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Pacemaker, our favorite DJ app, just got even better

Everyone can be the DJ

In early 2014, Pacemaker became the first DJ App that allowed users to play and beat-match two Spotify tracks simultaneously. Although that feature has since been matched by Djay, Pacemaker offers a far more simplified and refined set of tools that allows even the most casual user to try their hand at mixing tracks like a pro. Now as part of its latest update rolling out today, it’s unveiling even more features that allow anyone to take on the role of the DJ.

Pacemaker is the most user-friendly DJ app

"DJ is a term that’s very elitist," Jonas Norberg, CEO of Pacemaker told me. "We want to make it possible for anyone to create a great sounding mix. That has always been our ambition." While that idea is seemingly shared by its biggest partner in Spotify, who just launched a somewhat simplified mixing feature yesterday, Pacemaker is pushing forward with a fresh redesign and some new updates that make its mixing capabilities even more user-friendly.

Instead of having to wait for one song to end before mixing in the next, users can now pick and choose the moment when one track transitions into the next with a new feature called Mix Transitions. You can also press the lighting icon next to the play/pause button, which Pacemaker calls Mix Now, that will instantly fade in the next song in your mix. This isn’t as full featured a tool as Serato or Traktor, but it isn’t meant to be. Those products don’t easily integrate with Spotify, and Pacemaker is designed to be used by anyone regardless of skill level.

These new features make Pacemaker much more than an app that can handle smooth transitions. When that slow song you forgot you put in your playlist comes on during a party, you can quickly move on to the next one without the entire event coming to a screeching halt. The simplicity with which the tools are available to use is the truly great part. After using the app for a few hours I became quite adept at quickly adding effects, and building shorter, tighter mixes. "Users have been left with whatever the AI gives them, but now they can adjust," Norberg said.

Pacemaker mix transitions

And after you create a great mix, you can save it, a feature that wasn’t available before due to licensing issues. Pacemaker has remedied that issue by saving the metadata from tracks and how they were mixed together in what it calls a Recipe, which can be called up at any time.

Although it’s ambitious, Pacemaker and apps of its ilk won’t completely replace the DJ just yet — there are too many intangible benefits to a great human DJ that just can’t be replicated yet, like looking at an audience of 35-year-olds and knowing that Ginuwine’s "Pony" will set the party off more than that new Justin Bieber song.

But unless you’re going to hire a DJ that really knows their stuff for your event, Pacemaker is likely a better — and far cheaper — alternative. You can use your existing playlists, or let the app run the show, and from my tests it seems well equipped to handle the task. You can download the updated version of Pacemaker from the iOS App Store on your iPhone, iPad, and even your Apple Watch today.