October 28, 2004
../ The Native Instruments, Beatport, Stanton Partnership
Native Instruments, Beatport.com and Stanton recently announced, in a very vague press release, that they were partnering. The release had no
specifics on exactly what they were collaborating on or any details as to how it would affect their product lines. However, their strategy became
clearer at AES in San Francisco with the release of Beatport 2.0, the next generation of the well-executed Beatport online dance music store.
Is This The Future Of Digital Distribution?
At the beginning of the year, we raved about Beatport and felt that it was two generations ahead of its competitors in the dance music space.
With the release of Beatport 2.0 and the recent partnership with Native Instruments and Stanton, Beatport is now so far ahead of their competition,
that it's doubtful that anyone will catch them.
In addition, the amount of control the consumer has over the actual mixing, now gives the major online stores and jukeboxes, like iTunes and MusicMatch,
a serious wake up call. This is the future of digital distribution.
In one year, Beatport has put together a sophisticated vertical in a genre of music that the major labels don't even take seriously. However, don't pigeonhole
Beatport for just electronic music. Now that they've created a robust engine, their technology can easily translate to DJ-friendly hip-hop, and then to other
more commercial genres of music.
Beatport is built with Macromedia's Flash, on top of a MySQL database utilizing XML. The interface is clean, distinctive and, for the most part,
user friendly. They've signed up hundreds of independent dance music labels, and have a wide selection of the many micro genres that make up
electronic music. Native Instruments, a German concern, is the company behind the suite of Traktor DJ products. Their latest release is the Traktor
DJ Player, a free DJ program based on the Traktor platform that you can
download from their
site. The big feature is the Automix Mode which allows the TRAKTOR DJ Player to seamlessly mix all of a user's favorite tracks using selectable cross
fade times and modes. However, the user can manually drive the built-in crossfader, just like a hardware DJ mixer, if they prefer to do the mixing themselves.
Now here's the kicker: You will be able to purchase Beatport's library of music within the Traktor DJ Player interface. A slam dunk for Beatport.
The Beatport/Native Instruments Traktor DJ Player
Stanton, not to be left in the dark, has just announced FinalScratch 2. Stanton and Native Instruments have been working together for a while,
since the Traktor DJ engine powers the computer digital music file management system in FinalScratch. Now add the ability to purchase Beatport's
library into the FinalScratch system and the fog clears from that initial press release. We'll devote a full-on review to FinalScratch 2 in
Experiments In Sound, but here's a quick overview. The all new ScratchAmp2 is a Firewire sound card with 24 bit / 96 kHz sound quality, two RCA
inputs, a 1/4" and XLR Mic input, two outputs, headphone jack with volume and MIDI in/out. The MIDI implementation is a particularly nice feature,
not only to allow additional MIDI based controllers to manipulate the audio controls on the software, but also to send out MIDI to instruments,
drum machines and video rigs.
Stanton's ScratchAmp2 Sound Card for FinalScratch 2
This dynamic partnership has big implications for the digital distribution of music. Beatport and its partners have really showcased how flexible
digital music companies can be and how quickly complete vertical systems can be put in place. In fact, this entire deal and new version of Beatport
was put together in a matter of months. It will also open the eyes of companies like Apple. Consumers want better control of their music and the new
Traktor DJ Player is a great start.
The Future: The partnership is a huge win for Beatport. In fact, the full weight of this relationship, when it fully blooms, will give many of
the other online dance music stores great pause. This is a category destroyer. Now it's up to Native Instruments to really improve the Traktor line
which could use some serious enhancements. Hopefully with this new momentum, they'll rise to the occasion; Traktor Studio 3 is due in the next few
>>> Digihear? October 2004
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As the name correctly implies, Experiments In Sound, is Futuremusic's latest endeavor for pushing electronic music technology to the very edge of what's possible. Experiments In Sound grew out of Futuremusic's avant-garde events in
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Futuremusic wants to thank everyone who participated in The Next Big Thing 2004. John Digweed, Beatport, Alienware, M-Audio, Native Instruments, IK Multimedia,
PVDJ, PK Graphics, Ableton, The DubHouse, Propellerheads, Technics, FreeFloat, The Church, PCDJ and every DJ who entered this year's event thank you. From the sheer number of
quality mixes, we can tell you that dance music is thriving in the United States. The amount of outstanding talent and creativity really blew us away, and every DJ who's putting
their heart, mind and soul behind the music is a winner. John Digweed has
made his decision and the winner is...
Digihear? Stories: September 2004
Digihear? Stories: August 2004
Digihear? Stories: July 2004
Digihear? Stories: June 2004