Lowering Memory Usage & Keeping a Tidy Serato Library | Rane DJ

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Lowering Memory Usage & Keeping a Tidy Serato Library

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Serato is working extremely hard on library management, which will improve over time, but currently there are limitations. 32-bit applications can only access a certain amount of virtual memory space, regardless of what you may have installed in your computer. Understanding these limits and the variables helps reduce your chances of running into memory issues.

Computers require a certain amount of virtual memory to boot and run the operating system (Windows or Mac OSX). Serato DJ is packed with features and as a result requires a decent amount of virtual memory to launch and run smoothly. This is before adding any music to your Serato library. 

As your Serato music library grows, so does the required amount of virtual memory needed. If the required amount of virtual memory gets too big for your computer to handle, you may experience freezing, crashing and lagging. Understanding your application limits can help reduce the chances of memory issues.

 

To check how much virtual memory your computer requires or to check how much virtual memory applications are using, open the Task Manager (PC) / Activity Monitor (Mac). Refer to the "Virtual Memory" column.

Mac

 

  • If you can't see the Virtual Memory column as a default, right-click on the columns bar and select "Virtual Memory" from the list of options (refer to below images).

 

 

PC

For further information on Virtual Memory click Here

 

The following variables play a part in how Serato uses virtual memory

 

1. The way you manage your files (internal and external hard drives).

Do you have long folder paths to music files?

Having longer file paths to individual files and music folders means more information needs to be written to the Serato databaseV2 file and individual crate files, which increases the overall size of these files and raises virtual memory usage. In general, long files paths may also slow down your computer's performance, as it takes longer for your computer to index or search for files.

 

 

  • Here's a quick recommendation to help lower the virtual memory used, thus allowing more music files to be added to your library:

Reduce the folder pathways to your music files. For example, Macintosh HD / Users / Username / Music / 03. Tunes 2013 / file.mp3 (refer to below image).

Having a simple folder structures helps your computer access music files quicker. In turn, Serato can access music files quicker, resulting in faster load times and better overall computer performance.

 

 

2. The amount of Crates and Subcrates you're using.

Do you have hundreds or thousands of Crates and Subcrates?

Having massive amounts of Crates and Subcrates can limit the amount of music files you can have in your library and requires more information to be written to the Serato databaseV2 and individual crate files. In addition, this puts more stress on your CPU, as it has to index/search for each individual file, and increases the overall size of the databaseV2 and crate files, resulting in greater virtual memory usage.

Things you can do:

  • Delete old crates you no longer use.
  • "Archive" old crate files (you can always bring them back into your Serato library at a later date).
    • Create a "Crates Archive" folder in your _SERATO_ folder directory and move old .crate files from your "Subcrates" folder into the "Crates Archive" folder.

Note: It's extremely important to have the software CLOSED when moving crate files (refer to image below).

 

For more information on Crates & Subcrates click Here

 

3. Having Serato read/import your iTunes library and playlists.

iTunes organizes downloaded/imported music into long folder file paths by default. This cannot be turned off. As your iTunes library grows, so do the amount of individual folder paths. iTunes doesn't just create one long folder path to all your music files, it creates long folder paths to each individual file you import or download using iTunes, resulting in more information to be written to the Serato databaseV2 file and individual crate files. As a result, this puts more stress on your CPU when indexing and searching for each individual file and increases the amount of virtual memory needed.

 

We recommend changing the following iTunes settings. This will help you manage and maintain a healthy Serato music library.

 

  1. Launch iTunes, navigate to the iTunes preference window, and make sure you have the following settings correct (refer to image below).
  2. Keep iTunes Media folder organized. UNTICK. If you let iTunes organize your music, changing tag information (album names, artist names) inside iTunes or Serato can change file locations. As a result, Serato will not be able to locate the file, so keep this feature off.
  3. Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library. UNTICK. This is very important. If this is not unticked, any file you add to iTunes will be copied to its Media Folder, resulting in duplicate copies of each file on your hard drive and using additional hard drive space unnecessarily. 
  4. Set up an iTunes Media folder with a simple folder pathway. For example, Macintosh HD / Users / Username / Music / iTunes Downloads & Imports (refer to below image).

 

  • A quick alternative to lower virtual memory usage is to simply Turn OFF "Show iTunes Music Library" within the Serato SETUP screen Library tab and manually import music directly into Serato through the FILES window.

 

 

 

Maintaining a healthy Serato music library and keeping long folder paths to a minium requires a little housekeeping on your part.

 

Follow these simple steps when adding new music to your Serato library:

 

  • iTunes downloads and imported iTunes music.
  1. iTunes store downloads and iTunes CD imports will be placed into your "iTunes Media Folder". You will notice iTunes creates long folder paths for these files.
  2. Each time you download new iTunes music navigate to this folder and move each individual music file from its long folder path into your main music folder (refer to image "03.Tunes 2013" shown earlier)
  3. Now launch Serato, click the FILES button and manually add this new music into your Serato Library.

 

  • Music downloaded from online music stores or copied from external drives and USB sticks.
  1. Download/copy music directly into your main music folder (refer to image "03. Tunes 2013" above).
  2. Now launch Serato, click the FILES button and manually add this new music into your Serato Library.

 

Having simple folder structures helps your computer access music files quicker. In turn, Serato can access music files quicker, resulting in faster load times and better overall computer performance.

For a step-by-step guide we recommend reading "The most professional way to Organize and Manage your Music Library with Scratch Live." Although this article documents how to manage music in Scratch Live, it applies to all Serato software.

 

Big shout out to Jamie White and the Serato team for letting us post this excellent article on our blog!


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