Rekordbox and Serato DJ are two of the most popular and well-loved DJ software on the market. Most of the popular controllers, like NumArk and Pioneer, include either one of these software when you purchase them. While choosing between the two software, you have to some things in mind like the budget, functionality, compatibility, and available hardware.
About RekordBox DJ
RekordBox DJ is a relatively new software. It was first launched in 2009 by the popular brand Pioneer DJ who teamed up with Mixvibes. CDJ-2000 and CDJ-900, two of the most widely adored controllers, were also launched during the same time and came with the Rekordbox DJ software. This is a proprietary software and, hence, can only be used with Pioneer controllers.
About Serato DJ
Serato is undoubtedly the most popular DJ software in business today. Other than Native Instruments and Pioneer controllers, all other controllers use Serato Dj as the music management software. Serato’s license policy for manufacturers is pretty liberal, and there are a great many number of integrated gear.
What are the Main Differences Between Rekordbox VS Serato?
While both Rekordbox and Serato are intended for the same purpose, each has certain distinct capabilities that sets it apart from the other. Here are a few of the important differences between the two:
- Metadata capabilities: Library Management is an important part of any DJ software. In this department, Rekordbox clearly outmatches Serato in terms of the depth of metadata collection and handling capabilities.
- License: Serato has a very liberal license policy, and it is one of the primary reasons why so many controllers choose Serato for their controllers. Rekordbox, on the other hand, is a proprietary software of Pioneer and only found in Pioneer or Native Instrument controllers.
- Cloud Support: Cloud Storage is the future. This is because physical storage is limited, but the data size is growing exponentially. Both Serato and Rekordbox come with Cloud Storage support. However, Rekordbox allows you to sync your entire library cloud. This is yet to be made available for Serato.
Serato Vs. RekordBox — Feature-Wise Comparison
1. Hardware Compatibilities
RekordBox can only be used with controlled manufactured by either Native Instruments or Pioneer. Serato DJ can be used for any controller apart from the previously mentioned brands. It is also compatible with many budget controllers that are aimed for newbies. At the same time, it should also be remembered that most professional clubs have Pioneer equipment as it is one of the premier brands of the DJ world.
2. User Interface
Both RekordBox and Serato have a similar-looking user interface. Both of these use a dark-styled theme. While Serato’s interface is full of controls and information that can take some time to get used to, RekordBox adopts a cleaner and more minimalistic approach. Serato’s User Interface displays waveforms in an in-line vertical manner. RekordBox has a side-by-side view of the tracks.
3. Library Management
Both of these have excellent Library Management features. You can easily browse through the samples, import them and organize them into a library. However, RekordBox has some advanced functions like option for rating, adding customized tags, and convenient search and editing features. RekordBox also allows you to look at two different instances of the same library simultaneously.
Stability is extremely important from a performer’s point of view. Therefore, a good DJ software should not have any crashes or freezes. Serato is very stable and hardly has any glitches. It has the smoothest operating interface. On the other hand, RekordBox is somewhat buggy. Despite the timely updates and quick patches from Pioneer, this software has never been as reliable as Serato.
5. Lifetime License
Serato has an option for Lifetime Licensing where you pay once for all the features and enjoy them for life. RekordBox only has a monthly subscription plan. Both offer free, basic, and premium versions.
6. Cloud Syncing
In RekordBox, you can directly link your music libraries with cloud storage. This means you can sync entire libraries and keep every track safe without taking up too much physical memory on your part. Serato does not provide any such syncing features for its library as of yet.
7. Metadata Handling
The library management for both Serato and RekordBox is pretty good. You can store, collect and organize thousands of tracks. However, in terms of a detailed metadata handling approach, Rekordbox takes the cake.
Serato is quite budget-friendly with its lifetime license shipping for free with many expensive controllers. Therefore, you will only need to invest in a good controller and will not have to purchase additional software. You can also try Serato Intro and later upgrade it to Serato DJ. Serato sells expansions packs that are quite moderately priced. And while RekordBox itself is free, RekordBox DJ will set you back by some dollars. However, if you are buying a Pioneer controller then you will get it for free.
RekordBox and Serato — Which One To Buy?
If you want a highly compatible software with a lifetime license, then Serato would be a great option. Moreover, it is very stable and reliable and won’t give up or crash mid-performance. On the other hand, most of the best controllers out there are Pioneer controllers. Most professional clubs playing music use Pioneer equipment. Hence, if you aim to a professional DJ someday, then investing in a Pioneer controller that ships with RecordBox DJ would not be a bad idea.