Direct Music Service - The Full Review
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  1. #1
    Tech Convert
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    Nov 2012
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    Default Direct Music Service - The Full Review

    Hello!

    A while back I wrote the DJTechTools article Top Online Record Pools For DJs: 2013 Edition and I am slowly getting around to reviewing the various pools suggested in the comments.

    Other full reviews (DJForums): ZipDJ, DJCity and Late Night Record Pool.

    What is Direct Music Service?

    "Direct Music Service, or DMS, is an online promotional mp3 record pool for professional DJs, producers, radio mixers & music directors. We are the industry leader in DJ Friendly intro edits and the originators of many editing styles such as acappella outs, quick hitters, acapella loops, & more." - DMS

    * Specialized in exclsuive reedits.
    * Updated every weekday.
    * Majority of files are 320 Kbps MP3s.
    * A massive back catalogue of music from the 1950s right up to today.

    "DMS has always prided itself on supplying quality DJ Friendly edits for songs that are hard to mix or need more precise edits. So while we offer all decades and genres of music, the key to what we do is giving you easily mixable versions of these songs that previously were difficult or impossible to mix in & out of as well as all the current club & pop hits." - DMS

    The Website and Features

    The Layout


    Direct Music Service was recently revamped 100% from scratch so if you have used it before things have changed. The website features filtering and searching options on the left hand side, advanced searching and menus across the top, the actual music in the large main content area, and a persistent preview player at the bottom of every page.

    The design of the website is extremely clean and easy to navigate with virtually no clutter or unnecessary content. The main catalogue which is the most important part of the website dominates the page as it should and the column headers follow you as you scroll down the page incase you forget what each column contains. The columns include the date added, the year the track was released, the artist, the title, the editor (all in house and exclusive edits), the BPM, and the action menu that includes the preview button/download button/and "wish list" button (save for later). Each column can be sorted either ascending or descending.

    The catalogue unfortunately doesn't include any breadcrumbs (artist, year, etc are not clickable links) and the website is not designed to be used with multiple tabs but the powerful advanced search compensates.

    Score: 4/5 - Would like to see breadcrumbs and tab friendly design but the website is very well done.

    Charts

    There are no charts per say but they have a powerful sorting tool for their "Top Downloads" section that lets you choose the genre, decade, and time period. For example, you could choose the top downloaded over the last 6 weeks from the House tracks released in the 90s.

    Once you've filtered the top downloads or selected "all genres" to see the entire top download chart you can filter the list further by date added, year, artist, title, editor, or bpm.

    Score: 4/5 - I like to see actual charts but the sorting options for the top downloads make it very easy to find popular music using lots of criteria.

    Previewing Tracks


    Each track has a preview button which is somewhat unnecessary as clicking anywhere on the row in the track browser will start the preview (may be a bug in the new design). The previews range from 44 seconds to the entire track and I'm not sure why some get snippets while others get the whole shebang but in any case there is always enough of a preview to get an overall idea of the track before you download.

    The preview player is located at the bottom of the page and is persistent. That is, as you navigate around the site and even while changing pages the preview will continue to play. The player also includes an expand button that brings up a history of songs you've previewed during your current session and you can download or favourite tracks directly from the preview player.

    Score: 5/5 - The previews are high quality and the persistent player and ability to download directly from the history is a great feature.

    Feedback

    Direct Music Service does not require feedback or rating of tracks before downloading.

    Score: not applicable

    Downloading

    Downloads can be initiated either from the track list or the history in the preview player and the files are downloaded individually.

    The speed of the downloads is comparable to Beatport and other major music distribution websites and an average sized MP3 will download in seconds on a high speed connection.

    Score: 5/5 - Fast and easy.

    The Music and Selection

    Selection

    The releases can be sorted by the following genres:

    * Pop
    * Hip Hop
    * R&B
    * House / Electro
    * Rock / Alt
    * Indie / New Wave
    * Disco / Funk
    * Reggae
    * Country
    * DJ Tools

    The DJ Tools can be further sorted by:

    * Short Edits / Quick Hitters
    * Hype Edits
    * Transitions
    * Acapella Out
    * Redrums
    * Loops
    * Samples
    * Party Breaks
    * Blends / Bootlegs

    "DMS is an edit based service, so you won't find radio versions, instrumentals, or acapellas. We do, however, offer a WIDE array of edits for creative mixing ranging from regular 8 bar full length intros to short edits to acapella outs to hype edits to authentic sounding custom re-drums to transitions to loops to samples and more. Most of the edits from our editors are exclusive to DMS." - DMS

    The clean version exist for most of the songs I searched for along with at least one edit; for Rihanna - Diamonds there was a Clean version and 12 edits ranging from "aca out" to "transition 128-100".

    DMS is not typical remix/original distributor like a lot of other pools as all of their edits / mixes are done by their team of exclusive re-edit/remix artists. In cases where you find popular remixers like Dave Aude or Jody Den Broeder they have been further edited by the DMS team to adjust the intro/outro, add aca outs, and so on.

