December 12, 2007

Free beatport sync by Traktor: A Dj tool like iTunes!

Beaport Sync is a free, DJ-friendly music player / librarian / mixing app for Windows and Mac. On its surface, it looks like a hook for online music store Beatport and a beginner-friendly DJ mixer (two tracks, auto tempo detection and time stretching, pitch control) — and it is that.

But aside from the ability to mix and cross-fade, Beatport Sync has some features Apple’s iTunes lacks, which makes it potentially worth a download for just about anyone. First, it has real file format support: MP3 / MP4 / AAC / WMA / WAV / AIFF / FLAC / OGG (plus audio CDs, of course). WMA, FLAC, and OGG are all missing in iTunes. Second, it has advanced meta-data editing and file browsing, making it useful for organizing your music collection. What I really like: not only can you backup your library to external media, but you can browse external media, too. It’s a reminder that iTunes remains pretty primitive for listening and organization — it’s added some decent features, but not so much for the desktop listening experience.

Those aren’t a huge deal on Windows or even Linux with various reliable alternative music players, but they’re big news on the iTunes-dominated Mac. Native Instruments tells CDM that they do expect even their die-hard Traktor users may want Beatport Sync as an organizing tool or basic player.

As far as DJ-style features, this player is pretty decent for a freebie:

* Two-deck mixer with manual/automatic crossfader

* Pitch control

* Time-stretching and tempo detection, for smooth crossfades even if you don’t know what you’re doing (or you’re, say, folding laundry or cleaning your studio and want the software to DJ for you — it happens)

* Rip and burn CDs

* Access external devices for browsing and backup
* iTunes library integration (no playback support for DRMed tracks, though meta-data will appear)


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