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Keeping your TP database on two computers...

Discussion in 'TRAKTOR PRO / TRAKTOR SCRATCH PRO' started by keithos27, Nov 8, 2010.

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  1. keithos27

    keithos27 NI Product Owner

    I have a Mac Pro that is my main computer (where I download music to, manage music, etc). I also have a MacBook Air that I use to DJ with.

    As of right now I manage all of the music on the Mac Pro, throw the iTunes folder on an external drive, and then paste that iTunes folder onto the MacBook Air. On the MacBook Air I then load up TP and analyze files, make modifications, etc. For these changes to be reflected back on the Mac Pro I'd have to copy/paste the library from the MacBook Air to the external drive to the Mac Pro.

    I'm wondering if there is a way to simplify this process? The folks over at Pioneer have come up with a way to simplify this by using a 3rd party application called DropBox. By basically setting one computer as Master, the other as Slave, and saving your Pioneer Rekordbox database in the DropBox folder, the two computers will always have the database in sync. The only thing you have to manage is making sure you move your music to the slave (which I could do every Sunday for example).

    Can something like this work with TP as well? I.E. install TP on the Mac Pro, analyze, edit, manage the database on here. Then copy/paste the music to the MacBook Air and have DropBox on the MacBook Air sync up and pull the latest database from there?

    Does that make sense?

    Can anyone help with a step-by-step? Don't want to screw this one up...

    PS. I am copying/pasting the Pioneer Rekordbox thread about this so you can see what I'm referring to. Thanks.

    Thread location: http://forums.pioneerdj.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/240103214/m/642106157

    After Uhre asked about using Rekordbox + Dropbox, I thought it was a bit silly since I'd have more music than their packages offer in terms of sync. But then I thought about it a bit more ... a user doesn't need to sync their music collection, just the Rekordbox database!

    Uhre gave it the ol' "college try" but came up with his database not synchronising and I know why ... he changed his "Location of Track Analysis Files" within Rekordbox. All that does is move the waveform data for any newly analysed songs into that folder, it doesn't house the database itself.

    I dug deeper but my initial plan of simply setting my Pioneer folder as my "Dropbox" folder was foiled since Dropbox wanted to put its folder inside the Pioneer folder. Surely there was another way ... a method of synchonising folders outside of Dropbox.

    I found the answer on a couple of websites and tried a test between two virgin installations of Rekordbox on fresh boots of Vista and Windows 7, and here are your step-by-step instructions for setting it up!

    If you follow these instructions you should not encounter any problems in setting it up. Failure to read-ahead may result in missing something so I take no responsibility if you inadvertently delete your Rekordbox database.

    1) This method only works PC/PC or Mac/Mac, it WILL NOT WORK for mixed OS's simply because of the difference in how each operating system indexes files. This guide will also assume that you have your music files located in the same location on each computer. It doesn't matter if that's on an external drive or an internal folder, it must have the same name / folder / location on BOTH COMPUTERS or your files will show up as "not found". If you need assistance with this, please ask BEFORE completing the steps below.

    2) Install Rekordbox on each computer. If you already have it installed, great. You'll have to pick one of them to be the "master" for the start of this project. Run Rekordbox at least once if it's a fresh install.

    3) Install Dropbox on each computer. You can place the "My Dropbox" folder anywhere you want. Yes, anywhere. I suggest under My Documents (Windows) or under your Home directory (Mac) so it's easy to locate later.

    4) Step four is broken into Windows / Mac, please read the appropriate sections below and we'll meet back together at step five.


    4a) You'll need to create symbolic links between the old Pioneer directory and thankfully, there's a utility to do it with. Do this on your SLAVE computer first, not the one with your MASTER database or it will be overwritten later. Go and grab Directory Linker. The program is self-executable so no installation is required.

    4b) Running the program gives you this screen:

    The settings shown above are for an XP installation, here are your file locations based on your OS:

    XP: C:\Documents and Settings\YourUsername\Application Data\Pioneer
    Vista: C:\Users\YourUsername\AppData\Roaming\Pioneer
    7: C:\Users\YourUsername\AppData\Roaming\Pioneer

    Clicking the folder button to the right of the field will allow you to browse for that folder, but if you don't have your hidden files visible, you may not be able to locate them so typing them in directly is an alternative to enabling the hidden files.

    Be sure to replace YourUsername with the user name for your current profile.

    Note that the destination is ...\My Documents\My Dropbox (or whatever you called it or placed it) >> DO NOT add \Pioneer to the end or it will not work.

    Ensure "Copy contents..." is ticked and click "Go!". It will now move your Pioneer folder into your Dropbox

    4c) Repeat step 4b as above for your MASTER computer EXCEPT! when you get to the last line above, add a check to the box "Overwrite Target Files", this will now copy your master Rekordbox database into the Dropbox folder.


    4a) You don't need a 3rd party app (well, technically Windows doesn't either, it's just easier with a GUI), just fire up Terminal from your applications folder. Do this on your SLAVE computer first, not the one with your MASTER database or it will be overwritten later.

    4b) Type the following in Terminal:

    ln -s ~/Library/Pioneer ~/Dropbox
    (yes, that's an LN at the start)

    If you happen to use any folder names that have spaces (like My Dropbox), you need to put quotation marks around that thing, for example: "~/My Dropbox"

    4c) Do the same on your Master computer. You thought there was more? Nope.

