Scrub Plugin

The scrub plugin lets you remove extraneous metadata from files’ tags. If you’d prefer never to see crufty tags that come from other tools, the plugin can automatically remove all non-beets-tracked tags whenever a file’s metadata is written to disk by removing the tag entirely before writing new data. The plugin also provides a command that lets you manually remove files’ tags.

Automatic Scrubbing

To automatically remove files’ tags before writing new ones, just enable the scrub plugin (see Using Plugins). When importing new files (with import.write turned on) or modifying files’ tags with the beet modify command, beets will first strip all types of tags entirely and then write the database-tracked metadata to the file.

This behavior can be disabled with the auto config option (see below).

Manual Scrubbing

The scrub command provided by this plugin removes tags from files and then rewrites their database-tracked metadata. To run it, just type beet scrub QUERY where QUERY matches the tracks to be scrubbed. Use this command with caution, however, because any information in the tags that is out of sync with the database will be lost.

The -W (or --nowrite) option causes the command to just remove tags but not restore any information. This will leave the files with no metadata whatsoever.


To configure the plugin, make a scrub: section in your configuration file. There is one option:

  • auto: Enable metadata stripping during import. Default: yes.