    The selection is absolutely huge and at the time of writing they have 18,338 files in their catalogue, 139 of which were added in the last week. The catalogue is perfect for open format DJs and commercial club DJs.

    A quick click into the "1960s" section and I was presented with Steppenwolf, Aretha Franklin, The Beatles, and Johnny Cash without even scrolling. I have never seen oldies like that from a digital record pool before. (Note: The ones I checked were all edited with re-drums, or "short edits")

    A personal quibble: as a House DJ I'd like to see House separated from "Electro House".

    Score: 5/5 - The selection is huge and the number of edits and mixes is extensive. There is also an extensive oldies collection which has also been edited for DJs.

    Technical Things

    File Format: MP3

    Bitrate: Majority 320 Kbps, the odd 256 Kbps.

    ID3 Tags: Yes - Standard format.

    Out of the test batch of files I downloaded all of the files were 320 Kbps and they all had complete ID3 tags.

    Score: 5/5 - Standard stuff for most modern digital pools.

    continued in reply....
    Nick James - http://www.djtechtools.com/author/omers/
    Style: House (Tech, Deep, Jazz, Soul), Techno, Indie Dance, NuDisco.
    Primary Setup: Pioneer CDJs & Mixer.

  2. #2
    Tech Convert
    Join Date
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    Searching and Filtering


    Basic: The basic search box allows entry of artist, title, year, or any other field associated with the tracks on the site. The DMS team has gone to great lengths to ensure every field in their database is correct and searchable.

    Advanced: The advanced search lets you specify specific genres, remix/edit types, release decades, the BPM range, and initial sort field.

    Sorting the lists: When you have a list of tracks in front of you either the default new releases or a set of search results you can sort by when the file was added, the year it was released, the artists, the title, the editor, or the BPM. You can also sort the entire catalogue by release decade from the 50s right up to today.

    Score: 5/5 - The searching is powerful and intuitive.

    Price

    DMS has three price points and has the option for monthly or yearly billing:

    Starter: 40 downloads per month for $29.95/mo or $269.95/yr (-25%). [1]
    Semi-Pro: 80 downloads per month for $44.95 or $359.95/yr (-33%). [1]
    Professional: Unlimited downloads for $64.95/mo or $449.95/yr (-43%)

    [1] - Unused downloads will carry over from month to month providing your account stays active. If you cancel your account, you must use your downloads before your current month is up or the downloads are forfeited.

    Compared to other pools the unlimited option is one of the more expensive subscriptions in the industry but for the amount of exclusive content and DJ Tools I believe it to be well worth the price for the target audience. Going for one of the limited options I would say the semi-pro level is the best value as most people can probably live within 80 downloads per month.

    Score: 4/5 - For unlimited downloads this is the most expensive pool I have reviewed or seen but the price is well worth it for the content.

    Conclusion

    The exclusive edit model of DMS reminds me of the old days of FunkyMix, Ultimix, and so on where the tracks were mostly original but with DJ friendly intros/outros, acapellas, and such. Direct Music Service has brought that model into the present day with slick digital distribution.

    Although other pools offer exclusive edits DMS definitely has the largest selection I've ever seen and the number of oldies is impressive.

    If you're looking for actual remixes like Dave Aude, Chuckie, DJ Cue, Jumpsmokers, etc or want the studio original releases then there are likely other pools that would serve you better but if you want DJ friendly versions of all of today's must have music and an extensive collection of oldies going back to the 50s then this pool is definitely worth every penny.

    Overall Score: 9/10
    Would I Recommend It?: Yes, for commercial and open format club DJs or anyone who needs access to oldies and lightly edited tracks.


    NOTE: As with most record pools Direct Music Service, DMS for short, is a record pool / music service for professional DJs only. By joining the site, you are stating you are a qualified professional disk jockey, producer or radio programmer in the music industry.
    Nick James - http://www.djtechtools.com/author/omers/
    Style: House (Tech, Deep, Jazz, Soul), Techno, Indie Dance, NuDisco.
    Primary Setup: Pioneer CDJs & Mixer.

  3. #3
    Tech Guru
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    I've been using them for a while now and it's my favorite "overall" pool. I'd say it has the right amount of multiple genre's without a ton of fluff that is mostly unusable and unplayable. I found ZipDj to be that way --- too much crap. I'd put DJCity as a close second, also has great variety but the rating system is time consuming and they do sometimes put up some filler tracks. Biggest downside to DMS is the cost, but the content and edits are well worth it.

    Good accurate review.
    SSL - DJM 800 - Technic 1200's - X1 - ITCH - NS6 - VCI-300

  4. #4
    Tech Guru SlayForMoney's Avatar
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    excellent review!
    Denon X600 - 2x Denon SC-2000 - AKG K181DJ - NI Audio 2

  5. #5
    Tech Guru
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    Jesus I wasn't aware they had that extensive of a catalog, I found myself getting annoyed with DJCity's lack of variety, too much focus on electro bangers. I may have to try DMS.

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