How I organize my music files for Traktor with iTunes
I sometimes DJ as a pastime (cf. DANCEFIST). I use Traktor Pro 2 and an inexpensive DJ controller (though I really want a Traktor Kontrol S2 - I’ll get one after I play out enough times to feel like i deserve it). I googled around to see how other people organize their music libraries so that they can put together an impromptu set that flows nicely, and find the right tracks quickly to match the mood of the room.
It seems like everyone has their own answer, with varying combinations of Traktor’s library, iTunes, 3rd-party plugins, and custom tags. After some thinking and messing around, I settled on something that works well for me, so I figured I’d add to the collective knowledge on the subject and share it here.
- I wanted to use iTunes to organize my library
- I wanted to organize both by genre and by intensity
- I wanted to be able to easily see what tracks hadn’t been organized yet
I think I hit upon a good way to solve all of these problems using star ratings and playlists folders in iTunes. I don’t use star ratings for anything else, so I decided that stars would equal levels of intensity - smooth set starters at one on up to total bangers at 5.
To organize by genre, I used playlists like “electro house” and “breaks”, and put all of them into a playlist folder called “DJ KIX”:
The playlist folder lets me solve my 3rd problem using a smart playlist that looks for all songs in the playlist folder with 0 star ratings.
Using this system, once I’ve decided I want to go to a specific genre and intensity, I can pull up an appropriate track very quickly. I’m happy with it so far at home - this weekend I’ll play some tunes at a friend’s gathering and see how it holds up to the real world.