Why engine won't read my songs when I move song folders? + Best way to build a new engine database?

Hi, I’m planning on moving my engine library/ database from a mac to an external hd because I’m moving to a newer machine and selling my current one.

It’s only been recently I’ve switched to denon and whilst I was building my playlists up the way I did it was by creating multiple music genre folders on my desktop then I would play each individual file from each folder on iTunes and drag each individual track from iTunes library into the crate/playlists on the engine software.

Now when I delete or move the original folders on the desktop the engine database will no longer have the tracks associated with their particular desktop music folder and it will be just marked red with no source file.

I presumed that playing the files from the desktop folder on to iTunes then dragging the file from iTunes to engine that this would mean the file would be stored in the iTunes library folder. In other words I thought that the prime software would then be reading these files from the iTunes library system folder but if that was true then why when I delete or move the original desktop folders (not iTunes) that the songs no longer appear on the engine software?

Is their anyway I can move these desktop folders to a different location such as a external hard drive without it removing songs from my prime library?

If not and If I have to rebuild my engine libary again then have you any tips to make the database more secure? Some people have said to make it on an external drive and that way your engine libary can easily be moved between mac, pc for example?

Unfortunately their is no way to manually locate files in prime which let’s be honest is in my opinion an absaloute basic but essential function. I do still want to stick with denon I just want to make my engine databases more secure and flexible for the futer etc.

Any help would be appreciated

As far as I am aware, no, there is no way to move these folders, you have to rebuild your library. I may be wrong though.

I do not have any tips to make the database more secure, however, since the last months, I just put my music source folders in the pendrive itself, all advantages: much quicker preparation process (there is no need to copy files, export, sync, etc); no duplicated tracks in the main collection; etc… The problem? If you want to delete a track from the collection, you have to search and remove manually the track in the pendrive (although this problem was also present in the usual way)… This is very annoying if you want to delete tenths of tracks at once. To make it secure? I don’t know, I just copy all the pendrive contents into another pendrive or ssd every time to time.

I completely agree with you.

To be honest, I think that the SC5000 (and now the SC6000, I presume) is by far the best in the market, and I am very happy with them, but Engine Prime is sooo immature in many aspects… And what’s worse: DenonDJ forces us to use Engine Prime, there’s no way to manage music from the players even if they are considered “standalone”. I hope in a near future, things will become more “skilled” and “accomplished”.

Thanks for your reply, I do have an intact version of my libary on my denon USB stick however I’m not sure theirs a way to export that to an external drive that I wana use as a primary host for my database rather than using a single computer like I’m doing now as it’s not ideal when moving machines etc.

The only way I can think of to get a concrete hard backup of my engine libary because of how basic engine prime is would be to somehow move all music and engine files to a external storage device. So that engine would not use any music or database files on my computer, then simply clone the drive to a secondary drive which the secondary drive would be a suitable backup.

I know it seems like a lot but I dont want or trust engine prime on my computer because if like me you need to use it between Windows and macs or you simply need to upgrade your pc or mac, it seems problematic to get your engine libary working in fact again.

Yup denon seriously need to hire a company to completely remake the software. I’ve spent hundreds of hours probably building my playlists and at this rate it looks like I am unfortunately going to need to do it again if I don’t give up and switch to pioneer that is.

I’m hoping I get decent advice from the community alot, denon djs probably are decent developers after using prime for a while lol.

External drive instead a desktop folder will solve that issue. I use external drive and internal drive on my 2 computers (one is macbook pro, one is windows 10 pc). The external drive (usb 2TB) is used as a backup and moving tracks between the computers. The folder structure there is very simple and easy to handle even without any database software. Example: E/Music/Genre - each track is in its own genre folder there and this stays as it has to be. Engine Prime build a base on this drive with this music, so the database is traveling with the music.

They actually did hire a lot of good software developers and they are working very hard on improving not only the database managing but also bpm algorithm and software for the decks and mixers. You don’t see it but a lot is happening on the other side (Beta tests of the new pre-releases, developers talking with us via forum about improvements and many more). Be patient, improvements are coming.

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+1 on this pro tip.

I have been using strictly externals for my DJ music, in the last 10 years or even more.

I have switched computers multiple times without worrying about my crates etc.

I have even switched the external drives as well, i remember starting with a modest 500gb external HDD then, then i moved to a 2tb HDD and now a 4tb SSD. When i start running out of space, i just do a clone of the old smaller capacity drive to a new larger drive. I repurpose the old drive eg cold storage of tracks or visuals that i dont use but cant bring myself to delete or family photos.

I have 4 back ups (i carry one of the back ups with me to gigs)

I have never ever had to use a back up to dj with, though i have had to use back up when i poke too much at my library during down times.

I dont use itunes to manage my dj music.


I even have a NTFS version, simply so I can use TimeMachine and back up the data onsite, so God forbid everything fails, I can rip together a brand new drive in 3-4 hours (and also have a cloud based backup system too).

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I have to give MMG his flowers

He advised using one drive to rule them all in 2017 when i got on the prime train. Jeez we go way back amigo.

I can plug in my entire collection (same drive i use with Serato, Rekordbox etc) to the prime gear and off we go.

But i still export to a smaller drive for testing and poking about.


I have 3 exfats and 1 HFS back up.

i use carbon copy cloner

In considered this as well, but i think most prosumer packages tops out at 2TB, i’m close to 3.2TB now.


Time flies my friend, especially with flowers :slight_smile: (I still type emoticons but this board doesn’t seem to like that… old skool and all)

Maybe time to dust off the good ol’ “One drive to rule them all” tutorial and update it a bit

[edit] and now I’m being censored again by some moderator who missed the memo about me and my status within Denon DJ. Whoever this moderator is: check with iNMusic management please instead of throwing salt in old wounds that were on the verge of being healed.


I pay £6.99 a month (I think) for Backblaze and I’ve got 4 drives, an iMac and a MacBook pro all backed up on it.

It’s HFS+ too the format mine’s in, not NTFS :man_facepalming:t3:

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Just checked out backblaze, looks like i’m going to sign up for it. Unlimited data whoooo

Good looking out


Hi @MixMasterG_ATGR.nl - I have restored your video link. This was flagged by our community and a staff member thought this was a sales video. However, after further review, the video is in-fact informative and helpful to this post and our community. Apologies the misunderstanding on our side.


Thanks @JWiLL, Not everyone is aware of the new situation between Denon DJ and my persona :slight_smile: That’s why I requested some kind of badge to show my “official status”.

Your intervention is appreciated. The changes are not yet visible in my browser.

I watched your video bravo, didn’t realise you were a dev! Thanks for that it is really useful.

I do have a question tho, if you want your engine prime database to be functional with both Mac and pc’s do you think it would be a good idea to simply use an external hard disk? That way the database won’t rely on a iTunes file path either? I know a lot of dj’s do it this way. I imagine it would be simpler in terms of corruption :slight_smile: could simply clone the drive for a solid backup:P. Whats your thoughts?

I reverse my process, so it is still compatible with iTunes. Download a track, do all the analysis is etc whilst it is still in the local drive. Open Prime, drag into whatever folder you wish to organise with prime (I’m external drive), which then creates a new copy of the file, organised, onto your external. Then, make sure ‘’make copy of file’ (or words to that effect) is OFF in iTunes, then drag the track that you have imported to Prime onto iTunes. Job done. Now you can use smart folders too.