Engine library on external USB problems

I’m sure I’m not alone in that I want to keep my entire music library on an external drive, not my computer’s internal storage. Engine handles this extremely poorly.

In order to do this, I have to manage everything by going to the bottom left, clicking “Drives” and making sure I’m adding tracks to my external. However when doing this I’m not able to remove tracks from any of those playlists, I must return to the left navigation panel to do that. Very cumbersome.

Also, every track I add to my external also gets added to a duplicate playlist on my internal, which I then have to go manually clear out every time.

I’ve been doing this since the Engine update that removed crates (this functionality worked much better before FYI I did not have to do this).

However now I notice another huge problem, that when I export a USB stick for playing on my SC6000s, if I make changes to the tracks on-player such as adding cue points or adjusting the beat grid, then return to my Mac, there is “no new data to sync” i.e. it won’t bring any of that in. I assume this is because the same tracks are not on my computer’s internal drive. That really really ■■■■■.

Why can’t we have the option to choose master library location like in Rekordbox and iTunes? This would solve everything. Why so adamant about internal drive shared with my OS an apps?


hi, @dpaanlka

I think you don’t understand the software!

There will be twice the titles but be careful!!! they will not have the same location! One file will be in Macintosh HD and the second will be in your external or internal media dedicated to your SC drive.

It is possible to delete titles in your support by clicking with your two fingers on the pad of your keyboard and you will have two possibilities of deletion either “Remove from playlist” or “Remove from collection”.

If you go through Collection of your Mac only one choice will be offered to you “Remove from Collection”

On the other hand, before that, make sure not to delete the file that is in your mac!

I advise you to display the Directory and Drive column before any deletion, it will allow you to know where the file or files are located.

To choose what you want to display as a column, you will have to position yourself on the upper part of it and click with the 2 fingers on the pad, a column will be displayed including a list of columns to activate visually.

It will even be possible to move the column to change the order according to our preferences.

Requests regarding the deletion and for permanent deletion of the internal file(s) from the computer and from the USB key or other medium and it will not be without risk.

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My workflow

MacBook, 1tb external SSD (APFS), I don’t have a single music file in my computer.

  1. Download new music files to download folder
  2. Move files from Downloads to External drive DJ Music folder
  3. Now add the external drive to Engine collection
  4. Then start playlisting in the main panel

I can create new playlists with files on the external

I can plug that external into another laptop and my library and playlists will be intact

I can also plug the external into Engine OS players (though I don’t do this since I ve stopped using ex-fat)


hi all Happy New Year,

ok I just bought a new M1 pro macbook pro 14" 4tb internal ssd and 32gb of memory this month. I had issue with external ssd drives that have all my music files in it. I’ve transferred my music files into a new ssd external hard drive a samsung T7 2tb formatted in EXFat. when I connect it to the M1 pro macbook it takes soooo looooong to calculate size. then my files show up after 45 minute wait. That is not normal. The external ssd drive has about 400gb of music files, but still shouldn’t take 45 minutes to load. And yes I’ve tried other ssd drives on it also usb and usb-c drives as well and still same issue.

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So now engine dj can read from APFS OR HPFS FORMATTED drives?

Denon will tell you that you’re managing your music WRONG! It’s their way or no way. They are absent minded to the fact that we use our external drives on other DJ programs.

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Yes for APFS. I can confirm it works via USB and Thunderbolt

You will get a warning “this usb/storage device is not compatible with engine os device, please reformat as exfat or FAT32”. I dismiss the warning and carry on as I don’t have any intention to use the drive with any engine os device.

If connected via thunderbolt, I don’t get the warning as i think that bypasses the USB bus, so engine DJ treats it like my internal mac drive which is natively APFS

I haven’t had a reason to use or test HFS as a collection drive with Engine DJ desktop since Apple moved to APFS.

so you are saying you suggest that I reformat my external ssd drive to APFS? Now this in engine dj 2.4.0

Seriously this is so crazy how slow engineDJ is with an external drive, should I just manage in rekordbox free if I’m simply trying to manage music onto a standalone? It seemed much faster …

I have no problem with external SSDs with my P4 it’s instantaneous! On the other hand, actually I don’t have 400gb of audio file, which is ridiculous but that’s just my opinion! “Knowing that in one evening we do not play more than 120 or even 150 titles!”

