iDJ Pro improvements

Hi - I have owned an IDJ Pro for 7 months and have logged about 500 hours DJing out with it in NYC. I want to share my suggestions for improvement. Some of these have been expressed elsewhere but it would take too long to log each of these on each thread.

Note I use an iPad 3 with late iOS 6.1.3 update. Firmware on IDJ Pro is updated to latest. I restart my iPad each time before each set, close down all other apps and put it in airplane mode to avoid any processor cannibalization.

I have been DJing since 2000, on CDJs and then Serato, before moving to the IDJ Pro.

No particular order below.

  1. Key
    As has been noted elsewhere, things would be better if there was a way to match keys. This could be solved by having a key indicator in the software against the song data. Or it could be solved by creating a software/hardware solution to allow you to keep the tempo static while you adjust the pitch up or down.

  2. Effects
    As noted elsewhere, when you turn on the effects button on the IDJ Pro, the level drops meaningfully. Particularly true with Echo, which I use a lot. This seems like a pure software issue/fix.

  3. Loops
    I would like to be able to set and store multiple loops, like I can with cues. A major differentiator with Serato. Instead I have to manually reset each time I load a track again.

  4. Gain memory
    I would like to have the software remember the gain I applied the last time the track was played. I hate having to reset the level each time I reload a track – and I do not find the autogain setting to be reliable enough to leave it on.

  5. iOS issues
    I restart and close down all apps except Djay when starting up IDJ because my experience is the app is more prone to crash or lag if I do not. But a larger issue is leaving on wifi. I would like to leave this on because it allows me to get new tracks on the fly. But i fear it also affects performance of the app when I do so. Also, i have had the terrible experience of other iPad related apps/services interfering with my set, e.g. Mail chime going off with new mail arriving, Skype ringing during a set. I would like it if Djay had a toggle that turned off all audio alerts if desired. All of us who have iOS do not want to have to manually prepare every app/service to be silenced when we run Djay - that is a pain. And we would prefer to not have to disable wifi to prevent networked alerts from chiming.

  6. Sonos and other non-Airplay wireless playback options
    I would like to be able to play a set wirelessly beyond Airplay. Sonos is very popular in the US, for example, and it already allows for wireless streaming off music from iTunes on iOS devices. If Djay had Sonos integration, or integration with other home networking protocols (UPnP, DNLA, etc), it would be awesome.

  7. AUX input
    At clubs, people invariably want to hear a song you do not have but they have it on their phone. While IDJ Pro has the Aux input, the sound level is bad for this. Even if you have the sound on the Aux cranked up all the way and the person’s volume on their phone up all the way, the sound level is well below what you are playing out of your IDJ’s iPad decks. And you may not have the option or the time to correct this by cranking up the master to overcome this, since your master may be maxed or you do not want to risk messing up the master for your main two iPad decks. Btw this is particularly true if the person is playing a song off their phone off Spotify or YouTube, since then the sound quality really is thin.

So the IDJ Pro should have the ability to turn up the AUX gain higher. Even better would be an additional connector so you can add another iPhone/iPad with Djay on it. I would love to turn to the girl asking me to play a track and say ‘Download Djay and come back in 5 mins’. That helps promote the app and the sound experience is better.

  1. Bugs
    A few random bugs i have noticed.
    a) if you do not power up the IDJ first, and then plug in the iPad, and then launch Djay, you run the risk of the sound coming out with static. When that happens, i have to disconnect and redo in that order.
    b) the main cue button sometimes gets unreliable. It dosnt start on the exact cue if you press it repeatedly. I then have to reload the track.
    c) the tempo changer on my left deck of the IDJ Pro is buggy or damaged. Without touching it accordingly, it will fluctuate up and down slightly. This sucks when you have synced and then it changes on me afterwards. Do not know if others have experienced this. This appears to be hardware related.
    d) sometimes after a very long set, the cross fade will become unreliable in a buggy way. For example, when i fade from right to left all the way, the right deck will still be audible. This appears to be software, as it only happens occasionally on long sets.
    e) not a bug but annoying: if i have locked the key on a track when the tempo adjuster is way off from the center…and then i realize i need to change the tempo, the BPM will not move until you cross the center threshhold. It would be better if the BPM would start adjusting in that scenario immediately from wherever the tempo bar is
    f) i have Djay on my Mac, iPad 3 and iPhone 4S. I liked the idea of having icloud sync on to share metadata across all devices, ie cues for example. But i discovered that the iPhone messes up the cues on my iPad if i have icoud sync turned on on both. Thats because the iphone version only supports 1 cue (why is that?). So if i set multiple cues onna track on my ipad version, but then launch the iphone version and call up that song, and adjust its cue, the next time i launch the same track on my ipad, the multiple cues are erased. Btw i am not even sure i need to adjust the iphone’s track’s cue - i think i just need to use the cue button and it erases the ipad’s track’s mulitple cues via icloud sync. Either you should add 4 cues to the phone version so this doesnt happen or you should fix the software to not mess up multiple cues on the ipad and mac via icloud sync.

