Pioneer DJ announced a new firmware update for their flagship CDJ3000 player last week, called CloudDirectPlay. The new feature lets users access files stored in their personal Dropbox and play them on the CDJ without having the file on local storage like a USB stick. It means you can access your whole digital music library from anywhere that has an internet connection, assuming you’ve set up your Dropbox in advance.
Pioneer DJ are not the first to implement cloud DJing into hardware — Denon DJ’s PRIME range supports multiple streaming sources including Dropbox, but also Beatport and Beatsource LINK, TIDAL and SoundCloud. They also allow you to stream over WiFi connection — Pioneer DJ require an external Ethernet hub that’s connected to an active internet connection, similar to how you’d Link more than one player — but it’s no doubt that Pioneer DJ still dominate club booths around the world. While Denon DJ’s PRIME range continues to innovate, and in many ways out-innovate Pioneer DJ, it’s Pioneer DJ’s ubiquity that means that any innovations added to the CDJ is going to have a much deeper impact, even if they are late to the party.
It’s worth noting too that the rekordbox dj software already has functionality to stream from Beatport, SoundCloud and more, but the new firmware update is the first time a piece of standalone Pioneer DJ hardware has had streaming capabilities.
So why does it matter? It makes a lot of sense for bedroom DJs or software like rekordbox to add streaming, for track discovery, practising mixing and blends, or new DJs who haven’t amassed a music collection yet. But for the industry standard player, or at least the one that aims to replace the 2000nxs2 to add streaming, is it really the beginning of a new era in the booth or a gimmick new feature that’s still too risky for any pro DJs to adopt?
We’ve written extensively about streaming in the booth and the potential impact and pitfalls, as well as the impact beyond the booth for royalties and product development — read our DJing and the Data Wars piece here. We spoke to Pioneer DJ’s Product Planning Manager Rob Anderson about the impact cloud DJing might have and what’s next for CloudDirectPlay.