Hard time understanding Library Management (rekordbox combined with Engine DJ)

I am relatively new to the Denon platform and just got two SC6000s a few days ago. So far, I’ve been using Traktor with the SC4 Mk3 and a macOS laptop. My SC6000s are on Engine OS 2.0.2.

Let me start by describing my (file) setup:

  • I’ve got all my music files (the actual *.mp3 files) on a FAT32 formatted, 1TB USB 3.1 memory stick.
  • The rekordbox Library, e.g. the meta data, is on the same external drive in the default /PIONEER folder.

I’m having a super hard time understanding the supposed workflow to get the SC6000s integrated into the workflow. In this post, I summarize a few observations along with my assumptions. If more experienced users would comment, that would be awesome. Also, I’m super thankful for any tips how to optimize this workflow.

First observation:

When I insert the USB drive containing the music files and the Pioneer formatted rekordbox meta data into the SC6000 for the very first time, it recognizes the native rekordbox library and asks whether it should import it. It also give me a pretty ambigues info about overwriting existing playlists.

However, when I select YES, nothing happens. There are no Playlists. It seems as if nothing got imported. When I eject and plug-in again, the prompt to import is not displayed.

This also happens with a 32GB memory stick. Accessing songs via Folders does work and the SC6000 is able to load from the 1TB stick. So I guess it’s not a size problem.

Any idea why the import seems to do nothing?

Second observation:

Since importing the native Rekordbox collection & playlist for whatever reason on the SC6000 did not work, I switched to the desktop workflow.

I exported the Rekordbox collection (including Playlists, etc.) into XML file format via the Rekordbox desktop application. I then imported it manually via the Engine DJ desktop software. I then “converted” the Rekordbox Playlists “into” Engine DJ Playlists by dragging and dropping them with the Engine DJ desktop software.

What I found interesting: I didn’t have to copy the Engine DJ Playlists / library / meta data to the external drive, as it seemed to magically “sync” automatically.

On further research I tried to find out the location of the Engine DJ (desktop) Library location. It seems as if Engine DJ always puts its library data own the same drive, where the media files are located. Hence I don’t need to sync the local Engine DJ meta data to the USB drive.

Is this correct?

In general, I find all of this a little bit confusing. The ambiguity doesn’t create a feeling of “security”. I guess, there a good technical reasons for all of this, but I’d at least would have loved, it these things were documented precisely anywhere.

Maybe you guys can help shedding some light on it. Sorry for being so verbose, but during my research, the lack of clarity didn’t make things easier.

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Hi there. I am very new to DJ and Denon with my humble Prime Go. But Engine OS is supposed to more or less work the same across the various devices. I won’t be writing here just for the sake of writing, but will just answer few things you are asking about that I already noticed:

  • Indeed the Engine Desktop DJ software will build a different DB PER media source. This is intended behaviour and kind of make sense to me. This is documented in the online manual
  • I too wish the manual was far more in depth. It feels very abridged.
  • I was totally disappointed, having bought the Prime Go specifically as not to be tethered to the laptop, to discover there was no option to rebuild a library (or DB) on the device (Engine OS 2.02) from the source’s files. It appears that you have to first build this library in the Desktop DJ software which is utterly stupid (and stupid doubly so for someone like me who runs linux!). I had another user confirm that on their Prime4, they also could not build a library from the songs directly on the device.
  • I find it interesting that if you had the rekordbox library on the source (usb stick) it triggered in Engine OS the import routine. I understand it still did not seem to produce the desired outcome - that is the actual finished and usable converted library. But the reason I mention this is because it seems at least the library building code is in the Engine OS - but perhaps has bugs for rekordbox import. It definitely is not implemented to give the option to rebuild the library from the files themselves. A huge let down.

That’s all I have for now. Perhaps others will shed more light on this. I would like to know more just as you surrounding the whole rebuilding of the library directly on the device. Because as i add new songs to my collection, having to go each time via the desktop app is a giant pain in the ass.


