Linux DJing

It's all about the equipment

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Linux DJing

#1 Post by chao06 » Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:12 am

Are there any others here that DJ out of Linux?

I currently have a setup where I route audio from Rhythmbox (a tag-based music library app) through my internal soundcard and Deadbeef (a single-playlist player similar to Winamp 2.x) though an external card.

Thanks to recent updates, Rhythmbox has reached the point where I'm unlikely to desire a replacement anytime soon, but Deadbeef still has some wonky-ness.

Anyway, my question is, does anyone know of a good single-playlist player for Linux?


(Yes, I know about XMMS - thing is, it's been out of development for years... it doesn't know how to take full advantage of ALSA's capabilities, so getting it to route through the external soundcard is hackish at best, having to use the outdated and buggy OSS plugin)

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Re: Linux DJing

#2 Post by SoundInMotionDJ » Wed Dec 15, 2010 2:28 pm

chao06 wrote:Are there any others here that DJ out of Linux?
I tried about 5 years ago, and linux was NOT ready for prime time. Good to hear that things have progressed.

I'd be curious about any multi player linux solutions that might be out there.

I use linux for a great many things, but DJing is not one of them.

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#3 Post by lipi » Sat Dec 18, 2010 11:38 am

I don't run Linux on my laptop, so I haven't tried DJ'ing with it, but I suggest taking a look at VLC.

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#4 Post by mr. e » Sat Dec 25, 2010 6:43 pm

I'm not DJing a lot. But since I've given up on Windows some 10 years ago, I obviously also use Linux for DJing. (Windows is not exactly what you'd switch to for stability, would you?)

There is a DJ app included with many distributions called "mixxx", from http:/ I havn't really used it yet though. But you should give it a try!


The studio I'm usually at has a mixer with USB inputs, and that works like a charm. It gives the best sound quality, as it goes digital into the mixing circuits, even ignoring the computers volume control in favor of the actual mixers control AFAICT.

Last time I DJed, I had built a small search app myself for searching and preview, and I can drag and drop songs over to the actual playlist from there. I was very happy with this setup, because the search is really powerful:
  • search history, I can go back to previous searches
  • partial matches, so "flying home" will apart from the obvious also return "flying down to rio" further down.
  • Must-matches: "+flying +home" will only return the obvious songs.
  • negation: "flying -home"
  • stemming, so "flying" and "fly" are the same (optional)
  • fields: "title:ella" does not find Ella Fitzgerald.
This is a great source for inspiration, typing in some random words ... I also love to use this for browsing my own music collection.

I do not like the usual DJ mixer apps that come crowded with redundant controls. For example, I don't need audio controls, because they are on the hardware mixer. And I don't need beat matching also, because I'm not doing house mixes... what I really need is a powerful search function

Right now (since I'll be DJing a small set on new years eve) I've picked up my search app again, and I've added a full playlist function. It works with multiple sound cards, and so far I wasn't able to crash it either ...

The following screenshot is fullscreen on my netbook. The playlist is on the left, the search window is on the right (I've typed "Flying Home" into the search bar). The main player is on top, preview at the bottom.
I've kept the UI spartanic to have more space for playlist management and searching. The dark color scheme is useful in dark rooms (as most dancing places). Gives less eerie light to the DJ ...

Depending on the width split, additional columns such as "BPM" and "search match quality" will show up (or disappear)

Oh, and of course I tried to make it hard to misuse it - the only actions that affect the main playback are the controls on the main player and double-clicking a song in the playlist; reordering will not.


I have more functions in my add queue - for example, I have a function that allows me to import just about any playlist (from other computers!). If I have the song, it will usually come up as best match, and match quality is a good indicator. (I've tried this repeatedly with playlists from random web sites and it worked great!)

When I get to it, I will add some tabs for the search window, that can be loaded with "stock playlists", because that is my favourite way of organizing things (and tags). This will also allow me to load up a playlist from earlier sets played.

On the long run, I also plan to have "negative set lists". For example, when you have a live band, a DJ should obviously avoid any titles the live band also plays. Using the playlist import mentioned above, I want to load their song lists and flag any matching song as "possible conflict".

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#5 Post by invisibleagent » Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:02 pm

I use Linux in work everyday and I also use it for DJing.

I use Rhythmbox to listen to all my music. I can tag and comment the music when I listen to it.

I then use MIXXX to DJ. The great thing is MIXXX can use the Rhythmbox play lists straight away. So I am ready to roll :)
I use a external USB soundcard for better audio and it means I can listen to the next track in the headphones and cue up. I can also adjust the BPM slightly so that the flow and sync are better.

Also, MIXXX show all details of the tracks so it makes it super easy.
And I can use Rhythmbox as a fall back if I don't want to use MIXXX because it's a rather good player.


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#6 Post by Chilli Poppin » Tue Oct 25, 2011 4:30 am

Heads up for the followers of the penguin.

The latest versions (4.9.x) of SAM Broadcaster work under the latest WINE (1.3+), virtually out of the box.

You will need to setup a prefix for it, but nothing out of the ordinary - If you use many apps under WINE your default may well cover it, mine did.

I haven't tried the equivalent live version (SAM DJ), but as it's basically a subset of Broadcaster I don't see any reason why it shouldn't work fine also.

There's a try before you buy at the company website so you can check. Although they still won't offer any technical support, or even acknowledge that it functions officially.

Tested by me:-

Installation - Seamless when using the Firebird version. Also tested with MySQL running Linux native, works but you will need to jiggle permissions and ensure the daemon runs on a fixed port. So far I have had no issues with Firebird.

Webcasting - Only tested basic functionality, it sends your tunes to the web... People can listen to them. More advanced functions might very well work, I just haven't tried yet.

Cataloguing - I've set up a DB of about 15,000 tracks, no problems encountered other than the need to ensure that filenames are Windows safe. Tagging, sorting & searching are seamless.

Playing live - I've done about four hours of pick 'n' choose & short playlist play - no problems encountered. Cue/PFL possible with a second sound device or through the "back" channel if using a 5.1+ card. Also left it on unattended auto play for 16 hours plus, no errors in the log.

That's it to date... This is by far my favourite DJing package on any platform, has everything I need, nothing I don't and presents everything in a way that "works" for me... I don't work for them and I'm not on commission. :wink:

If you try it and run into problems, drop me a line and I'll try to help.