I’m sure you have heard by now, iTunes is done. It is never coming back. No matter how badly you want to make a mix CD, or want to use that weird visualizer thing (which was actually kinda cool), it isn’t coming back. Specifically for Mac users, anyone thinking about updating to Catalina OS should be weary, especially if you are a DJ.
Jokes aside, the removal of iTunes is going to cause many issues for DJs. Most DJs use software called Serato, Rekordbox or other similar DJ software, all of which use XML files. The software essentially pulls from your iTunes library and converts all that data into a DJ friendly module. Once connected to your DJ equipment, everything is synced, and you are good to go. Usually the organizational process of your tracks and playlists occur in your iTunes library. Since Apple Music doesn’t have XML file support, none of this will be possible moving forward. XML files are the only known file type that transfer data to applications such as Serato, Rekordbox and Traktor.
Without XML files, tracks will no longer stay organized in set playlists when importing into these applications. This could be disastrous for DJs. However, The Verge is reporting Serato is already testing out a beta version with Catalina. At the moment, Microsoft users will not be affected.
Companies like Serato and Beatport have also tried to anticipate this change with partnering up with various streaming providers. Last year, Serato announced integration with Soundcloud. The partnership allows DJs to stream directly with Serato from SoundCloud. Another alternative is with Beatport. BeatportLINK is a partnership with Rekordbox and Beatport, which allows DJs to stream as well.
How Will DJs Organize Their Libraries Now?
It is a bit uncertain how the music tech industry will adapt to help DJs. Maybe streaming will become more popular? However, this is doubtful. Maybe a new software will come forward to help organize your library? A main concern regarding streaming is you need an internet connection to access your files, which doesn’t seem practical in all environments. However, one thing is for certain – iTunes won’t be coming back.