It is enough that the quality of certain stored files is random depending on their origin, it can also slow down the loading of files as well as the associated information.

And it is recommended in order to have the best performances… not to install a storage medium of more than 1to.

We must favor the Exfat MBR format because it is universal!

The OP is right. It should be as easy to manage the library on removeable media as it is with an internal drive. Should not have to write back to the computer’s internal drive when you only want to mange the library on the removable drive.

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djmel, Having all of your music files in your in your drive whether it’d be 400gb or more is nice to have rather than being sorry when it comes to requests. because the guy may have a generous gratuity for his request and i dont wanna be like “sorry man I dont have that song”

Now the other question I have is can the drive I use with my prime go be formatted in APFS as well instead of the exFAT or mos-dos?

There are plenty of workarounds, connection via a smartphone or computer via youtube or other such as streaming platforms.

I had more than 9500/10000 titles and unfortunately it’s often the same titles that come back and therefore I did some sorting!

But I always stock them on a medium just in case and I obviously regularly renew the titles and they are all classified by genre, then artist and best in relation to the years of release.

Currently I still have 8000 titles left but if we prepare an evening correctly with 200/300 in case that is more than enough, especially when the interviews with my clients are precise in terms of their musical tastes with a list of titles which are essential to them and which allows to know their musical styles and I also ask them the titles or artist or see kind not to pass in the evening as a blacklist.

For each evening I provide a personalized form for the event that simplifies the evening and yet I do not work at all with playlists, I just learn to know my customers and also their guests with relevant and useful questions.

Everyone has their own way of preparing their evenings!

Exfat ! :+1:

Same with USB key, SSD internal or external…:

No! The drive you use on the denon/engine players has to be ex-FAT or Fat32

That depends on what you are trying to achieve. I have always used external drives to store my DJ music library and playback from it. The drives are always formatted for Mac. Initially HFS, now I’m APFS.

ok thanks for the info.

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I appreciate the answers and suggestions so far, but there have still be no answers to my questions:

  1. How do I set an external drive as the primary and only location of my Engine library? Similar to how almost all other library management apps work including Rekordbox. So far all I see is alternative workflows to essentially what I’m already doing now. I do not want a library on my internal SSD.

  2. How can I bring in edits to beatgrid, cue points etc made ON-player back to my library that I manually maintain on my external? This used to work prior to the Engine update that removed “crates” a while back.

My assumption is that the reason #2 doesn’t work is because #1 isn’t possible. My fear right now is that a ton of edits and cues I’ve made to music on my USB from my SC6000 players is now lost forever because there is “no new data” to import according to Engine Desktop Sync Manager even though I know that there is — because from Engine Desktop’s perspective the music files on my USB don’t exist in the empty “library” on my Mac’s internal SSD.

If someone at Denon sees this, please assist or at least acknowledge there is an issue.

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Look at my SYNCH MANAGER - HOW DOES IT WORK post in the forum and at the end of the thread you will find the solution… Hope this help… CIAO

You don’t need to do anything special

  1. Usb external with all your files
  2. Connect it to laptop
  3. Start engine dj
  4. Add songs from that external ssd to engine collection

That’s it

That drive is the collection drive.

Engine will create a database folder on the drive to reference it.

Engine creates another folder in internal computer drive by default but that will not contain anything

If you compare the two Engine Libary folders you will find that the one on the external is larger in size.

If you unplug the drive from computer and start up engine dj, you will find an empty collection.

There is no gymnastics or workarounds involved.

  1. External SSD connected
  2. Launch Engine DJ
  3. Export test playlist to another usb/sd card
  4. Eject usb/sd card
  5. Insert usb to engine device
  6. Add some hotcues to tracks on device
  7. Eject usb/sd card from player
  8. Connect usb/sd card to laptop
  9. Enter sync manager
  10. It should show new data available to sync back to collection (external ssd)
  11. Do that.
  12. That’s it

for some reason Denon though it would be useful to have multiple library loaded at the same time “merged” when it would have been much simpler to support only “one drive” per source on the right (as in itune, rekord, etc).

Oh btw, EngineDJ won’t so any backup on your external drive, so you should get the habit of doing backup manually (copy/paste db files) from time to time.

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