How to transfer music from rekordbox to USB?

How to export tracks from Rekordbox to USB so you can use it with Pioneer XDJ controllers or CDJ players like the CDJ 2000.
In this article a step-by-step explanation with a YouTube video.

What does Rekordbox do?

The software Rekordbox prepares your music for the XDJ and CDJ players by Pioneer, like the CDJ 2000.
Rekordbox let’s you do a number of things:
• Check and change detected beatgrid and BPM
• set cue points, cue point names, (auto) loops
• set hot cues and hot cue names
• set CDJ or XDJ settings (like wave form color, auto cue and much more)
• analyses the beatgrid so it will load fast on your CDJ or XDJ
• warns you for incompatible file formats
• make playlists / smart playlists
• set My Tag labels to find your songs quickly
• record song matches
• set related track requirements (i.e. key and tempo)
• add song notes/description

Technically you could slap some mp3 files on a USB drive and load it in the CDJ 2000.
However, the machine is extremely picky in its accepted file formats.

On top of that, the CDJ needs to analyze the file on the fly.
This takes a while and is sometimes wrong.
Nothing is more confusing than a wrong beatgrid when you are spinning.

To get the most out of your DJ set, use Rekordbox to prepare your USB drive for spinning with the CDJ and XDJ machines.

Format your USB drive correctly

An essential part of preparing your USB drive is to format your USB drive correctly.
It needs to be formatted as FAT32 or HFS+ on the MBR (Master Boot Record) setting.
If you don’t know how to do this, check out my Rekordbox USB formatting tutorial for Mac and Windows.

Import songs

Before you can export songs from Rekordbox to USB, Rekordbox needs to have songs imported to begin with.
I’ve written tutorial on how to import songs in Rekordbox, check it out if you don’t know how to do this.

Export songs to USB drive

There are mainly two ways to get songs from Rekordbox on your USB
• via Synchronisation
• via Exporting


I’m not a fan of synchronisation, because there were some bugs in older versions of Rekordbox which led to improper synchronisation.
This meant missing songs on my DJ gig.

Instead I would advise you to opt for exporting.
This does basically the same thing.
It looks also for files that already exist on your USB drive and skips the ones that already exist to reduce export time.
The difference between synchronisation and exporting is that synchronisation will delete files on your USB drive when you delete them from Rekordbox, exporting does not.
How to delete files from your USB drive, see exporting later in this article.

To synchronize:
• In the bottom left corner of the screen click Sync Manager

  • check the checkbox Synchronize playlists with a device
  • check all the playlists in column in the middle that you want to synchronize
  • Click on the big arrow next to the Rekordbox playlists.
  • This will start the the synchronization process. You can follow the progress at the bottom of the screen

Exporting to USB

There are several ways you can export songs from Rekordbox, which do basically the same thing.
You can export a playlist or one or more individual songs.

Exporting all songs in playlist

Exporting all songs in a playlist can be done in on of two ways:
• Click a playlist
• Select on the top of the screen Playlist
• Select Export playlist
• Click [name of your USB drive]
• A progress indicator on the bottom of the screen shows the progress

• Right click on a playlist
• select Export playlist
• Click [name of your USB drive]
• A progress indicator on the bottom of the screen shows the progress

Exporting one or more individual songs

  • Look for the song you want to export by clicking on a playlist or search for it
  • You can select multiple songs by holding Shift and clicking on more songs
  • Right click on one of the selected tracks
  • Select Export tracks
  • Click [name of your USB drive]
  • A progress indicator on the bottom of the screen shows the progress

Delete songs from USB drive

If you want to get rid of deleted files in Rekordbox, you have to format the drive and export again.
Or delete them one by one from the USB drive in Rekordbox

  • select USB drive 
  • click on the arrow down next to your USB drive
  • selectall tracks,the playlist or search for the song
  • right click on the file
  • clickdelete track
  • clickokwhen Rekordbox if you are sure if you want to delete the file

If you are serious about Djing and want to know all the ins and outs, check out my CDJ 2000 video course or my Rekordbox video course.
In both courses I’ll take you by the hand and show you all the features to get the most out of your DJ gig.