Thanks @Nikdo, for taking the time to respond.

It always helps to find others who are going through a similar journey/experience and you confirmed a few of my thoughts.

Engine DJ creating a database per medium does make sense. It’s actually pretty clever as in most cases it’ll keep the media files and the db bundled. I just with, the Engine DJ UI would show the read-only path to the db in the settings for clarity.

I’d love to focus on the “on device library building and management” aspects.

When I insert a USB stick without any Engine DJ database, the SC6000 creates one. I can also successfully create and edit playlists on the device, both when I start from scratch and when I use a library created by Engine DJ for desktops.

The only thing that doesn’t work as expected is rekordbox import. I have to go through Engine DJ for desktops.

On the other hand, I didn’t find many posts here around this topic. So I wonder: Has anybody been successful importing rekordbox playlists / libraries into Engine OS libraries with just using Denon hardware and no laptop?

I have yes. The difference I spot, which may be critical, is that I have exported my library to the usb stick — that is, my main rekordbox library file and the canonical versions of my music files live on my laptop, and I use rekordbox to export those files to my USB. When I enter the usb into my Prime unit I get the same prompt as you but then the device sits and chugs for a while while it reads through the db and updates it for engine.

So I’m wondering if your use case — the library itself living on the USB — isn’t actually what the Prime units are looking for and so acts strangely.

@drewbeck You mean with your last statement to say that you think perhaps why it does not work for @r2square is because he already have a DB created on the usb stick (which is empty) because he used the Engine Desktop tool? As such your recommendation would be to export the rekordbox onto a usb and NOT use Engine Desktop at all so there is no empty DB on the usb stick, and then insert that stick onto the device, and the process should properly import rekordbox into a new DB?

If truly this is the crucial difference, I would consider this a bug - at least from a user interface point of view. Meaning, if Engine OS detects an empty DB and makes the presumption to thus not import, don’t give user a prompt you will be importing and then internally abort the process. Or, Engine OS should give a smarter prompt saying it detected a rekordbox DB and does the user wishes to import this into EXISTING DB on the source.

Anyways, just musing here and trying to figure this out collectively.

And @r2square, I too can put songs onto a usb stick, then browse them on my device and once I play them once or add them to a list, it will indeed add it to the library. And the rest of the songs sitting on the usb stick will be as if they do not exist. Basically the library (DB) was not build up.

There needs to exist an import of songs as files into the library (DB) when the source is inserted and there is no DB. There should also exist an option in the options under source, to explicitly import or reimport songs on the source into the library (call it ‘rebuild library’). Because who the heck wants to have to keep going through the Desktop version each time you get a bunch of new songs?

Whilst this sounds like a reasonable ask, have you considered how this may affect performance?

Even on desktop importing file folders take a reasonable long time.

You can try again by deleting the Engine Library folder on the root of your USB.

There is an option in Rekordbox that also creates/exports an XML when using external storage for your collection. Did you enable it?

I guess, what @drewbeck is pointing at is, that there is a difference of having a genuine rekordbox library (media files + database) on the drive, or an exported collection (“rekordbox.xml”).

Rekordbox, the desktop app, has a feature to explicitly, manually “pack” your library or just a subset of specific playlists and export it.

In my case I keep a genuine rekordbox library on the USB drive, not an XML export. So what @drewbeck is suggesting is, that the SC6000 wrongly recognizes this genuine library as a Rekordbox export, prompts to import but then fails, because it actually expects an exported XML.

Did I understand correctly?

If this is the case and the SC6000s cannot import genuine, non-exported rekordbox libraries, then they shouldn’t prompt to do so but be able to differentiate both types of libraries.

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Where do I find this?

