How to buy digital music for DJing

Let’s go tune shopping! Yay! This is my favourite bit. This is where I can spend hours just sifting through tracks, listening to sound clips and generally getting lost in music.

Buying digital music for your DJ sets is actually very easy. There’s a huge choice of choices and sites out there.

But… there are a few things you need to know first.

If you want some inspiration first, check out our article on how to get inspiration for your DJ sets.

Before you buy… what you need to know

Before you go off and fill your cart with music, there are a few things you need to know:

  • Quality matters. If you’re going to be playing on a big sound system, you should buy the higher-quality versions of tracks. You probably don’t need to get the full FLAC versions (unless you’re a real audiophile), but you should buy at least 192kbps MP3 or above.

  • Not all stores stock the same music. It’s a crap deal for consumers, but some stores have exclusive rights to sell certain tracks, which means they are the only place where you can buy them. So if you’re looking for a specific track, you might need to shop around.

  • Full-length tracks for DJs often aren’t available on iTunes. If you’re playing dance music, you’ll need the full-length version for DJs (which is usually around 6-8 minutes long, called something like Original Mix, Extended Mix or 12-inch Mix), which will have an extra intro and outro to help you blend the track in your DJ set. For some reason, iTunes doesn’t always stock the full-length track. So if you can’t find it, check other stores!

Where to buy DJ tracks

And now, here are my recommended places to buy music for DJing:

Load up on tracks, bring your friends

Now you know where to buy music from, you’ll never play a boring DJ set ever again. (And your wallet will probably take a beating.)

Happy shopping!

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