Marketing has not been the problem, and I’m not even talking about the “change your rider” thing I think’s the wrong approach.
As a result of their “industry standard” status, Pioneer would only need to tweak a few things on their player firmware to really much dissuade people from switching to Prime even after Prime drastically improves. That’s for another discussion, though, but basically Pioneer doesn’t need new player hardware to compete. And if you want pads and sampling, you just add a DJS-1000 to the NXS2 system. When Prime does reach functional parity (or beyond), that’s the point at which InMusic has to ratchet up the free gear to major clubs and start throwing money at big name DJs to get them to use it. I don’t see Oakenfold and Tiesto using Prime of their own volition now that their contracts ended, and I think it’s because that promo stuff was premature.
It’s not just Engine Prime that’s lagging behind Rekordbox…
- Pro Link works better. It’s fast. It remembers where you were. You can jump from USB direct to Link and back & forth totally carefree.
- Pioneers have more reliable firmware, and also fewer hardware design & random hardware production defects.
- Pioneer DJ’s audio processing is better.
Prime’s Link… I don’t know what to say other than to reference the many inadequacies of it I’ve pointed out elsewhere. That said, the ethernet & wifi track offloading thing should be easy to do. I tend to think the layers thing is really the way that we’re mitigating Link’s other deficiencies… heck, for mitigating general stability problems. You need that other layer when search is slow, when you can’t link big/long tracks, or when one deck suddenly crashes.
EP improvements are going to be a long road ahead. There’s no easy fix. InMusic will just have to keep trucking. Rekordbox has the head start, and for people that do pre-analysis, playlists, and preset loops & cues… that’s still going to be a tough sell for some time.
The firmware reliability is another aspect that’s going to take time and effort, with no magic bullet that will dramatically and suddenly transform its status.
The hardware design issues and random production defects are another matter and InMusic’s had over 20 years of these sorts of odd habits they apparently still haven’t managed to shake. Hopefully this is changing, but only time will prove that out. I can definitely vouch that their customer service experience has improved.
The audio thing I think is potentially the easiest to make major improvements… the -6dB sample halving pad and a Utility preference/option to disable SRC & >96khz files. Not saying more won’t be necessary on the players or the mixer, but those should be relatively quick to get and with real results.
Sorry, but if I was a rich and famous DJ who wanted carefree & fast Link, reliability, and the best sound, I currently would not chose Prime unless I was being paid, even if I had already figured out ways of either dealing with EP or not using it at all. Heck, if I was rich & famous even with my weird, rarified reasons for choosing to buy Prime I would still probably have difficulty justifying using Prime in its current state over Pioneer at big events. I don’t even use EP much and I HATE that jog bend deadzone Pioneers have. So I guess the question I should ask myself is if I was rich & famous how much would peace of mind and sound quality be worth to me… (Dr Evil moment with pinky on corner of mouth).
That said, as a non-rich, non-famous DJ who already bought Prime stuff, combined with how receptive InMusic has been compared to Pioneer DJ, I would think the future is bright for Prime. So even with its many remaining quirks, it’s certainly not worth jumping ship. However, I also can’t just call rich & famous DJs and big clubs around the world a bunch of sheep, or something.