building the playlist in alphabetical order by key a, b, c, d, e, f, g, etc.

Rainer Buehlmaier's Avatar

Rainer Buehlmaier

10 Feb, 2021 04:57 AM

1. If you experienced a crash or other abnormal behavior, please attach the log file '' by dragging it from your desktop onto the 'Attach File' button below.

2. Will you please consider the sort by Key function to include building the playlist in literal alphabetical by BPM. This assist certain DJ's like myself to build a playlist that suits dancing in a progressive key and by BPM. Thank you! Many will benefit from this update and added feature.

* beaTunes: 5.2.19
* JVM: OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM
* Version:
* Vendor: BellSoft
* OS: Mac OS X 10.13.6, x86_64
* Library: iTunes
* Memory: 92m - 1472m
* Registered as: Rainer Buehlmaier

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by hendrik on 10 Feb, 2021 03:59 PM

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    Hey Rainer,

    I'm not sure I understand your request.

    Why would you use an alphabetical order instead of the musical one based on the circle of fifths? Using an alphabetical order, you don't even have the same semitone distance for all keys, e.g. from D to E (2 semitones), or from E to F (1 semitone).

    What's the idea behind an alphabetical ordering?



  2. 2 Posted by Rainer Buehlmai... on 11 Feb, 2021 07:18 AM

    Rainer Buehlmaier's Avatar

    Good question? When dancing to West Coast Swing which is very popular
    throughout the world, dancing in inline with the alphabetical keys creates
    a very smooth transition between songs. We usually bump the next song in
    line through the keys by 5 to 10 bpm or simply keep it in the key for a
    couple of songs. i should have included the majors and minor on each key
    as well in my previous email. I use Virtual DJ, itunes, and beatunes to
    create the playlists a couple of times a week. itunes doesn't offer keys
    but Virtual DJ does and if you look at how they sort by key within the
    program it's very handy. It may be worth looking into and I would assume
    you'll find it to be well received by your consumers as well. I always
    recommend beatunes to my DJ friends but I always make note that it does not
    offer this feature. Thanks for listening and I hope that helps. I can
    also get someone to chime in on the benefits if needed!!


  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by hendrik on 12 Feb, 2021 12:27 PM

    hendrik's Avatar

    Hey Rainer,

    i should have included the majors and minor on each key as well in my previous email.

    So what would the full order be, that you desire?

    minor/major interleaved: a minor, a major, a# minor, a# major, b minor, b major, c minor, c major, ...


    all minor, all major: a minor, a# minor, b minor, c minor, c# minor, ... a major, a# major, b major, c major, c# major, ...

    How do you treat flats and sharps?



  4. 4 Posted by Rainer Buehlmai... on 12 Feb, 2021 03:33 PM

    Rainer Buehlmaier's Avatar

    Hendrik, I really appreciate the response and question. My recommendation
    is to simply model it from what I see on Virtual DJ. When you click the
    column in the browser to sort by Key, it looks as follows:

     A, A#, A#m, Am, B, Bm, C, C#, C#m, Cm, D, Dm, E, Eb, Ebm, Em, F, F#, F#m,
    Fm, G, G#, G#m, Gm

    All my DJ friends use Virtual DJ because of its simplicity and stable
    reliability. I've used beatunes for many years help me prepare and sort my
    playlists. This additional feature and benefit would be greatly
    appreciated. Thanks for the consideration!!!


  5. Support Staff 5 Posted by hendrik on 12 Feb, 2021 04:23 PM

    hendrik's Avatar

    Hey Rainer,

    So after C# you jump back to C minor? This seems really odd to me and not musically motivated at all. More like VirtualDJ does not support a musical order and because of that an alphanumerical one is used.

    Could you perhaps point me to websites, forums or the like where this kind of order is recommended (German resources would be fine, too)? I'm just a little puzzled.

    Thank you,


  6. 6 Posted by Rainer Buehlmai... on 12 Feb, 2021 05:19 PM

    Rainer Buehlmaier's Avatar

    you'll have to forgive me Hendrik, I'm not a musician nor a composer, just
    a DJ doing dance parties for local ballroom studios and other private
    events, I DJ about twice a week. If you felt like rearranging the order
    with respect to majors and minors I certainly get that, if you truly felt
    it would enhance a smooth transition between songs. Try to understand, we
    do not blend and mix songs together, we don't overlay songs or scratch, we
    simply play them back to back with about a 1-second gap between. we
    usually bump the bpm by 5 or 10 beats, and then transition through the
    keys, avoiding big jumps between keys. I personally like to build my
    playlists in advance of any event and honestly believe beatures offers by
    far the best playlist building platform. It just lacks the click that
    would stack up the playlist in exact alphabetical order by key. Now if you
    believe the A#m should come before A#, or Am, I get it and trust you know
    what's best. I previous example is simply the way Virtual DJ stacks it and
    has worked out nicely for all of us.