  2. Misc
    a) agree that batch processing BPMs for the library is better than doing individually
    b) would love a ‘genius’ button that woukd help me to determine what to play next in a set, based upon my play history, other Djay users’ play history, genre, bpm, etc.
    c) built in power socket or USB slot would be great so that incan charge my iPhone from the IDJ Pro device
    d) i would like it if i the loading of additional samples process was easier/more turn key. I still havent figured out how to do that, but that may be my issue.
    e) agree that integration with sites to be able to post recorded sets easily or on the fly woukd be great - like SoundCloud. Being able to stream a set live via a partner integration would be even better. A photo integratiom would be cool too, ie photos from my set get posted with the set i am recording.
    b) disagree that Spotify integration is meaningful - sound quality on these downloads sucks so bad that i wouldnt want to play them in a set anyway. And playing streams doesnt make any sense. I realize this is just my preference however.

Gee Breezy

Hi Gee Beezy,

Thank you very much for your detailed feedback and suggestions. I changed your post into an “idea” (= feature request).

About the bugs you’ve encountered:
(8a) We haven’t heard of this before and we’ll be sure to look into it. Does this happen consistently?
(8b) This may be related to a known issue that our developers are already working on. I’ll get back to you about this.
(8c) Yes, this does sound like a hardware issue. Please contact Numark support about this problem.
(8d) How long do you have to use djay until this issue occurs?
(8e) This is actually a feature that prevents sudden BPM changes/jumps (MIDI Pickup mode).
(8f) I’ll test this and notify our dev team in case.

(9d) You can add your own samples via iTunes File Sharing. Simply drag and drop them into djay’s Inbox folder.

Warren thanks for the reply. A few comments:

8a) yes, this is common. If you dock the ipad with the IDJ Pro power off, launch the app and then power on the IDJ Pro, it seems to sometimes lead to static. Can you clarify, is there a recommended start-up process, i.e. first turn IDJ Pro power on, then dock the ipad, then launch Djay app, etc.

8d) this has happened to me twice when i am running non-stop for a four hour plus set.

9d). Forgive me for being stupid but can you provide a little more step by step on how to get samples into the app? I am not sure how to access itunes file sharing. Do i need to create the samples in a certain format/program?

Also new thoughts:
10) ran into a bug reported elsewhere i think that the jog wheel sometimes does not cue when it should. In other words, i had it on the right pitch/search toggle but when i was using the wheel to locate a point in the song, turning the wheel failed to move me within the song.
11) i am now siding on the side that says that showing parralel visuals for tracks might be nice, if there is a way to integrate that easily into the UI, at least on the iPad version. While i am from the school of doing it by ear, I have been teaching noobies on Djay + IDJ Pro and they all would like to see how the tracks line up during beat matching.
12) how about direct integration with iTunes to be able to download a track into Djay without having to leave the app (and go to the iTunes store)? I am guessing this is dependent upon Apple policy/APIs, but it would be great if i could turn on a setting that lets me search for a track and if i dont have it but it exists within iTunes, i can download it into iTunes and Djay without making me leave Djay.
13) i will reiterate that whichever company figures out my 9b above (‘Genius for Djay’) would be a major dfferentiator. While i am sure there will always be purists that would say they do not want help picking forthcoming songs, there are lots of us who - in a moment of need - would love to have a tool that says ‘Here are the top 25 songs being played across all Djay users in the past 24 hours/this genre/this BPM/etc.’. Or even better would be a true Genius/Music Genome-like feature (supplied by Gracenote or Echonest or any other music metadata aggregator) that, when solicited, says ‘You are currenty playing Track A. Given our comprehensive data on aggregate user play history, we recommend you consider playing Track B next’

Finally, what is the scoop on Djay 2? The advance video teaser doesnt show anything much. Questions:

  • when will it be released?
  • what are some forthcoming features we can expect?
  • how will it work with IDJ Pro differently?
  • is this an upgrade or a new app for purchase? Please tell me that it is an upgrade. Or that at least there is a serious discount for those if us who own the Djay app already, let alone on multiple devices.

Gee Breezy