I’m going to use….

        • Reticuli

          That’s a good idea.

      • ATGR Production Team

        The actual conversion is not where the processing time goes. The tracks still need to be analyzed by the player. Meaning when you load a track in the deck you can start the track, but the pitch and cues only become active when analyzation has finished. You can see the cues and loops in the display of the player, but you can not use them. Same for the pitch, only at 0%.

        That is why the Denon Conversion Utility wants the analyzation to be done before the actual conversion starts (about 4000 tracks in ummm 3 minutes depending on the Mac you run DeCU on).
        Analyzation also needs to be done to make sure that the converted beatgrid data is not overwritten with analyzed data.

        While the SC5000 firmware conversion works, with a few minor bugs but nothing that can’t be solved. It is not a viable solution for a fast mixing DJ to convert the stick on the fly in the player.

    • Mick Jones

      These guys are trying to be polite with you here, basically what the industry is trying to tell you is that we don’t want your shitey players in our booths. There is nobody who already has their tracks analysed in Engine like you do, so it will take 40 mins +…. Don’t try and bullshit us and mess with peoples livelihoods. By all means peddle your crap to kids and dreamers but leave the pro market out of this, there is no need or ‘want’ for it.
      You seem a nice bloke, why not hit Pioneer up for a job.

  • Anthony Alonso

    If they add cue points, beat grid, and folders to the import, I will buy two of these monsters.

    • Paul Dakeyne

      Folders will be coming soon along with other great workflow enhancing features. The SC5000 calculates its own, extremely accurate beatgrids (on a track by track basis) based on Denon DJ’s analysis algorithm.

      • Anthony Alonso

        That’s great and all, but I have a lot of my beatgrids set at specific points in Rekordbox (Traktor and serato via rekordbuddy) for performance reasons (open format mostly). Still, without importing hotcues and being able to import the library into engine, it’s no where near enough for me to buy a set of these for at home.

      • thundercat

        likewise gotta agree… if you have your grid info already sorted having it rescanned and potentially screw it up is a non-starter for me.
        I guess to do it though it would need to figure out how to deal with warped grids…

      • Spacecamp / Dan

        Thanks for chiming in Paul. Really was hoping like folders would have been on this release, but glad to hear they’re coming soon.

        • ATGR Production Team

          At this moment the Denon Conversion Utility does all that, Folders playlists to nested crates, cues loops and beatgrids with names and colors and THE BEATGRID!

          DeCU can do this for entire Rekordbox/Traktor collections or just a CDJ stick.

          See the video at

      • dibb

        Are you planning to make the sync two-way, so also back to RB? This would help Denon to be adapted by dj’s even faster i.m.o., since the CDJ’s are still to be found everywhere.

      • iamMTN

        My only question with all of this is….why did we not have the rekordbox import feature on launch day with these players???!!!

        It should have been part of the marketing imho. You guys have already lost so much steam taking this long to make it a feature, that a lot of people have moved on from the hype of these players since they could not immediately use their libraries.

      • hugh

        Any plans for MCX8000 support?

      • Oscar C

        How about “batch” analysis of mp3s for complete folders or usb sticks?

  • Todd Jensen

    That wont work in a club. who has four minutes between DJs to import all their tracks?

    • thundercat

      it says 40 minutes…
      I love the concept but agree without cue points, beat grid, and folders it seems half done…

      • Paul Dakeyne

        As stated above, ‘On most of the usb 3.0 flash drives we’ve tested, we’ve clocked roughly 1000 tracks a minute import. Slower drives, especially drives with physical platters will take a performance hit simply because of the read/write head having to move back and forth’

        • thundercat

          that does sound a lot better! keep it coming Denon, would love it if booths would start having these!

  • LxSounder

    Yeah! maby this is a ”GAMECHANGER’ – can’t wait for your review!!!