It can be a bit confusing know which music streaming service to go for, especially if you’ve just shelled out some cash for a new DJ controller and DJ software like I did a while back.
Beatport Link offers a more professional catalogue of music vs SoundCloud which offers a mixture of both user generated music and professionally uploaded music. Quality of music meta data is different between both services, which is reflected in Beatport Link’s higher pricing structure, however there are more offline features available vs SoundCloud.
Using Beatport Link or SoundCloud to stream music via your DJ software whether it be Rekordbox, Serato or similar costs money (monthly), so it’s actually quite a sizeable decision. Here’s my best advice on deciding upon Beatport Link vs SoundCloud Go.
Beatport Link = Better Quality of Music
Due to Beatport Link being a professional ecommerce store for music, they have professionally mastered music that appears throughout their store and via Beatport Link for streaming music.
This aspect really steals away the thunder from SoundCloud Go+. Music is released on SoundCloud by anyone that may of downloaded and then re-uploaded music to SoundCloud. In my eyes this causing quality control to be lacking and lets down SoundCloud.
The biggest annoyance being that sometimes you might find that you’ve added a track that’s a “preview” track about 1:40 to 2:30 minutes long. Not great for DJing.
Beatport Link Lacks Underground / Unreleased Music
As there are unknown and upcoming DJ producers on SoundCloud you will come across a lot of music that is not available on Beatport. Music you hear on SoundCloud may never even be released on Beatport which highlights the potential limitation of Beatport.
DJing with undiscovered and underground music can really be a lot of fun to DJ with and share with you friends when DJing for example on your DJ controller.
SoundCloud Go is Cheaper per Month
The price of SoundCloud Go and SoundCloud Go+ is between £5.99 and £9.99. See link here for latest available plans. FYI if you’re a student you can get a 50% discount.
Beatport Link has a wider range of three monthly subscription offerings consisting of
- Link $14.99
- LinkPRO $39.99
- LinkPRO+ $59.99
If you’ve got a decent amount of playlists curated by yourself, and you have high quality tracks, then I’d say go down the SoundCloud route to help save you some money.
If you’re less into SoundCloud and want more professionally curated playlists and higher quality music tracks then Beatport LINK is for you. Especially if you don’t have any worries about money.
Meta Data is better in Beatport Link
Beatport Link naturally having a better quality of music database will likely be better than SoundCloud Go regarding naming conventions in search results within Rekordbox.
Mainly because the meta data filled out is accurately by record labels and artists. Whereas SoundCloud has no quality control on meta, especially when searching for music within SoundCloud via Rekordbox.
A great point related to the quality of meta data being accurate is that if DJs are open format DJs, for example mobile or wedding DJs, then taking requests from guests is great. Potentially reducing the time it takes to find a request.
Integrating both music streaming services is really easy, especially in Rekordbox where I’ve tested this out myself.
Simply clicking on the name of the streaming service, logging in then allows you access music and your potential playlists that you’ve saved within them.
Music browsing in DJ software
It’s possible to search in Rekordbox and access music from both streaming services which can be helpful if you’re quickly looking for a track that you know then name of.
Recording is not possible
Yes it’s true. There are limitations that Rekordbox and Serato have put in place when trying to record your mixes and having your music streaming services logged in.
You simply won’t be able to record mixes due to copyright restrictions.
In the future I really hope that this changes as I think there are definitely some ways in which streaming services can control and pay royalties to artists.
Analysing and loading tracks is slow
Due to loading tracks from a big database of music hosted on a server somewhere out there in the cloud, it takes time to load music onto the Dj software. Especially the analysing of the visual audio wave form in the DJ software, this is what takes the most time.
This is not great if you’re DJing live, and to be honest you should never really rely on streaming music due to needing an internet connection.
Of course if you use Beatport Link you can gain access to a minimum “offline” crate of 50 tracks (which is too little in my opinion).
Benefit of Music Streaming to DJ Software
Try before you buy
You can easily test out music tracks that you might like in your DJ sets without having to buy those tracks individually.
I guess that main benefit here is that you don’t bloat out your music collection and can simply benefit by “try before you by”.
Music streaming from SoundCloud and Beatport Link allow you create playlists so this can really help you play around with music within those playlists. Then you can figure out which tracks work well, then you can consider which tracks to purchase if you want to.
The way I see music streaming in DJ software (Rekordbox for me at the moment) is that it’s like a buffer before purchasing music.
Future options are on the way
If you have the money then I’d say start to experiment with Beatport Link, especially if you’re only after music that’s professionally released via record labels.
I’d say go for SoundCloud if you’re looking to save some money on a monthly basis and are prepared to put slightly more time curating playlists in SoundCloud itself. The time in selecting quality tracks does pay off in the end allowing to have some fun DJing via streaming SoundCloud.
Do you need SoundCloud go for rekordbox?
Rekordbox can work independently without the need for SoundCloud. The service that SoundCloud provides is an extra option to DJ music using Rekordbox. Playing MP3 and Wav audio files stored on a laptop or external hard drive
Does Beatport link work with Serato?
Currently, in the year 2020, Serato works within SoundCloud and TIDAL, however on the Serato website it’s stated that Beatsource LINK and Beaport Link will also be available to use with Serato. See here for latest updates.
What’s better Serato or Rekordbox?
Serato and Rekordbox are very similar in the DJing features and offering to allow DJs perform. The key differences include Rekordbox offering Cloud Library storage for music, which Serato doesn’t. Serato is compatible with wide ranging brands of DJ equipment, whereas Rekordbox is Pioneer only. Pick one over the other brand of DJ software is determined by these factors.