DJ / music player software that has easy playlist features, supports FLAC, two outputs and OSX?
December 9, 2007 3:50 PM   Subscribe

DJ / music player software that has easy playlist features, supports FLAC, two outputs and OSX?

We are planning on buying Native Instruments Traktor for our university run radio station. The problem is that it is overly complicated for most DJs that aren't actual DJs and are used to playing things using iTunes or Winamp (it's auto-play feature to make it play a smiple playlist is horrible). I like Songbird and the new Beatport Sync from Native Instruments, but they don't provide a second or monitor channel so that if you have a multi-channel soundcard, you can play one track while previewing another (critical to DJ'ing / radio). Is there any other software out there that supports FLAC, has two outputs and runs on OSX? Also, it needs to have playlist / auto-play capability. The closest I've seen is DJ Decks, but that is for windows.
posted by rordog to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Ever looked at Megaseg? I'm not sure about the FLAC support but I'm pretty sure it has cue/preview outs. It also has a nice logging subsystem if you're worried/forced to comply with that kind of thing.

I have some university contacts already using this, email's in profile if you'd like a referral.
posted by bhance at 5:16 PM on December 9, 2007

I realize this isn't a direct answer to your question, but if you are already using Mac OSX as your playback machines, why not transcode from FLAC to Apple Lossless?

With enough diskspace, you could do the whole thing in a batch using XLD

On-answer, Megaseg is very good. I've used it in live events before.
posted by tomierna at 5:27 PM on December 9, 2007

Response by poster: MegaSeg would be great, but their lack of FLAC support is somewhat of a deal breaker...

As for tomierna's comment, I know this limits our options but I'd like to stay with just FLAC because it is an open format. That way if Apple kills or modifies its loseless format 30 years down the road, our archive isn't in trouble. Also, we are going to have about 3 TB worth of FLAC files in our archive, so transcoding isn't an optimal solution.
posted by rordog at 6:09 PM on December 9, 2007

Djay 2


I don't have any FLAC tracks on my macbook, and couldn't find anything in the FAQ's or documentation about it on these apps' sites, but figured I'd toss these out there as I've used them all at some point or other in the past. Might be worth the quick download and test for you.
posted by zap rowsdower at 7:23 PM on December 9, 2007 [1 favorite]

way if Apple kills or modifies its loseless format 30 years down the road, our archive isn't in trouble

Funny thing about that, there's a discussion going on a college radio list I'm on about the argument re: ripping vs. raw .WAV storage because of the decreasing HD price and the rise of things like cheap NAS RAID appliances.

Long story short, lots of folks seem to be ripping to .WAV to avoid what you're describing.
posted by bhance at 7:47 PM on December 9, 2007

The trouble with .wav (near as I can tell with an admittedly rudimentary search just now) is that it doesn't support any lossless compression codecs, only pretty old lossy stuff like ulaw.

I was going to suggest AIFF with compression (AIFC), but it looks like Apple may have created AIFC and not documented it, according to Wikipedia.

Perhaps your Uni could donate money or programming time/expertise to the Xiph folks to help them figure out how to make their Quicktime component work better.
posted by tomierna at 9:34 PM on December 9, 2007

Response by poster: bhance:

What's the downside to FLAC? You get lossless compression and metadata, plus there's actually good support for it across music and media players (VLC, Songbird, etc.). Additionally, when you need to rip 10,000 albums like us, 3.5 TB is much more tractable than say 7-8 TB for WAV files.

To all:
I came across this program today, UltraMixer ( ), which seems to work pretty well. It supports a lot of file formats (flac, mp3, aac, etc), dual playlists, auto-dj and talk modes. It supports multi-channel sound cards and runs on Windows, OSX and Linux (awesome). The one downside is that it's file browser / archive interface has really crappy sorting (i.e. if you sort by Artist or Album it doesn't sub-sort by Track Number like almost every other audio player does).

The best total DJ program that meets my above requirements and supports timecoded vinyl and lots of other features is Native Instruments Traktor ( ). Unfortunately, it's auto-play interface is clunky and too confusing for our novice DJs (but awesome for our hip hop and dance DJs).

I looked at djay and it doesn't support FLAC. Also, Mixx looks cool, but it's still too immature and lacking in features to be a real choice for us.
posted by rordog at 9:42 PM on December 9, 2007

I was just coming in to suggest Traktor, but I see that that's out. Wouldn't it be a better idea to just show people how to do the basic things in Traktor rather than running two programs?

Why do you say that the autoplay feature is so horrible? I haven't really used this feature much, but it seems to work as it should.
posted by boreddusty at 7:45 AM on December 10, 2007

Ableton Live plays FLAC, and supports monitoring for cueing while something else is playing... I'm not sure how easy/comprehensible the interface is to newcomers, but setting it up for simple just-crossfading DJing is easy, and it's flexible enough that the more experienced guys can set it up however they want (or go with Traktor).

The browser isn't the greatest, but will get the job done.

I'm not sure about autoplay though...

Mostly I'm just mentioning it because 1) I use it and 2) I don't think it's been mentioned yet.
posted by sparkletone at 12:40 PM on December 10, 2007

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