Hey - realise this isn’t in-line with the standard template but hope it’s interesting/useful for people. I’m also fairly new so don’t know if this has been covered in the past - couldn’t find anything in search. Please delete or move as appropriate!
My day job is a Product Manager and we’re always looking for the “why”: what’s the root user need that’s driving a request? One need that I see quite regularly in this forum is a desire to spend less time in front of the laptop - I know that was one of the key reasons I went with an all-in-one, and especially Engine. In a thread the other day @STU-C said “I hate prep work on music, I see it as wasted time I could be DJing”. I think that resonates with a lot of people!
Don’t get me wrong - I can see that the desktop software will always be needed and have a place in workflows. But a holistic approach which asks “how can we help people spend more time in front of the controller?” will be much more likely to actually address that need fully, rather than delivering individual features which might scratch an itch but not address the root cause.
As an illustration, I looked at the open requests sorted by vote and picked out the first few I found that speak to this same desire to avoid the laptop:
I didn’t spend time scrolling through multiple screens; this is just from the first page or so. Across those five requests there have been 496 votes cast. Even with likely duplication of votes, that’s massive, and speaks to a big unfulfilled desire from the userbase. If prioritisation could take themes into account, development would be much more likely to deliver user satisfaction.
Thanks for reading my wall of text! Any input or builds welcome
I’ve moved this out of the feature request section into the general discussion section. As Phevans put it it’s “meta” and therefore doesn’t really fit the feature request format. Feel free to discuss it’s merits here.
True enough! But I don’t think it has to be either/or - for me this is more about making small changes in the moment rather than doing 100% of my prep on the controller. But others might want that! Right now my only option is to have a notebook and pen by the controller, note down changes, and then carry it over to the laptop like a man from the past
I’d much rather think “this went down a treat”, make it a 5* not a 3* and add the ‘banger’ tag, and get on with my mix. I’m sure there’s still a place for longer prep sessions in front of the laptop - OneTagger works too well for me to give it up quite yet!
I would agree that all of those features would go a long way to improving the workflow of many users. It feels more natural to create and name cue points, or tag/rate tracks as you play/prep them on the unit as the controls are so much more user friendly than a series of keyboard shortcuts and trackpad presses.
I can also see it being useful while playing live to rate or tag tracks. Maybe you play a version full of swearing that you want to highlight for future gigs, or a track falls flat so you knock its rating down. I’m sure there are lots of different reasons people would have.
Hopefully this could then be written back to the laptop software in a similar manor to the cue point information, of course I say this with no knowledge of the work involved behind the scenes .
They all roughly fall under “unit music management”. As Phevans suggests, maybe feature requests could be sorted into sub categories that would give the developers a clearer picture of what the userbase would like to see implemented?
I say all this with total gratitude to the developers who are evolving the software at great speed, I would imagine that some of these requests will make it into future releases in one form or another.
I agree with what you wrote, also because one of the requests you highlighted was created by me, while some of the others received my vote, so I’m on your side.
However, I believe that some operations remain more convenient and faster if done on the computer: group tag editing, grid analysis and correction, setting anchors on dynamic grids, creating playlists and smartlists.
I think Engine DJ desktop needs even more features to become even more efficient at preparing tracks. Some operations are already feasible with external programs (MP3 Tag, OneTagger) that were created for that purpose. While other operations such as setting hot cues and loops must necessarily be done on EDJ.
Unfortunately, writing the name of each Hot cue for each track is a big pain in the ass, so it can be useful to have a sort of template in which we establish for example that the HCUE1 must always be yellow in color and always with the word “Start” ( for example).
Now this is not the place to discuss feature requests, because the appropriate section exists.
Instead there are small corrections to make to the DB information that can be done directly from the console: modify the rating, correct the tags of a track, note something in the track comment. These are other features that make work faster.
I do think that there are certain essential things, such as being able to evaluate and rate tracks on the fly, that are sorely lacking.
Personally, I often have several versions of the same track, several remixes. And there’s nothing better than being able to assess the live impact of this or that version of a track based on the dancefloor reaction, to know which of these versions is the biggest banger. Pioneer has been offering this since 2010, and I already had this function on the cdj 2000 nexus.
On Engine OS, when you press and hold on a track in the playlist, you have access to additional information and there’s an area that represents the rating in the form of stars. We have a touch screen and it’s so frustrating to see that we can’t use this area to enter a rating.
It’s almost a basic feature for all Dj’s, and I think it’s a big failing on the part of the team not to have made this possible. It would be so much quicker to be able to do this live rather than spending time on Engine Desktop listening to tracks one by one to rate them. Especially as we don’t necessarily remember which version of a track we played at our previous concerts, and if we have to go through the whole history again, it’s really laborious.
I find that all these little things are not very consistent with Denon DJ’s overall strategy, which has clearly chosen to move towards stand-alone systems in order to do without computers as much as possible. Being autonomous and doing without the computer also means being able to do as many things as possible directly from the decks, noting tracks on the fly, naming Hotcues, deleting a track (completely, not just the entry in the playlist) from the storage medium - especially for people who use SSDs or non-removable internal hard disks - because you realise that it’s present in two versions with two different qualities, or because it’s a version that you’ll never play. Delete the red entries from the decks, by cleaning the database in one click, not just relocating them.
This is just my opinion but I know at least 2 DJs around me who are very comfortable with turntables but not necessarily with computers in general, and playlist preparation software in particular. . And they chose Denon precisely because it is autonomous so as not to have to manage anything related to IT. What these people want is to directly put their different folders by style on their USB key and it works, even if it means being able to create a playlist intuitively from a folder, or from a list of preparation.
For these people, all they have to do is explain to them that they need to prepare the playlist on Engine Desktop and then export it by synchronizing the key on their sync manager, they are already lost.
My best friend who doesn’t really like computers bought sc6000M. How many times did he call me telling me that he wanted to add songs to his key and that he didn’t understand why he no longer had the other playlists he had before. In fact he thought that on the sync manager he just had to check the playlists that he had modified or to which he had added new tracks because that’s not the most intuitive thing for people who are not comfortable with computers even if it seems logical to others.
I’m not concerned because I’m comfortable with computers even if I admit that I hate spending time organizing my playlists on Engine Desktop and that I would prefer, like STU-C says, to spend this time mixing music.
I think that Denon DJ must really follow through on the strategy of autonomy without a computer by allowing as many things as possible to be done directly from the hardware. Because even if many DJs are also geeks, many “old school” DJs are not. There is a whole market full of people who are just waiting for that, to do without the computer as much as possible and to be plug & play