Being a DJ involves hundreds of tasks that the majority of people do not even think about. Between finding gigs, maintaining a legitimate marketing presence, practicing, and actually getting out there and DJing, gathering the music for these events can be time consuming and tedious. For a lot of us, digging up records that nobody else had was one of the passions that led us to the craft in the first place. Unfortunately, over time as DJs find more success and their schedules fill up, it becomes more and more difficult to find time to scour through hundreds of blogs to end up walking away with only a handful of songs. Let alone if you need to find a clean version for the radio.
This is where DJ record pools come into play. Instead of spending hours searching through the dark abyss of the Internet to only come up with three sub-par remixes, these pools consolidate all of your needs in a convenient, one stop shop for MP3s. Not just any music however, these sites break down the track you need into a clean version, dirty version, 8-bar intro version, acapella outro version, and many more. These tracks are always high quality, no tags, and some even come with cue points built in. Sites like these can be a dream come true to a DJ who is short on time, or any DJ who isn’t sure where to start their search for the newest tracks. Like any service these pools come at a price, but in an age where time is money, a low monthly fee can take you a long way.
Once you have decided that subscribing to a record pool is for you, the consumer process begins. Using Google to find a record pool is like standing in the middle of Times Square and asking where to find the best cup of coffee. Every site claims to have the most exclusive records at the lowest price, when in reality, only few sites can truly deliver an economical bang for their buck. That’s why us DJs over at DJ Booth, have come up with a Top 5 list to make your 2014 record pool shopping experience a walk in the park.
Price – $19.99/mo
Coming in at the number five spot, is one of the oldest record pools in the game. The legendary Funk Master Flex started Franchise Record Pool in 1996 (serving actual vinyl at the time), and has continued to develop the site into one of the top MP3 pools available. Because of his fame and longevity in music, Flex’s site is able to provide exclusive tracks that many of the other pools are not able to obtain. Beyond the music, the site contains a long list of social features that DJs &artists can use to gain an advantage. Flex has been known for years for his record breaking, so anything that he puts his name on is guaranteed gold.
• Over 20,000 tracks available for immediate download
• Mobile app for iPhone and iPad for listening on the go
• Online tech support
• Old and new music videos for the VJs
• Provides DJ tools including scratch samples and sound effects
• Site tends to be cluttered and can be hard to navigate
• Contains a large selection of genres but is mostly overshadowed by hip-hop and R&B
• Has so many side features that it can be confusing to users
#4 – iDJPool
Price – $50.00/mo
iDJPool was founded in 1985 and originally titled Illinois Music Pool. Since then it has developed into one of the top record pools on the Internet, and used by DJs around the world. There is nothing too fancy about the way iDJPool looks, but what sets it apart is it’s vast variety of music. Opposed to most record pools where hip-hop and dance music are dominating the site, this pool has a much deeper selection of country and rock music. It is also unique in the sense that it offers two different methods of downloading the track (FTP download and classic web browser download). The site comes at a steep price of $50 a month, but if this is too much, the site offers their alternate sites UrbanDJPool.com and CountryDJPool.com for a reduced price. This is my personal pick for the wedding DJs out there.
• Wide variety of genres and song selection
• Multiple methods of downloading tracks
• Site alternatives for DJs with specific needs
• Minimal layout, less confusion
• Great selection of mash-ups
• Expensive to join
• Streaming seems more complicated than other sites
• Does not have as much EDM as other sites
#3 – My MP3 Pool
Price – $19.99/mo
MyMP3Pool recently renovated their site into a whole new machine. With great looking aesthetics and a great price, this is a tough one to beat. MMP offers downloadable videos, as well as the rest of the expected content of a top record pool, but goes a step further and offers their own custom made 8-bar intros. This is a subtle, yet great way to ensure that your mixes have their own unique style. Aside from the intros, MMP keeps it relevant with the latest hip-hop and EDM. They keep their site well balanced with genres all across the board, as well as a section devoted to throwbacks. To top it off, many of the songs come pre-labeled key value for those who mix in key.
• Great site layout
• Genre specific charts including newer genres like Trap, Twerk, Rhythmic, etc.
• Mobile app with Queuing capabilities
• Custom Intro and Outro tracks
• Discounted plans for longer subscriptions
• Song previews are only 60 seconds
• Using the search function can be confusing
#2 – Digital DJ Pool
Price – $12/mo, $1 five-day trial
While Digital DJ Pool may have made our #2 spot because of their unbeatable price, they also happen to offer one of the best record pools on the market. First let’s address the elephant in the room. Nowhere in the World Wide Web will you find a record pool of this quality, for a price this low. If that wasn’t enough to sell you, Digital DJ Pool allows the user to trial their site for five days for only $1. While they may not offer video like some of the other listed sites, there is really nothing else missing from this pool. The songs are current, the clean/dirty ratio is on point, and did we mention it was $12 a month?
• Affordable price
• Simple layout
• Full song streaming from main page
• Wide variety of genres
• Great selection of remixes
• No video downloads
• Room for more intro tracks
#1 – DJcity
Price – $30/mo
Coming in at the top of the list is DJcity. These guys have been killing the game for quite some time now and it is doubtful that they will be going anywhere anytime soon. They update their tracks on an actual daily basis and have any song that you can imagine. The layout of the site is great and it even identifies the key of most tracks. This is one of the most common DJ pools in the world and by subscribing it is a guarantee to have the hottest tracks out. All that is left to do is know when to play them.
• Great layout
• Daily releases of the hottest tracks out
• Wide variety of genres and recent remixes
• Run by a large team of DJs
• Monthly Top 50 chart
• Mobile app included with subscription
• No video downloads
There you have it, DJ Booth’s list of the top DJ record pools of 2014. These pools should have your music downloading process streamlined in no time, while keeping your budget in tact. While these pools may fill up your library in a flash, it is important to remember that a true DJ gains his respect from individuality and creativity. While you now may have all the tracks necessary to turn up your local nightclub, only you have the power to turn it into a unique set that the crowd will remember.
-Taylor Guttenberg (DJ T-GUT)