In May, Denon DJ revealed plans to allow its Prime Series to stream tracks directly. Then, a few months back, the company beta tested the feature. Now, with a software update, the Wi-Fi streaming or the feature to directly connect to the internet via Ethernet or built-in Wi-Fi is made available to all Denon DJ Prime 4 standalone players and SC5000 and SC5000M media players.
Limited music streaming option
For now, Tidal is the only partner for streaming music. However, early next year, the company plans to add SoundCloud, Beatport, and Beatsource. Spotify and Apple Music are still missing from the list, and this could prove an issue as many DJs would already have subscriptions to these services.
With the new software update, it would now be possible for DJs to use Denon DJ Prime 4 and others in the Prime series to play Tidal’s entire catalog without adding any extra hardware.
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“This exclusive, ground-breaking innovation brings the capability of playing digital music content from the world’s premier DJ streaming services as well as directly from the Prime Series units, with no necessity for a laptop computer,” Denon DJ said in a blog post previously.
Tidal offers tracks in high-resolution and boasts of a massive library of about 60 million tracks. The subscription cost, however, could be a concern. To somewhat offset this, Denon DJ offered three-months free access to Tidal streaming to the Prime 4 owners, who joined its beta program.
For those unaware, all the Prime players feature built-in Wi-Fi and cabled internet connectivity. This means only a software update was needed to enable streaming. A point to note is that Denon DJ did not advertise this feature too much before.
Wi-Fi streaming catching on
Adding Wi-Fi streaming support may not appear a landmark feature in 2019, but for DJ gears it is. There are several reasons why companies making DJ gear have avoided it (and many still) for so long. Apart from inking deals with the streaming services, the companies had to account for unstable Wi-Fi and latency. Another valid reason is that DJs also never felt the need of such a feature as they are used to carrying physical media.
Now, the trend to stream music is catching on. Many DJ apps are now available that come with integrated streaming, such as Rekordbox DJ and Djay Pro 2. Also, there are DJ controllers that are made to pair with smartphones and laptops.
Denon notes that its users will never have to worry about latency and dropout. This is because the Tidal tracks are not played as live streams. When a song is selected, the system buffers the entire track to create a copy on the device’s internal memory. This copy exists only until the next song is selected or until the user logs out.
How to stream on Denon DJ Prime 4 and others
Talking of how to use this Wi-Fi streaming feature on Denon DJ Prime 4 and other supported players, you must first ensure that a Wi-Fi symbol appears on the screen of your Prime device. Next, connect to the network you want, enter a password (if needed) and tap connect. Information such as the network’s strength and security would also be available on the screen.
Now, you will have to link your Tidal account with the Prime device. Once you do this, your Tidal account will show up on the screen. You will be able to access any saved playlists, favorite tracks or even search for a track in the Tidal catalog. After you select a track, the system analyzes it for BPM, beat grid, and musical key. Thereafter, you will be able to set things such as hot cues and loops, like you do on any other device.
“Denon DJ’s standalone streaming technology enhances the physicality of the DJ’s music collection, bringing a glorious diversity and choice of the world’s music, to their fingertips,” Paul Dakeyne, Denon DJ’s Creative Director, said previously.
Along with Wi-Fi streaming, Denon’s latest software update adds a few more features as well. After the update, DJs on Prime SC5000 and SC5000M can tap on the album artwork from the track list to preview the tracks without loading them. Also, DJs get the ability to “needle-drop” different parts of a song by tapping across a track title.
Denon’s latest software update also adds a Zoneplay feature. The feature allows a DJ to send a playlist to a zone or room via automatic crossfade transitions between songs. Other minor additions include finer adjustments for loops and better search speed.