  7. 7 Posted by Rainer Buehlmai... on 18 Feb, 2021 11:35 AM

    Rainer Buehlmaier's Avatar

    Hello Hendrik, I figured out exactly what I'm getting at. would you please
    consider the sort by key function to include the *exact order and colors*
    of the Camelot System wheel starting with 1A and ending with 12B. It could
    also be that the BPM sort or the Key sort are not working properly. when
    you click on them they toggle through BPM, bpm by mood, bpm by key, but it
    never aligns with the Camelot colors or system.

  8. Support Staff 8 Posted by hendrik on 18 Feb, 2021 12:50 PM

    hendrik's Avatar

    Hey Rainer,

    Camelot order is something completely different than alphabetical order by key a, b, c, d, e, f, g. In fact, it adheres to the circle of fifths, just with different names to make it easier for DJs. And that also happens to be the order that beaTunes uses when sorting by key. When you order by BPM, you will never get the Camelot order, but a primary order by BPM (tempo) and a secondary order of your choice.

    Does that mean you are not interested anymore in the alphabetical order?


  9. 9 Posted by Rainer Buehlmai... on 18 Feb, 2021 01:21 PM

    Rainer Buehlmaier's Avatar

    virtual dj offers both "musical" and "harmonic" sort. musical would be
    what i was asking for at first and i believe still worth offering but the
    harmonic sort per the exact camelot wheel and colors would be the primary
    request. [image: image.png]

  10. 10 Posted by Rainer Buehlmai... on 18 Feb, 2021 01:27 PM

    Rainer Buehlmaier's Avatar

    i've toggled all the key display formats in the preferences and non of them
    line up with the actual numbers and colors on the wheel.

  11. Support Staff 11 Posted by hendrik on 18 Feb, 2021 02:00 PM

    hendrik's Avatar

    Hi Rainer,

    i've toggled all the key display formats in the preferences and non of them line up with the actual numbers and colors on the wheel.

    That is because the the creator of that wheel claims it is intellectual property. beaTunes therefore uses an alternative notation, Open Key Notation, which is in the public domain and does not try to impose legal BS on other people/companies.

    However, how a musical key is displayed in the beaTunes is customizable via scripting languages. Just place the attached file named CustomKeyRenderer.groovy into the plug-in folder, restart beaTunes and you will see a new option called Custom.groovy. Choose that key renderer/format. Note that the file name must be CustomKeyRenderer.groovy, i.e. with .groovy as extension.



  12. Support Staff 12 Posted by hendrik on 22 Feb, 2021 07:36 PM

    hendrik's Avatar


    just wanted to check... did the beaTlet work for you?



  13. 13 Posted by Rainer Buehlmai... on 23 Feb, 2021 01:22 PM

    Rainer Buehlmaier's Avatar

    no, i can't find the folder per these instructions:

       - macOS: [your_home]/Library/Application Support/beaTunes/Plug-Ins

    and when i click on the attachment here's what it shows:

    // Sample beaTlet for beaTunes 5.x
    // More info at
    import com.tagtraum.audiokern.key.Key
    import com.tagtraum.beatunes.KeyTextRenderer

    class CustomKeyRenderer implements KeyTextRenderer {

         * Create a textual representation for a Key object.
         * @param key key
         * @return textual representation
        def String toKeyString(Key key) {
            // key.ordinal() is a number starting with C Major = 0 and A Minor = 0,
            // then following the order in the Circle of Fifths.
            // Let's shift by 8 and make sure 0 is converted to 12.
            int i = (key.ordinal() + 8) % 12
            i = i == 0 ? 12 : i
            String ab = key.isMajor() ? "B" : "A"
            // create the final string
            return "$i$ab"

         * Create a tooltip representation for a key object.
         * This may also include html-tags.
         * @param key key
         * @return tooltip representation
        def String toToolTip(Key key) {

         * Short name of this renderer. To be used in the user interface.
         * @return name
        def String getName() {


  14. Support Staff 14 Posted by hendrik on 23 Feb, 2021 01:41 PM

    hendrik's Avatar

    no, i can't find the folder per these instructions: - macOS: [your_home]/Library/Application Support/beaTunes/Plug-Ins


    • Open Finder
    • Open the Go menu and select Go to Folder...
    • A little entry window will appear, please write ~/Library/Application Support/beaTunes/ (you might want to copy and paste it)
    • If there is no folder named Plug-Ins, please create one.
    • In the browser, right-click on the CustomKeyRenderer.groovy link and choose to save the file in the (new) Plug-Ins folder. If you cannot find it right away via the save file dialog, use the ⌘-Shift-G shortcut (i.e. holding down Command and Shift key and then pressing G) to enter ~/Library/Application Support/beaTunes/Plug-Ins/. You can use this shortcut in any Finder dialog, i.e. even in save file dialogs.
    • Then restart beaTunes

    That aside, please update to beaTunes 5.2.20, it lets you sort a playlist alphanumerical by key. The functionality is available via Order by Property.

    Hope this helps,


    PS: Are you located in Germany by any chance?

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