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DJs will soon be able to mix songs streaming from SoundCloud

DJs will soon be able to mix songs streaming from SoundCloud

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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Today, SoundCloud CEO Kerry Trainor announced at Amsterdam Dance Event that DJs will soon be able to mix and perform by streaming material from SoundCloud’s catalog within DJ softwares. Traditionally, DJs that perform using digital music download their content ahead of time and mix from that library of songs.

For the integration, SoundCloud is partnering with several companies that offer software used by DJs to perform, including Native Instruments (Traktor), Serato, Virtual DJ, DEX 3, Mixvibes, and DJuced / Hercules.

SoundCloud has inked partnerships with several top softwares used by DJs

Soundcloud says DJs will be able to stream and mix SoundCloud’s massive music catalog in real time within these programs. The idea of DJs having access to a streaming catalog within mixing software isn’t necessarily new — DJay Pro 2 integrated the ability to DJ streamed songs within performance (via its integration with Spotify) — but this is a new foray for SoundCloud, which is already aligned with the DJ community. And its managed to ink partnerships with several top softwares used by DJs, namely Traktor and Serato.

“Until recently, digital workflows for DJs were limited to downloads and physical media, but streaming workflows are the future,” Trainor said in SoundCloud’s statement. “We are excited to partner with these leading companies to help DJs take their workflow to the next level.”

According to SoundCloud’s press release, a SoundCloud Go+ subscription is needed to use this integration, regardless of if you already have a Pro or Pro Unlimited account (which many creators and DJs already pay for). If you already pay for a Pro or Pro Unlimited account, adding a SoundCloud Go+ subscription is an additional $4.99 per month.

To bolster the integration, SoundCloud announced yesterday that it added high quality streaming to SoundCloud Go+. Content uploaded in a high bitrate or lossless format can now be streamed back at AAC 256 kbps via an opt-in setting. In terms of quality, AAC 256 kbps is comparable to a 320 kbps MP3 and most people can’t tell the difference. It’s not the lossless quality options offered on platforms like Tidal or Deezer, but is an improvement from the lower bitrate SoundCloud previously streamed at. And, it’s a necessary step if the company plans on having DJs play these songs in live settings.

A SoundCloud Go+ subscription is needed to use the integration

Integrating SoundCloud as a music source within primary softwares already used by DJs is a savvy move. Of course, it remains to be seen if DJs will adopt the feature, especially while DJing live. Relying on a stable and fast Wi-Fi connection during a performance to stream songs seems like a risky bet as an interrupted signal or slow connection could result in latency or music dropping out altogether.

SoundCloud’s integration with Native Instruments (Traktor), Virtual DJ, DEX3, Mixvibes and DJuced / Hercules will be rolling out in 2019, with the Serato integration possibly arriving in 2020, according to Variety.