Lowering Memory Usage & Keeping a Tidy Serato Library

This article explains the variables that make up a large library, the limitations of 32bit applications and techniques that can help you improve your library management.

Serato is working extremely hard on library management and this will only improve over time, but currently there are limitations. 32bit 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 that are specific to you can help reduce your chance of running into memory issues.

Your computer will require a certain amount of virtual memory to start up and run its operating system (Windows / Mac OSX), which will be specific to your computer. Serato DJ is packed with features and also requires a decent amount of virtual memory space to launch and run smoothly. This is before you add any music to your Serato library. 

As your Serato music library grows, so does the required amount of virtual memory space. If the required amount of virtual memory space gets too big for your computer to handle, you may experience freezing, crashes and lagging. Understanding your application limits can help reduce the chance 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. (image below).

MAC

If you cant 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 image).

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 to music folders means more information needs to be written to the Serato database or crate files. This as a result increases the overall size of these files and pushes virtual memory usage up.

  • This can also slow down your computer's performance in general, as it can take longer for your computer to index or search for your files.

A recommendation that can help you bring down the virtual memory used, allowing you to add more music files to your library, is:

Reduce the folder pathways to your music files.

e.g. Macintosh HD / Users / Username / Music / 03.Tunes 2013 / file.mp3

(refer to below image).

Having a simple folder structure like the above means your computer can 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 have can also increase the amount of virtual memory used.

  • Do you have hundreds / thousands of Crates and Subcrates?
  • Having hundreds / thousands of Crates and Subcrates can limit the amount of music files you can have in your library. 

This requires a more information to be written to the Serato database and crate files. As a result, this puts more stress on your CPU as it has to index / search for each individual file, this also increases the overall size of these files and pushes virtual memory usage up.

  • Remove old crates you no longer use.
  • You can also "archive old crate files. This means 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 archive folder.

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

  • For more information on Crates & Subcrates click here.

3. Running your iTunes library in Serato can also increase the amount of virtual memory used.

  • iTunes organizes downloaded / imported music into long folder paths for you. 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 a long folder path to each individual file you import or download through iTunes.

This also requires more information to be written to the Serato database and crate files. As a result, this puts more stress on your CPU as it has to index / search for each individual file, this also increases the overall size of these files and pushes virtual memory usage up.

Its  recommended you change the following iTunes settings. This will help you manage and maintain a healthy Serato music library.

Launch iTunes, navigate to the iTunes preference window, make sure you have the following settings correct. (refer to image below)

  • Keep iTunes Media folder organized. UNTICK.

If you let iTunes organise your music changing tag information (album names, artist names) inside iTunes or Serato can change the files location. As a result, Serato will not be able to locate the file. 

  • Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library. UNTICK.
This is very important. If this is not unticked then any file you add to iTunes will be copied to its Media Folder. This results in you having two copies of each file on your hard drive, which in turn lowers your available hard drive space. 
  • Set up an iTunes Media folder with a simple folder pathway. e.g. Macintosh HD / Users / Username / Music / iTunes Downloads & Imports (refer to below image).

A alternate solution that can help you bring down the virtual memory used, allowing you to add more music files to your library, is:

Turn OFF "Show iTunes Music Library" inside the Serato SETUP window. Import music into Serato through the FILES window manually.

Maintaining a healthy Serato music library and keeping long folder paths down requires some house keeping 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")
  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 / USB sticks.

  1. Download music / copy music directly into your main music folder. (refer to image "03. Tunes 2013")
  2. Now launch Serato, click the FILES button and manually add this new music into your Serato Library.

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