Comparison of DJ software

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Very few folkdance sessions still use vinyl records, cassettes, or even CDs; virtually all have switched to some sort of DJ software on a laptop, tablet, or dedicated music device such as an iPod. On this page we compare the most popular DJ software systems, with emphasis on features most useful for typical harkadot.

AMPS MegaSeg DJ Power Winamp iTunes Mixxx MITPlayer MusicBee
Platform Windows only Mac only Windows XP only (Win 7 version is "in beta") Windows, Mac, Android Unknown Windows, Mac, Linux Windows natively, runs on Macs under Parallels (about $80) Windows only, runs under WINE for [older?] MacOS's
Cost $40 basic, $100 pro, $200 with VMM add-on package $99 basic, $199 pro Free Free Free Free Free, optional contribution of $35 Free, contributions appreciated
Multilingual support Yes (English, Hebrew) Yes Yes Yes Unknown No No >15 languages
Video support Unknown Yes Yes Yes Unknown No Yes Yes, using native player
Ability to slow/speed tracks Yes Yes Yes Yes, by 3rd party plugin No Yes, and record Yes Yes
Database versus Live filesystem Database Live filesystem Live filesystem Live filesystem (but no removal) Database Live filesystem Database Live filesystem
Special features for folkdance sessions? (no information) Has features such as preview through headphones, while main song is being played through main speakers; Has editable database to allow for a great deal of info to be added: e.g., choreographer, singer, year issued, type of dance (circle, partner, line), energy level, etc.; Opportunity to export playlist; opportunity to project current, previous and next dance to a data projector and use a preferred jpg logo; Can keep previous playlists and use as a template for sessions; Each song can be edited for length on the fly, and any pitch adjustments made permanent; variety of segue styles per song e.g. neat overlap vs full stop; can also play mp4s of dances and show on a separate screen; Can use iTunes playlists or import folders of songs; can use an external drive for very large dance folders; ultrareliable (no information) (no information) (no information) (no information) "Teaser": plays a sample of next dance; indicator of already-played; 2nd display shows prior & upcoming dances & progress bar for current dance, with optional image of choreographer or country; tab markers to use a jump-to points for teaching; repertoire and category settings to search entire library; searchable metadata storage in comments field; shows accumulated time through playlist; favorites stored for each programmer; database stores volume for ea dance so consistent level achieved throughout session Secondary display using xml adjustable code to display info, saved or active playlists, history, configurable main screen.

Database versus Live filesystem

The distinction here is whether the software is able to detect changes on a filesystem such as whether new files are added or removed automatically. Most database systems are only able to see files explicitly added by the user, whereas live filesystem based backends can find files in specified directories.

MP3 tags

There is another distinction that has to do with mp3 tags. For example, in AMPS, if you edit the id3 tags, they will not be changed in the actual mp3 files, and if you change the tags in the actual files, they will not be changed automatically in AMPS--the tracks will need to be removed from AMPS and the mp3 file reloaded in order to see the changes. This is not the case with itunes, for example, where changes made in the music listings make actual changes in the tags.