    5) Let Dropbox do its magic from your MASTER computer and once it's sync'd the files, move to your SLAVE computer and open Rekordbox. As noted below in the Caveats, you should see Rekordbox asking for your license key. If this happens, you're part-way to knowing it worked. After you re-enter your key, Rekordbox should show your collection of files.

    6) There is NO NEED to change the location of your track analysis files within Rekordbox. It should remain default; if you ever changed it or plan on changing it, this system will no longer work as intended and you're on your own for that!

    I haven't verified this on Mac, but I'll assume it's the same ... Windows hates that you updated your license key file so it will tell you the key is invalid and to enter it again EVERY time you open the program. I have not found a way around this, the easiest solution is to keep a text file on-hand and copy/paste any time you run the program. I know it may seem like a nuisance, but I will remind you that you're now doing a seamless sync of your Rekordbox database between two computers (something it wasn't designed for), so suck it up. You could go to the hassle of linking individual files but the problem there is if you don't link the folder, any new files created within will not be linked ... and trouble will ensue.

    Don't run both copies of Rekordbox at the same time. They will create a conflict with the database as they'll each try to change the file on Dropbox and you'll just ask for problems.

    Don't open Rekordbox on your computer until after Dropbox has synchronised the files from your last use on the other computer. If you open it before the sync is completed, you'll open it with an old file and risk wiping any changes you made.

    If you have any other problems or questions, please ask and I'll be sure to do my best to help you out.
    This message has been edited. Last edited by: Pulse, 01 October 2010 04:27 PM
  2. keithos27

    keithos27 NI Product Owner

    Anyone have any input?
  3. Steve Zorilow

    Steve Zorilow NI Product Owner

    I use external Hard drive all the time. I keep Traktor Root Dir and Music folder on the external hard drive, nothing fancy to be done. Just make sure every place you plug it assign the same drive letters and that's it. What you do (beatgrids, comments, settings etc etc etc) on setup A will reflect on Setup B and vice versa. If you play with Mac and Pc you need to have the right hard disk format (FAT32 if my memory serves me well)

    See Traktor Preferences Data Location.
  4. keithos27

    keithos27 NI Product Owner


    Thanks for the response. I don't want to keep the music on an external hard drive, though. I don't mind using the external hard drive to transfer music once a week, but do not want the external drive to be the location of the music.
  5. Steve Zorilow

    Steve Zorilow NI Product Owner

    Oh, ok, well, I guess the same rule will apply, set Root Dir and Music Collection to a common path hat Windows & Mac may Read

    And just transfer the two above from computer to computer Via your external Hard drive OR use ethernet connection (not sure how with Mac & Windows though)

    Let's see what other users may suggest.
  6. malzfreund

    malzfreund NI Product Owner


    tbh i only skimmed through your lengthy post. what comes to my mind is that dropbox is great but slow. why go over the interwebz and not sync over your local network. using rsync or something like that instead of dropbox?

    cool thread btw. i have a similar workflow to yours so i'm interested in the same kinda thing (only difference is that my desktop and laptop are windoze machines)
  7. joemat

    joemat New Member

    I have an idea for a Mac specific way of implementing this.

    1) Use Disk Utility to create a new disk image of type "Sparse Bundle". This is a type of disk image that you set a size for, but it will only occupy the amount of space on your hard drive of the actual files placed in it. In addition, the sparse bundle compared to sparse disk image, stores its contents across little file chunks. It's actually a folder similar to how an App is really a .app directory. This is important bcs it allows you to make changes and you only have to copy small sections of the image instead of the whole file over and over.

    2) Mount the volume and tell traktor to store it's library and music files here. The music will still be on your computer but it's important that they're stored in the disk image. The reason being that the file paths, including the volume name, will stay consitant across machines. Another way of doing this is using the terminal and creating full path symlinks that are identical across machines, including volume names, but this is much more complex. Keeping everything in the disk image takes away this requirement.

    3) Use traktor as normal.

    4) Use an app called Unison (basically a GUI for rsync) to sync the disk image to your other machine, either using the machine in Firewire disk mode or via your home network with file sharing services.

    Unison will sync the whole disk image the first time, but bcs of the way sparse bundles work, it will only have to sync small sections from there on out. Unison works in both directions so you can sync any metadata updates back to your master machine after playing out. Sparse bundles also work very well with Time Machine (actually the reason this type of disk image exists) so you get some extra security there too. They do only work with 10.5+, but I doubt any one is still on 10.4 or lower.

    I do almost this exact setup using an external hard drive and use unison to make a local copy onto my laptop as backup. I usually perform using the external though so I don't have to do the copy back to master stage, the sync copy is only for emergencies. But this should work the same way with a sparse bundle disk image.

    * As an aside, you can also use iTunes with your sparse bundle if you prefer to manage your library that way. You can open iTunes while holding down the Option key and you can create and select multiple libraries. I also do this with my external as I like how iTunes lets you create smart playlists, but I don't want to mix my DJ music with my day to day listening collection. In Traktor you can just change your iTunes path to match where you create your new library inside your disk image (or anywhere really). You can always switch iTunes back to your standard library any time by re-opening with the Option key held down. Traktor will continue to work with your second library regardless of which is active in iTunes.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2010
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