How to DJ with Apple Music
For those wanting to learn how to DJ, Apple Music can help you to develop your skills and techniques while helping you to keep all of your DJing equipment compatible with Apple products.
In this guide, we’ll be taking you through everything you need to know from the hardware you should consider as well as the software and legal implications as well as much more.
Not only is this going to help you to become a better DJ, but you’ll also know what to expect when it comes to starting your own DJing journey.
Software that works with Apple Music
The first thing that any DJ will have to think about is the software that they want to use. Your software will be your go to through your whole DJing journey so you want to make sure that you are investing in a software that is going to allow you to learn the basic skills and techniques as well as challenging you to excel and advance.
Here’s our choice of DJ software that is popular among beginners:
The most popular software for DJs that use Apple music is MegaSeg which is now on its 6th generation.
It syncs up with your iTunes app on your Apple Mac and allows you to incorporate looks, key lock and pitch bends wherever. It can only play downloaded Apple Music so it is best for those who have their entire library downloaded on there rather than wanting to import music from other sources.
An ideal starting point for beginners, MegaSeg is the best place to start learning how to DJ as it is easy to use and operate. There are certain things you can’t do such as playing 2 Apple music tracks and transitioning between them because only one deck can control one track that is played through your iTunes software.
NoteBurner DRM Audio Converter
The second major option technically isn’t DJ software but it can be used with Apple Music along with your existing software to enhance the overall experience. It allows you to convert entire collections of music without any user input meaning that your music will be converted easier and faster.
This software does take a lot of processing power so be aware that it is going to take some time to initially download as well as taking up a fair bit of storage space.
However, once it is set up and ready to go, you’ll immediately see all the benefits and find that your DJing practice is more enjoyable thanks to the convenience of having your entire library in one format making it more organized.
Also bear in mind that using this converter is not always legal as you are ripping copyrighted music from another streaming service which can be seen as invalidating your user agreement with Apple. However, it can be good to use for practice rather than performance.
Serato DJ Software
Serato DJ is a hugely popular software that you may have come across in your research. However, it is not compatible with Apple Music and therefore isn’t an option.
There have been some suggestions that Serato may incorporate compatibility with Apple Music in the future but no immediate plans have been made thus far.
It’s worth a mention since it is so commonly used but any Serato app that you have found that seems to be compatible with Apple Music is not genuine and therefore illegal.
Traktor by Native Instruments
Traktor is the same as Serato in that it is not compatible with Apple Music but it is still one of the most commonly used softwares hence why it is mentioned.
Traktor Pro 3 is the latest version and is not compatible as Apple Music has its own DRM system already installed which would render Traktor as useless as it runs on its own DRM system.
There are ways in which you can rip audio files and play them on Traktor but doing this is illegal as you are not paying for the music. This can cause serious problems if you are performing in public as it can lead to lawsuits and other legal proceedings.
Hardware that works with Apple Music
Purchasing hardware that is compatible with Apple Music is a tricky process than if you were DJing with an alternative system such as Spotify. Because Apple is known for their strict DRM policies, finding the right hardware is important as you want to make sure it works correctly with your Apple Music subscription.
Here are the best hardware that you should consider:
Denon DJ MC4000
The first option is the best on the market and is the Denon DJ MC4000 which features a modern design that makes it one of the most intuitive controllers available. Denon has a strong history making high quality DJ equipment so you know they can be relied on.
If you have the money to spend then the DJ MC4000 is the best option for you as it stays up to date with the latest DRM policies. This hardware will allow you to create a DJ setup that is functional and enjoyable while also remaining perfect for all abilities. The unit is incredibly robust making it great for portability as well as hardwearing use.
The best option for those on a stricter budget is the Numark DJ2GO2 which is great to use with MegaSeg. It has a simple USB setup making it compatible with the majority of DJ softwares which makes it one of the most versatile hardware options available.
You can also use Serato using the hardware and it doesn’t take too long to set up initially meaning that you can start practicing your DJing skills quickly.
It has a built-in audio interface so the master audio plays right through the unit without having to use any extra sound card or the sound card from your laptop. However, the downside to this unit is that the sound quality isn’t as strong as other hardware options.
The most advanced choice on our hardware list is the Pioneer DDJ-1000 which is robust and reliable thanks to the customizable display that has been built into the jog wheel. Providing versatile support when DJing with Apple Music, you will have full control over every feature of your DJing practice when using this unit.
Another option that stands at a high end price point, you won’t be disappointed by the array of features that this unit has. Ideal for those who want to travel with their unit, you’ll have to import your library to the hardware before practicing your skills.
This unit has 16 color pads which allows you to incorporate hot cues, a variety of effects, beat jumps and samples accordingly. This is the best choice for the more creative and experimental DJs.
We’ve touched on the legal implications previously but we’ll dive into it in more detail here. When we talk about the legalities of playing the music, it simply refers to whether you have paid for the music or ripped it illegally from another software.
As Apple Music has a strict DRM system, it’s not as easy as playing the latest songs for free, you will have to pay for the music you want to mix.
However, if you are serious about becoming a DJ then this shouldn’t be an issue as you should be supporting the music industry anyway. If you are found to be breaking any terms or conditions when it comes to importing illegally ripped songs then you may face consequences from Apple.
However, more so than ripping music illegally for private use, if you are found to be playing illegally downloaded music in public spaces then it will become even trickier and you may even find yourself in trouble as you are violating copyright laws. This can then lead to legal proceedings as well which will then have a negative impact on your career.
So how do you know what music is legal to play when performing in public venues? The best way to ensure the legality of your music is to purchase it from iTunes.
A lot of venues frown upon DJs playing streamed music so if you actually have the receipts to say that you own the music, this will go in your favor should anyone ask for proof.
It may seem boring to have to think of these things when DJing but this will ensure that you maintain a good reputation which will then lead to more gigs on a regular basis. As mentioned before, if you are wanting to enter the music industry, it only makes sense that you support it.
Now you need to think about the reliability of Apple Music and how well it works with your devices. The hardware that we have listed above are the best options to use with Apple Music and will help prevent any disappointment; however, should you find an alternative option then be sure to check the reviews to see whether it will work with Apple Music without any hindrance.
The audio quality of your devices will determine the success of your performance so you want to ensure that you have the right equipment that is going to help you perform to your best ability.
When it comes to Apple Music, there are regular updates to ensure that it has maximum reliability and performance whilst also ensuring that the music is played to the highest quality. By using devices that rely on Apple, you’ll find that the overall quality of the sound and performance is elevated with no delays or awkward jitters.
You need to think about the pending migration from iTunes to Apple Music so ensuring that everything you have purchased on iTunes is moved seamlessly to the Apple Music app will mean that your files will be updated to avoid any issues on the day of your performance.
Apple Music is the best for those who want to listen to any song and have a play around with the sound. It may not be as user friendly as Spotify but once you master how to DJ using Apple Music, you’ll be reaping in the many benefits and the convenience of having a wider library of music at your fingertips.
The fact that Apple has tight DRM conditions means that you can be assured that your music is fully verified and legal while also allowing you to experiment accordingly.
So no matter what software you use, you’ll have hours of fun while you learn the skills and techniques needed to kickstart your career as a DJ.