Reboot and Rally: Beatport

By Chad Hollis, The Dartmouth Staff | 2/17/12 2:19pm


Every­one has a cer­tain guilty plea­sure. For some, it’sdrugs— for oth­ers,sex. For me, it’s music.

Al­though less so­cially stig­ma­tized, my ad­dic­tion de­stroys my pro­duc­tiv­ity, alien­ates loved ones and emp­ties my wal­let. Thank­fully, I was in­tro­duced toBeat­port, a music site ded­i­cated to all things elec­tronic.



When I started to get into elec­tronic dance music, I quickly found that the stan­dard music de­liv­ery ser­vices sim­ply didn’t cut it. iTunes and Ama­zon are great for pop­u­lar songs, but I found it very dif­fi­cult to find new music from up-and-com­ing pro­gres­sive house or dub­step artists.

As a DJ, I can’t il­le­gally down­load music. If I ever got caught get­ting paid to play stolen music, I’d spend more time in jail than thePig­gy­back Ban­dit. I needed to find some­thing or my ad­dic­tion was going to con­sume me.

Beat­port didn’t cure my music ad­dic­tion, but it has helped me man­age it. The site’s mis­sion state­ment is clear — it wants to de­liver the great­est va­ri­ety of elec­tronic music to as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble. To this end, Beat­port does five things right.

First, the site of­fers high qual­ity, ex­tended pre­views. Beat­port doesn’t mess around with 30-sec­ond clips. The pre­views for each track allow you hear every im­por­tant part of the song.

They’re all at least a cou­ple min­utes long and in­clude the buildup and the bass drop. They all sound great too, so you al­ways know what you’re about to buy.

Sec­ond,Beat­port ranks the top sell­ing music in every EDM genre. Even if you don’t know the dif­fer­ence be­tween pro­gres­sive house and elec­tro house, you’re able to browse the best music in each world. This al­lows you to find great music that you gen­er­ally won’t run into on iTunes.

Third,nearly every major artist pub­lishes his top-10 tracks a few times every year. If you ever won­der what’s the se­cret be­hind Axwell’s song se­lec­tion, you can find out on Beat­port. Brows­ing DJ charts is a great way to dis­cover the un­known dance tracks that will ab­solutely crush a dance party.

Fourth,every pur­chased track is avail­able in mul­ti­ple file for­mats. Are you an MP3 guy or a loss­less WAV fan? If you use Beat­port, it doesn’t mat­ter. After you pur­chase a song, you pick your down­load for­mat from a va­ri­ety of op­tions. You never have to worry about com­pat­i­bil­ity is­sues, and every file is avail­able at the high­est qual­ity pos­si­ble.

Fifth,the My­Beat­port fea­ture al­lows you to track your fa­vorite artists and record la­bels. Al­though track­ing your fa­vorite artist is noth­ing new, the abil­ity to track your fa­vorite record la­bels is a very un­der­val­ued fea­ture. I’m a huge Afro­jack fan, so I elected to fol­low his Wall record label. Beat­port told me about every new re­lease from the label and in­tro­duced me to R3hab, a ris­ing young DJ signed by Afro­jack. Now, R3hab is one of my fa­vorite DJs and I would have never found him if it wasn’t for Beat­port.

Ad­di­tion­ally, Beat­port goes above and be­yond the call of duty by email­ing you up­dates from your My­Beat­port list.

The only down­side to Beat­port is its price. Be­cause of the high qual­ity music and the ex­tended pre­views, songs on Beat­port are rel­a­tively ex­pen­sive. New songs are usu­ally $2.50 but you can find older re­leases for $1.50. I know I’ve dropped over $100 on songs from Beat­port this term, but I’ve started to cool off. It’s ex­pen­sive but it’s worth it if you love music as much as I do.

Chad Hollis, The Dartmouth Staff