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Previously, in Mixxx 2.1, cue colors were stored in the database as an RGB value, however there was no support for using these colors in skins and controller mappings and there was no way to set them in the GUI. When support for editing cue colors was added for Mixxx 2.3[1][2], the database representation was changed to be an integer index in a hardcoded palette of colors. At this time, a special default “no color” value was added, in which case the displayed color of a cue depended on the skin. Using a hardcoded palette turned out to be problematic when importing cues from other software, namely Rekordbox, because other software does not use the same palette as Mixxx. So the decision was made unanimously to switch back to storing the color as an RGB value.

The present question is whether we should maintain the “no color” state from the database format that used the hardcoded color palette. That format was committed to master and used by some developers for some months, but it was never released.

Open pull requests regarding this: #2345, #2399, #2398

No special states

All hotcues always have a color. There is no “no color”/“default color” state.

Users can set a single default color that is assigned to newly created hotcues in the preferences. It will also be possible to define a list of default colors instead, such that:

  • the first list entry is assigned to a new hotcue at hotcue slot #1
  • the second list entry is assigned to a new hotcue at hotcue slot #2
  • the nth list entry is assigned to a new hotcue at hotcue slot #n
  • the first list entry is assigned to a new hotcue at hotcue slot #n+1
  • the second list entry is assigned to a new hotcue at hotcue slot #n+2

Since there is no is_default_color flag, it is not possible to distinguish hotcues whose color has been set by the “default color” preference at creation time and hotcues whose color has been manually set by the user (e.g. via the Cue Menu Popup).

If the user wants to mass-replace cue colors, a tool will be provided to replace all cues of one color to a new color.


Colors with the “no color” state in the database schema currently in master will be set to the new default color. Ideally, this would be “white” since white is not an actual color (and thus transports the previous “no color” state) and also looks good in all skins.

If a user does not want to use the cue color feature but dislikes the default color and wants to restore the exact cue button color as in previous versions of Mixxx, the color-mass-replace tool can be used to replace the default color with the previous button color of the skin in use manually.

Pros & Cons of this approach


  • Trivially simple to implement
  • Trivially simple for users to understand
  • No loss of information with round trip to/from Serato file tags
  • Find-and-replace tool would also be useful if the user wants to change the colors of cues they have manually set the color of.


  • By default, the look of hotcue buttons with previously uncolored hotcues will change (e.g. red hotcue buttons in the LateNight skin will turn white), but the original look can be restored using the mass-color-replace tool (see above).
  • Would not maintain “no color” state from Rekordbox. However, Rekordbox always shows “memory cues” (what Mixxx calls “hot cues”, although Rekordbox has a different meaning for “hot cue”) as orange. That is regardless of the color palette the user has chosen in Rekordbox's preferences; changing that color palette does not automatically change the colors of cues. It seems that no useful information would be lost if Mixxx converts Rekordbox's “no color” to orange when importing to Mixxx. It is not clear why the “no color” state exists in Rekordbox; it may only exist to support legacy CDJs that did not support cue colors. Mixxx currently has no way to export to Rekordbox's metadata format, doing so would be technically challenging, and no one has expressed interest in working on it.
  • Would not maintain “no color” state from VirtualDJ. However, VirtualDJ can also read Serato tags, so importing exporting to VirtualDJ's metadata format would not be required for interoperability with Mixxx if Mixxx can export to Serato tags. To import metadata from VirtualDJ, Mixxx would either need to assume the color of VirtualDJ's “no color” cues or read VirtualDJ's nonColoredPoi setting to determine how VirtualDJ would show them. Without Mixxx maintaining a “no color” state, cues imported from VirtualDJ and exported back to VirtualDJ (potentially through Serato tags) would lose the “no color” state and not change colors when the user changes the nonColoredPoi setting in VirtualDJ.
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cuecolor_proposals.1579905521.txt.gz · Last modified: 2020/01/24 17:38 by hlzhs