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Thread: ZipDJ - The Full Review

  1. #1

    Post ZipDJ - The Full Review

    What is Zip DJ?

    zipDJ is a subscription-based DJ music pool and promotional music service licensed by the Audio-Visual Licensing Agency (AVLA). zipDJ distributes upfront promotional releases to DJ’s, Radio, and other music industry professionals. To this end, zipDJ is currently supplied by over 800 major and top independent record labels worldwide.

    * Unlimited downloads for a monthly fee
    * Extensive catalogue of music spanning over 20 categories.
    * New music released daily.
    * All high-quality MP3 music files (320 kbps)

    The Website and Features

    Layout

    The zipDJ layout is broken in to four sections: header, left column, centre column, and right column.

    The header contains the navigation menu, a count of how many songs are queued for download, the player used to preview songs, and a link to the message centre where you will sometimes receive messages from labels.

    The left-hand column contains featured playlists from DJs like DEKO-ZE, Atwood, Jon Herbert and others. It also contains the search box (discussed later) and zipDJ news.

    The right-hand column contains a number of "top downloads" views which can be sorted by genre or time frame, charts which can also be sorted by genre and country, and more playlists from featured DJs. (The right-hand column is also where the download manager appears when accessed.)

    The centre column is the main browsing area and shows the new releases and search results.

    The overall layout is fairly simple but it is easy to get the hang of and contains all of the information that you could possibly need.

    Score: 4/5

    Charts

    zipDJ has a number of ways to track what is popular including their "top downloads" view which can be sorted by date range and genre, and a number of charts including national club, dance, urban, house, and trance charts that can be sorted by country. All songs that appear on the charts are of course available for download.

    The combination of the charts and top downloads make finding music that is currently trending extremely easy in situations where you need to have the hottest music. The charts are generated using a number of sources including the members of the website and the top downloads are constantly updating making them a good indicator of trends.

    Score: 5/5

    Feedback / Top 10

    Once a week (technically, once every two-weeks since you can skip it for up to 7 days) you are required to submit your personal Top 10. These charts are not only forwarded to the labels as feedback but help to compile and create national charts used by other services.

    Submitting your top 10 is relatively quick and painless however songs that are in my Top 10 are not always available for selection.

    A number of tracks on zipDJ require feedback before you can proceed to downloading the various releases. This feedback is compiled and forwarded to the label which is how zipDJ is able to provide unlimited downloads for their monthly fee. Note that feedback is not required on all releases.

    When feedback is required it is indicated by a red label marked "Feedback" beside the release. Clicking the label brings up the feedback box that you see in the screenshot. To submit your feedback you select your favourite mix (you can still download the others), reaction to the track, give it an out of 10 rating, indicate whether or not you will play the track, and provide a quick message to the label.

    Messages should be constructive but do not need to be long winded. Something like "I found the remix to be a little bouncy for my tastes but I really like the bass line and I think my dance floor will too." is generally what I leave.

    Obviously, if you do not intend to download any of the mixes in a release you wouldn't leave feedback.

    Downloading

    zipDJ takes its name from the fact that downloads can be batched in to groups of 20 and downloaded as a single zip file. This makes downloads faster and easier. Although speeds are not always the greatest they are certainly acceptable and the zip file helps matters greatly.

    Score: 4/5

    Last edited by NickJames; 04-30-2013 at 06:36 PM.
    www.nickjames.ca
    → Reddit: omers on /r/DJs and /r/Beatmatch

  2. #2
    The Music Selection

    The music catalogue on zipDJ is broken in to a number of categories from rock to drum n' bass there is something for everyone on zipDJ. For the purposes of this review I will comment only on the genres that I use myself.


    Rock/Pop/Top40: The selection of what I would call "radio music" on zipDJ is excellent. Not only are clean and dirty mixes often provided for all of the hottest new music but acapellas and instrumentals can often be found as well. It is extremely rare for a song to not appear on zipDJ and zipDJ even beats the radio for release date quite often.

    Top40 Remixes: The selection of top 40 remixes on zipDJ cannot be beat (see a comparison to DJCity: here). The remixes run the gambit from club-dance to house to dubstep. The vast majority of tracks will have at least a few remixes available.

    House: The selection of house music is good but the music I tend to look for personally is often missing. Some of my favourite artists unfortunately do not have any releases on zipDJ and I am forced to supplement with Beatport. It should be noted however that the selection of house music may be perfect for others - it is simply my style that I often find lacking.

    Technical
    File formats: All files are MP3
    Bit-rate: All files are 320Kbps
    ID3 Tags: All tracks are tagged with Artist, Title, Label, and Genre. Some but not all have BPM, Album, Date, etc.

    Scores:
    Club / Top 40 / Remixes: 5/5
    House/Tech-House: 3.5/5

    Full list of genres

    AC/Hot AC
    Country
    Dance
    |-- Club/Vocal/Dance
    |-- DJ Tools
    |-- Electronic
    |----|-- Chill/Lounge/Downtempo
    |----|-- Dubstep/Drum and Bass/Breaks
    |----|-- Electronica
    |-- Euro/Freestyle
    |-- Hard Dance
    |-- House
    |----|-- Electro/Tech-House/Minimal
    |----|-- DJ Tools
    |----|-- Progressive/Tribal
    |----|-- Soul/Funky/Deep
    |----|-- Techno
    |-- Trance
    |----|-- Psy-trance
    |----|-- Trance
    Latin
    Pop
    Rock/Alternative
    Urban
    |-- Hip-Hop
    |-- R&B/Soul
    |-- Reggae
    |-- Urban DJ Tools

    Searching

    I have dedicated an entire section to this because the search on zipDJ is a little atypical. Unlike a traditional search box where you enter text and hit enter the search box on zipDJ searches as you type and you click the result you want (pressing enter/return will not return any results).

