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Why You Need A Master Music Folder As A DJ

Updated: Feb 29

Before you get started on your DJ journey, and stuck into all the exciting fun things like organising playlists—please take the time to do this one thing!


What Is A Master Music Folder For DJs?

A master music folder is one simple folder where all of your music goes. It can be on a laptop, or on an external HD.

This means that when you buy or download music from iTunes, JunoDownload, Beatport, Bandcamp, Soundcloud, promos, or any other kind of music platform you can organise and store your music safely.

As soon as you download a song—put your tune into your master music folder.

Every. Single. Tune.

Rinse and repeat until it's in your muscle memory of the thing you do with music once you've purchased it!

Then you can use your DJ software to navigate to the music, or copy the music to your software and you're off!

You might be feeling resistance, but I can assure you, that this simple step is so vital to avoid 'technical glitches' whilst you're DJing.

"But I just want to get going. I don't have time!" I hear you cry. Or "I hate/am bad at organisation and find it hard".

I know, I know! But this one thing is going to save you from so many headaches, I promise!

So set up your MASTER MUSIC folder now.

Why Is A Master Music Folder Important For DJs?

Put simply, DJ software (for example Serato) works with "file paths". This basically means that your software recognises the file where your music is stored.

And if you move that original file location, your software won't automatically trawl your laptop or hard drive (HD) to locate the file, and the long and short of it is that you won't have a tune to play because your software won't be able to locate it if it has moved.

Imagine you're at a gig and the vibe is flowing. You load your next banger onto the deck and... nothing.

The tune will not load.

It appears to have disappeared... In Serato, it is still showing in the crate, but is orange in colour.

You had loaded the music into the crates earlier from the tunes you had downloaded onto a folder on your desktop so it should all be good—right?

Suddenly, you recall you tidied everything off your desktop at the last minute before the gig, including the folder with the tunes in.

Now you have to move on really quickly at the last minute to find other music which you didn't delete—and it puts you off your flow.

Of course, it's do-able, anything is possible. But in reality, it is stressful in the moment—and actually unnecessary if you have a master music folder.

Moral of this quick tip?

Don't put it off, just set up your MASTER MUSIC folder now, and make using it a habit, and part of your music downloading routine.

'Til next time,

Sophie x

*PS: Yes, this happened to me, and made for a very stressful, un-flowy gig. Whoopsie.

*PPS: It is possible to locate your files in Serato, (and probably other DJ software) but having all your music in one place means you'll never have to deal with this unnecessary problem!

Below is how my master music file looks on my Mac.

Bear in mind that I'm at ground zero after having my laptop repaired (following a fatal cuppa spillage) so there are not many tunes in it yet!

Another top tip... don't have drinks near your kit. Ever. 😬

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