Duplicates Plugin

This plugin adds a new command, duplicates or dup, which finds and lists duplicate tracks or albums in your collection.


To use the duplicates plugin, first enable it in your configuration (see Using Plugins).

By default, the beet duplicates command lists the names of tracks in your library that are duplicates. It assumes that Musicbrainz track and album ids are unique to each track or album. That is, it lists every track or album with an ID that has been seen before in the library. You can customize the output format, count the number of duplicate tracks or albums, and list all tracks that have duplicates or just the duplicates themselves via command-line switches

-h, --help            show this help message and exit
-f FMT, --format=FMT  print with custom format
-a, --album           show duplicate albums instead of tracks
-c, --count           count duplicate tracks or albums
-C PROG, --checksum=PROG
                      report duplicates based on arbitrary command
-d, --delete          delete items from library and disk
-F, --full            show all versions of duplicate tracks or albums
-s, --strict          report duplicates only if all attributes are set
-k, --key            report duplicates based on keys (can be used multiple times)
-M, --merge           merge duplicate items
-m DEST, --move=DEST  move items to dest
-o DEST, --copy=DEST  copy items to dest
-p, --path            print paths for matched items or albums
-t TAG, --tag=TAG     tag matched items with 'k=v' attribute


To configure the plugin, make a duplicates: section in your configuration file. The available options mirror the command-line options:

  • album: List duplicate albums instead of tracks. Default: no.
  • checksum: Use an arbitrary command to compute a checksum of items. This overrides the keys option the first time it is run; however, because it caches the resulting checksum as flexattrs in the database, you can use --key=name_of_the_checksumming_program --key=any_other_keys (or set the keys configuration option) the second time around. Default: ffmpeg -i {file} -f crc -.
  • copy: A destination base directory into which to copy matched items. Default: none (disabled).
  • count: Print a count of duplicate tracks or albums in the format $albumartist - $album - $title: $count (for tracks) or $albumartist - $album: $count (for albums). Default: no.
  • delete: Removes matched items from the library and from the disk. Default: no
  • format: A specific format with which to print every track or album. This uses the same template syntax as beets’ path formats. The usage is inspired by, and therefore similar to, the list command. Default: format_item
  • full: List every track or album that has duplicates, not just the duplicates themselves. Default: no
  • keys: Define in which track or album fields duplicates are to be searched. By default, the plugin uses the musicbrainz track and album IDs for this purpose. Using the keys option (as a YAML list in the configuration file, or as space-delimited strings in the command-line), you can extend this behavior to consider other attributes. Default: [mb_trackid, mb_albumid]
  • merge: Merge duplicate items by consolidating tracks and-or metadata where possible.
  • move: A destination base directory into which it will move matched items. Default: none (disabled).
  • path: Output the path instead of metadata when listing duplicates. Default: no.
  • strict: Do not report duplicate matches if some of the attributes are not defined (ie. null or empty). Default: no
  • tag: A key=value pair. The plugin will add a new key attribute with value value as a flexattr to the database for duplicate items. Default: no.
  • tiebreak: Dictionary of lists of attributes keyed by items or albums to use when choosing duplicates. By default, the tie-breaking procedure favors the most complete metadata attribute set. If you would like to consider the lower bitrates as duplicates, for example, set tiebreak: items: [bitrate]. Default: {}.


List all duplicate tracks in your collection:

beet duplicates

List all duplicate tracks from 2008:

beet duplicates year:2008

Print out a unicode histogram of duplicate track years using spark:

beet duplicates -f '$year' | spark

Print out a listing of all albums with duplicate tracks, and respective counts:

beet duplicates -ac

The same as the above but include the original album, and show the path:

beet duplicates -acf '$path'

Get tracks with the same title, artist, and album:

beet duplicates -k title -k albumartist -k album

Compute Adler CRC32 or MD5 checksums, storing them as flexattrs, and report back duplicates based on those values:

beet dup -C 'ffmpeg -i {file} -f crc -'
beet dup -C 'md5sum {file}'

Copy highly danceable items to party directory:

beet dup --copy /tmp/party

Move likely duplicates to trash directory:

beet dup --move ${HOME}/.Trash

Delete items (careful!), if they’re Nickelback:

beet duplicates --delete -k albumartist -k albumartist:nickelback

Tag duplicate items with some flag:

beet duplicates --tag dup=1

Ignore items with undefined keys:

beet duplicates --strict

Merge and delete duplicate albums with different missing tracks:

beet duplicates --album --merge --delete