Question on BPM / ID3 / tags / Beatgrids

Navigating on several sites trying to understand the whole BPM thing that all DJ softwares do, including EP.

SO the questions

I’m aware that Traktor and Serato (at least from what I read in tech docs, other forums etc. …) saves the beatgrids to the metadata. Why is it that each software (including EP) needs to re-do that analysis. Why not just take what’s already written there in the file ?

Is this because everyone has a different method of storing and/or using this information ? Is this not somewhat standardized in the industry ?

Sorry if I come off ignorant. I’m just having a tough time to maintain and curate the entire 40K song library and with the difficulties I’ve been having with EP, my recourse is to use Serato to keep trying to use my new P4 bought in November.

If you study some software applications with music database management capabilities, you will find that some of their files where database information resides are encrypted. The reason behind this is that the owners of the software used a certain core application for database management, that is more or less capable, in order to obtain the level of usability required, which is different from application to application. That is why certain software applications is better than others at managing, organising and searching tasks or rendering waveforms.

Besides the database management capabilities, we also have the waveform rendering capabilities, which is different from application to application, because not all software solutions (Serato, Virtual DJ, Traktor, Rekordbox, Engine Prime, etc) use the same methods of rendering waveforms. Waveform rendering is a time and resource intensive task and various applications use different methods, more or less precise for rendering waveforms during time. Rendering a waveform for an uncompressed audio file, like wav or aiff, is easier and different than rendering a waveform for a compressed format audio file, which requires decoding the compression algorithm first before rendering of the waveform.

Furthermore, the way the waveform is rendered and displayed to the user is different from application to application, because some applications will use more or less audio samples to render the waveform on the display.

All music management applications use different algorithms for BPM analysis, which, as we all know it, is more or less accurate. It is hard to create a BPM analysis algorithm that is fully accurate, because not all music genres are created the same. Some music genres, like electronic music, are easier to analyse because its instruments tempos are mostly computer generated, while other music genres, like jazz, are harder to analyze, because the instruments are played by humans and the structure of the music itself is complex. Even if metronomes are used to help the humans playing the instruments to keep the tempo, it is still hard to keep the tempo in perfect timing and many times this is not even required, because jazz is all about improvisation.

We also must take into account the way an application like Engine Prime would convert an existing BPM value imported from another software database. Some applications may offer the capability to analyse the BPM more accurately, using decimals, while other applications may analyse the BPM by rounding the result to the closest integer value. Therefore, when importing a library from another software we have to work more to correct the BPM values on some tracks.

We all like to be able to manage and transfer our music libraries easier from application to application, but this is not always the case, because not all applications offer a high level of flexibility and usability and the use of a certain standards are not always endorsed by the software owners. That is why we have to invest time in preparing our music for the software platform we intend to use.


I have a feature request.

Can you add some paragraph spaces in the above please?

1 Like

An excellent answer @Canaris. Thank you! By far, in any forums I’ve been in, the most informative. :+1: :+1: :+1:

That’s why I decided to ditch(decompress)Platinum notes as uncompressed codec/format(waveform rendering) is more tolerable between the various DJ platforms/workflows apparently.

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