Traktor as a brainstorming tool for DJs (and aspiring DJs)

I’m not a big fan of DJ apps for smartphones. I haven’t yet found one that feels like an adequate substitute for genuine decks. But the iOS version of Traktor DJ┬áhas a feature that’s rather useful, particularly when you’re away from home.

Whenever you queue up a new track, the app’s “intelligent browser” recommends options similar to the track you’re already playing. The recommendations are based solely on key and tempo, so a lot of the options you wind up getting aren’t great. But if your library’s large and eclectic enough, you might discover some great new ideas.

It’s one of those features that’s bound to please rookies and veteran DJs alike, because it’s helpful without doing all the work for you. If you’re new to DJing, it’s a great introduction to the basics of choosing and mixing tunes. If you’re an experienced DJ, then it’s still just a computer program with no real sense of what makes a great mix. At its best, it’s a feature that can help DJs of all levels develop their mixing and repertoire.

I had the good fortune to pick up a copy of Traktor when it was free for a limited time, thanks to a tip from my friend Robin. It’s now priced at $4.99 in the App Store, which is still a pretty great deal. Give it a try, and feel free to share your own favourite apps in the comments.

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