Announcing Bewitched, my Windows app for tango DJs

Tango Is Alive!

Back in 2013, I started writing a Windows app to help me while DJing. It was called Embrace then, and after a prolonged pause, I am bringing it back renamed to Bewitched (see footnote #1).

You can't see it, but this is where you play live for dancers

Why does it exist?

Then and now, most professional DJ apps are serving electronic music DJs (see Traktor and Mixxx). I've never felt comfortable using them for tango DJing and looked for something else. Something that would have a queue for the music I was going to play live for dancers, and an area where I would prepare the music to come.

Importantly, I wanted features for steady, evenly spaced playback, I didn't want to be distracted by stuff I wasn't going to be using (like mixing tracks together), and I wanted safety from my own mistakes.

Not finding anything with that mindset, I decided to build instead.

I had a usable version up in a few months and used it exclusively until COVID hit. A few of my DJ pals used it, too, but that was the extent of publicity I reached, and I had, and still have, very limited commercial ambitions for it.

Nevertheless, I spent a few years reworking its fundamentals, and it's now back with a host of new features. Read about them here if interested.

The software is at the moment "beta quality" as the reworking touched every part of the app and there'll still be issues. I won't uncover all of them on my own, however, and that's where you come in! 😁

Feedback wanted

I would love to invite budding as well as experienced tango DJs to download the app and give it a try at home.

The app will NOT mess with your music library, and so your risks are limited. The only thing the app would implicitly save are your playlists. You might want to back them up first for extra peace of mind.

I am happy to hand out free licenses to anyone willing to spend some time with the app and talk to me about the issues over e-mail. If that sounds interesting, shoot me a message and let's talk!

The road ahead

I want Bewitched to be a great companion to tango DJs, and will look into if and how it could support DJs of other social dances. Its core features are "set in stone", however: the primary focus is to help you play for dancers, and the secondary to help you prepare your set. It won't do unrelated things like streaming, for example, or try to do everything related to managing your music library - there are other apps for that.

There's a lot I have planned for the two use cases, however, and I will set up a dedicated page where you'll be able to track the updates.

For now, I want to make it stable and safe to use when I DJ again post-COVID. I'll be immensely grateful for any feedback I get from you to help me get there.

1) There's a single reason for the renaming, and it's this: there is also an app for Mac called Embrace, and while it's not doing quite the same things, the overlap is such that I decided to pre-empt any further confusion and go with a new name. The author of Embrace for Mac, Ricci Adams, has been a lot more active than me in the past, and I think he deserves the name.

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