Sometimes, images say it all.

Pictured below is what happens when you try to use Pacemaker’s Spotify functionality on the iPad without an Internet connection. Tracks simply don’t play at all. Even though Spotify Premium users have offline access to their tracks when listening one at a time, you won’t be able to DJ that way any time soon.

Above, you’ll see that you can’t record mixes even with an Internet connection if you try to use a Spotify song.

But given how many small, boutique labels and independent artists rely on enthusiast DJs to care enough to download their records, it’s hard to see this as bad news. That enthusiast market has been a ray of hope for people who want music to have value – not even necessarily in a terribly-profitable monetary sense, but as a way of distinguishing the relationship you have to music you really care about.

And Pacemaker had to specifically license Spotify. Other DJ apps don’t yet support the functionality, and it’s unclear whether Spotify will open up to them, too if they do seek such a license.

Of course, for wedding and other party DJs wanting to quickly play requests, Pacemaker will still be a huge boon in venues that do have an Internet connection. And those are probably not tracks you really care about.

Oh, yeah – and as mobile Internet becomes more readily available, this app may still send chills down the spines of anyone working on recording music.

Pacemaker, with or without Spotify support, remains an elegant and beautifully-designed DJ app, and proof that there’s more than one way to provide DJ functionality. Just don’t expect this to be the last word in what happens to the download economy for DJs – more like the beginning of an even more vigorous debate. For more on the app itself, see our first hands-on:

Mixing Spotify with iPad, Pacemaker Might Be DJing’s New Killer App for the Masses [Hands On]


  • Henry

    I just wondered, how are these “plays” accounted for in Spotify’s pay-the-artist-per-play model? Are they registered in the same way as if I’d play those songs directly out of the Spotify application? That would require an API to be able to use certain function calls, I suppose? If it would not do so, I guess, a can of worms would be opened with this…

    • Peter Kirn

      It doesn’t appear that there’s any difference from a licensing standpoint between playing in Spotify and playing in this app.

      Of course, this returns us to whether anyone’s even seeing revenue from that.

      And furthermore, I’d like to see artists provided with more data generally from Spotify. The data could be more useful than the money in some instances.

    • Henry

      Hello Pandora, could you please pass me that box over there? 😉

    • Johnnyrandom

      This is exactly why I’m only releasing my music on iTunes for now. Although every once in a while I use PayPal for a few perturbed Linux users. :)

  • regend

    as a mobile DJ that plays weddings and birthday parties on a regular basis, you get paid to please a diverse crowd of all ages and you need access to a large database of music. for a while i kicked around those websites that you can fade in and fade out two youtube videos and have been waiting for soundcloud to provide a solution so this looks like a better solution. sign me up.

  • B.C. Thunderthud

    Spotify is great for what it is but I’ve heard more nasty, squelchy mp3 artifacts listening to it than I have since the Limewire days. This could be useful for auditioning stuff and for practicing but if you’re streaming stuff in front of an actual audience you’re asking for trouble.

  • experimentaldog

    Club buys high-end sound system…yet streams Spotify on it. Quantity over quality? “Music is everybody’s possession. It’s only publishers who think that people own it” …although it would be nice to make a living off of your own recordings…

  • Adambpmjunction

    Looks like a good tool for small parties or just playing around with but I think it’s a long way away from becoming the norm :) With the amount of debate over spotify out there already I don’t think it would help matters if they started allowing DJ’s to play musicians tracks for essentially free.