    Even after so long I cannot decide if I like this search method or not. It cannot be argued that it works and that I don't have trouble finding what I need but it does take some getting used to.

    On a related note: One of the nice features of the site is that every Artist Name, Track Name, and Label Name that appears anywhere is clickable which will bring up all other mentions of it. For example, if you are looking at "Stefano Noferini - Deba" and click on "Stefano Noferini" you will see all of his other tracks whereas if you clicked "Deba" you would find all other releases with "Deba" in the title.

    The search box can be set to search for:
    * Artist
    * Release
    * Track/Remix
    * Chart
    * Artist & Release

    Score: 3.5/5

    Support & Customer Service

    Support at zipDJ is top notch. Not only does the support team respond quickly to e-mails (often with a phone call) they know exactly what is going on. Whether your question is technical or about a specific release they will have an answer. The support team is also great at answering inquiries in to possible future label deals (I'm still hoping for Toolroom Records *wink wink*). They have been as forthcoming to tell me when labels that I have inquired about are not interested or are in the works which is amazing transparency.

    In very rare cases of server outages or system malfunctions zipDJ preemptively sends out notices to customers to inform them of the status and details. During my membership of over two years this has only happened once or twice.

    A big shout out to Kevin in support who has always been amazing to work with and to Billy B, the Sales & Marketing Manager.

    Score: 10/5
    Last edited by NickJames; 04-30-2013 at 06:35 PM.
    www.nickjames.ca
    → Reddit: omers on /r/DJs and /r/Beatmatch

  3. #3
    Someone on Reddit pointed out that I forgot to mention the price:

    Price

    The prices are as follows (as of 05/03/2012):


    Many people point out that this is $15 more per month when paying in 3 month intervals than the nearest competition, DJCity, which is true. However, based on selection and service I would say that zipDJ is well worth the added price. Further, you would only need to download 20-25 songs per month before you are saving over the price of per-track services like Beatport.

    When the downloads are unlimited it is difficult to fault a service for its price as one must simply download a certain number of tracks per month minimum to make it worth it in their own minds. It should also be kept in mind that zipDJ is intended for working DJs who should be able to afford $45/month ($35 when paying yearly).

    So, is zipDJ the cheapest pool out there? No.
    Is it well worth every penny? Yes.

    Score: 4/5

    Conclusion

    You simply cannot beat the features, service, and selection of zipDJ if you're a working club DJ who needs access to the hottest music all the time. I have personally used a number of pools (digital, cd, and record) and I have never been happier with a service than I have been with the zipDJ.

    Although their EDM selection sometimes leaves something to be desired within my personal sound I still get at least 80-90% of my music from zipDJ with the rest coming from Beatport. Some people may also take issue with the price thinking that they can get their music cheaper somewhere else but it really is true what they say "you get what you pay for" and zipDJ is worth the extra few dollars.

    Overall score: 8.5/10

    Would I recomend it? Absolutely - go sign up now!
    Last edited by NickJames; 03-05-2012 at 05:10 PM. Reason: moving the conclusion to the bottom.
    www.nickjames.ca
    → Reddit: omers on /r/DJs and /r/Beatmatch

  4. #4
    Member Jimanee's Avatar
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    Mmmmm tempting I used to be on 8thwonder, but didn't like the bad 192 kbs quality of track (that might have changed) and I was always missing out on the UK stuff.

    Bit of a tricky question for you to answer, but how are they with the uk chart?
    Say these new entries:

    Matt Redman - Twenty Seven Million (feat. LZ7
    Chiddy Bang - Ray Charles
    Arctic Monkeys - R U Mine

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Jimanee View Post
    Mmmmm tempting I used to be on 8thwonder, but didn't like the bad 192 kbs quality of track (that might have changed) and I was always missing out on the UK stuff.

    Bit of a tricky question for you to answer, but how are they with the uk chart?
    Say these new entries:

    Matt Redman - Twenty Seven Million (feat. LZ7
    Chiddy Bang - Ray Charles
    Arctic Monkeys - R U Mine
    You can try ZipDJ for 7 days for free.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Jimanee View Post
    Mmmmm tempting I used to be on 8thwonder, but didn't like the bad 192 kbs quality of track (that might have changed) and I was always missing out on the UK stuff.

    Bit of a tricky question for you to answer, but how are they with the uk chart?
    Say these new entries:

    Matt Redman - Twenty Seven Million (feat. LZ7
    Chiddy Bang - Ray Charles
    Arctic Monkeys - R U Mine
    Matt Redman - Twenty Seven Million - Don't see it, Sixstepsrecords/Sparrow Records do not appear to be zipDJ partners. That said, the track is also connected to EMI Group who are a zipDJ partner so it may show up eventually (It was released ~2 weeks ago).

    Chiddy Bang - Ray Charles - Clean (3:50), Dirty (3:48), Instrumental (3:48)

    Arctic Monkeys - R U Mine - Don't see it, Domino Recording who released the track does not appear to be a zipDJ partner.

    zipDJ is partnered with a number of UK labels... Infected Records, People Recordings, and Sonic Soul are just a few from their most recent additions this month according to their blog.
    Last edited by NickJames; 03-06-2012 at 02:24 PM.
    www.nickjames.ca
    → Reddit: omers on /r/DJs and /r/Beatmatch

  7. #7
    Member Jimanee's Avatar
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    That answers my questions thanks

  8. #8
    Isn't there a UK version of DJCity?

  9. #9
    New Member Eddie's Avatar
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    Wow that look's awesome thank's for sharing!

  10. #10
    Deez Beats! KLH's Avatar
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    GREAT review. Will rep when recharged!

    -KLH

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