Beatport launches version 3.0

Beatport 3.0 HomepageLeading dance music download web site, Beatport.com, launched version 3.0 "Fully Loaded" of its online music store serving DJs and dance music enthusiasts who download legal music files in MP3 and WAV formats. Since its inception, the company has become the leading resource for DJs, having secured tracks from over 2700 record label partners around the world.

Because of its strict adherence to offering downloadable files in the popular and widely supported MP3 format, which allow digital music to be played back across most digital music players and computers, major labels have not participated in th'e service. This is due to the major's adoption of proprietary DRM technologies, such as Microsoft's Windows Media, Apples AAC or Sony's A-Trac formats. In order to find major label remixes, DJs generally have to rip the remixed versions of popular dance tracks that appear on the Billboard Club Play chart from CD's or record the vinyl onto a computer using special software to eliminate analog noise. In some cases, DJs must turn to p2p networks to find the remixes their audience are asking for. If the remixes are available on iTunes, most DJs can't play them with the various DJ software products that exist today due to a percieved lack of support for the Apple format in the DJ software community.

One would think that by offering MP3 files for download, labels that participate in the Beatport service would be heavily impacted by files sharing. An argument can be made that because dance music releases appear daily from thousands of record labels around the world, it's harder to find hot dance tracks on p2p networks until well after their release on Beatport. In a way, dance music's minority status in the music marketplace helps by making it more difficult to find obscure tracks. Most dance music fans don't know the names of songs and p2p networks do not provide sound samples, but Beatport does, and in the wildly popular Adobe Flash format allowing for easier playback.

The other advantage Beatport enjoys is most people who post tracks to p2p services rip them from mix compilations, so the files are generally not the full song. Usually, if you try to download a popular track from a p2p network, it has a segment of the last record played in the mix over the first few seconds of the song you want. There are many dance music productions that have beautiful intro's leading into the main part of the song that are lost when the song is blended into another on a mix compilation. Losing those intro's makes a service like Beatport infinitely more valuable because you can find the entire song and you can play it across most devices.

According to a Beatport press release, "The upgrades in Beatport 3.0 are varied and substantial. Major improvements have been made to the navigation and the search engine allowing faster and more detailed access to the content library. Key new features include a section called My Beatport which allows a user to subscribe to their favorite artist, label, or genre. Once subscribed, the system notifies the user when one of their subscriptions has new music. Other shopping improvements include new community driven features such as Users Also Bought and Email to a Friend. Several new payment options have been added to better serve the international market."

The company says, " a premium design change for version 3.0 is the much-improved landing pages designed to better showcase the genres, artists and labels and their related content. Continued improvements have been made to the navigation adding several powerful filtering tools to improve shopping speed delivering measurable improvements to both our customers and label partners."

Version 3 "Fully Loaded" is also integrated with Native Instrument's Traktor DJ software , allowing DJs to purchase music directly from Beaport through the Traktor DJ interface bypassing the use of a web browser to login and download music files to the desktop.

Traktor DJ mimics the traditional DJ experience, giving DJs the ability to mix MP3 files using their desktop or laptop computer as one would using traditional turntables. With Traktor DJ, a DJ can add a variety of audio effects to a DJ session, mix DJ sets to MP3 for podcast or live web casts and even emulate scratching by plugging into the Final Scratch DJ software and hardware system in conjunction with traditional turntables.

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