Make a back up before you proceed fam…

Fair point but not entirely applicable:

  • Devices like Prime Go tout portability and not having to be tethered to the laptop. So kindly give me that freedom. As well there is the issue that Engine Desktop only supports Win/Mac
  • Adding additional new songs to existing library: these songs could be coming from various sources, not necessarily the computer where your Engine Desktop is installed. I find it would be so nice to be able to go into the options and trigger to import the new songs or simply allow it to be done via drag and drop just like on the Desktop - but on the device itself. As to your point, adding new songs will take small amount of time because likelihood is that you will be importing a much smaller set than the first time when you were importing your entire library
  • The code already exists. Part of the code is even already in Engine OS as we can see per importing recordbox library on the device itself (as per OP). So…your concerns would be applicable to importing on the device for recordbox library as well. This inconsistency to import third party libraries on the device itself but not the file structure is weird.


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I disagree that this is an “issue”. The vast majority of computers bought and used by the general public will be running either Windows or MacOS.

If you’re implying that there should be a “portable” version that runs on Android or iOS, I don’t think those type of devices have enough onboard storage to handle full DJ libraries, or enought processing power to bulk analyse quickly, or in some cases the right ports to allow export to destination drives.

Did not take long for someone to make this an OS issue…

Perhaps you have not noticed, but I did not make the win/mac a primary issue at all; especially since I fully expected someone like you to come here and correct me on how microsoft and apple have the market cornered.

No. My primary issues were that it is for some of us at least far more convenient to be able to import songs into the library directly on the device. You also failed to see me mention several times that I use the Prime GO, which touts no need for laptop, but that is partly a lie, because you still need a separate computer to import a library. Given that Engine OS already supports some library importing, but not song files importing and the touted portability of Prime Go (and versatility of Engine OS on many devices), I find this a rather legitimate argument.

I implied nothing about portability on Android or iPhone or anything like that. And besides, I actually made Engine Desktop run on linux. That does not mean I like having to use it at all.


Nope. Reading from a database ( of third party collections eg rekordbox, serato etc ) is way quicker than actually importing files directly.

You can test this out yourself.


  1. I know guys that play files directly from the files/folder tab in Engine OS. They don’t need any sorting, bpm or key to aide track selecting.
  2. Some guys use streaming exclusively
  3. Some use Dropbox

So those are scenarios where you don’t need a computer to play.

So there is that

to take full advantage of the devices…a computer is certainly needed.

@r2square how are you getting on? Did it work?

Excue me - you’re the one who mentioned it.

If you didn’t want people to respond to what you wrote, then you shouldn’t have written it!

So please explain what exactly you did mean by that comment.

I mentioned the OS in passing. You made it a central point. I very clearly explained what I meant by my comment and cannot explain it better. At this point, best to just ignore my post

No, I don’t need to test this, you are correct.

Those are fair points. I thing this whole debate is not about what is right or wrong. It simply is about that some of us - and I am sure I am not alone - would very much like the import of files into the library on the devices themselves. Engine OS is trying to reposition itself as a separate product and throughout Denon’s website it is positioned as pretty much independent off of Engine Desktop. So I believe the import of files belongs into Engine OS.



If you are a rekordbox user and want to use rekordbox made drives on the denon decks then select “no” when prompted to import. Never ever say yes.

If you want to convert rekordbox playlists and collections over to engine then use the desktop version to do so not the decks.

I always wondered what this option exactly means. Will it just generate the XML file or also make a copy of all the media files. (I really would love if the developers would be precise in those dialogs…)

Can you elaborate? What does “make drives on the Denon decks” mean?

Since this conversation went a little bit off-topic, I wanted to take the liberty to say thanks to everyone who contributed.

My understanding of the things mentioned in my initial post has for sure improved due to everything that has been said.

I want to emphasise and +1 the points @Nikdo made:

  • The SC6000 and some other products are heavily advertised as “no laptop required” solutions. They should hence come with all the features required to manage even a complex library.
  • Traktor has an auto-import on launch option and I can add multiple watch folders. If those folders contain new songs, they automatically get imported to the collection on launch.
  • The no-laptop line of products should give us much more, granular and exhaustive control over the process of importing libraries. The current ambiguity is killing it and doesn’t feel good.

Is anybody from Denon Product Management around here in general?