The centerpiece of this beets release is the graceful handling of similarly-named albums. It’s now possible to import two albums with the same artist and title and to keep them from conflicting in the filesystem. Many other awesome new features were contributed by the beets community, including regular expression queries, artist sort names, moving files on import. There are three new plugins: random song/album selection; MusicBrainz “collection” integration; and a plugin for interoperability with other music library systems.

A million thanks to the (growing) beets community for making this a huge release.

1.0b14 (May 12, 2012)

  • The importer now gives you choices when duplicates are detected. Previously, when beets found an existing album or item in your library matching the metadata on a newly-imported one, it would just skip the new music to avoid introducing duplicates into your library. Now, you have three choices: skip the new music (the previous behavior), keep both, or remove the old music. See the Duplicates section in the autotagging guide for details.
  • Beets can now avoid storing identically-named albums in the same directory. The new %aunique{} template function, which is included in the default path formats, ensures that Crystal Castles’ albums will be placed into different directories. See Album Disambiguation for details.
  • Beets queries can now use regular expressions. Use an additional : in your query to enable regex matching. See Regular Expressions for the full details. Thanks to Matteo Mecucci.
  • Artist sort names are now fetched from MusicBrainz. There are two new data fields, artist_sort and albumartist_sort, that contain sortable artist names like “Beatles, The”. These fields are also used to sort albums and items when using the list command. Thanks to Paul Provost.
  • Many other new metadata fields were added, including ASIN, label catalog number, disc title, encoder, and MusicBrainz release group ID. For a full list of fields, see Available Values.
  • Chromaprint/Acoustid Plugin: A new command, beet submit, will submit fingerprints to the Acoustid database. Submitting your library helps increase the coverage and accuracy of Acoustid fingerprinting. The Chromaprint fingerprint and Acoustid ID are also now stored for all fingerprinted tracks. This version of beets requires at least version 0.6 of pyacoustid for fingerprinting to work.
  • The importer can now move files. Previously, beets could only copy files and delete the originals, which is inefficient if the source and destination are on the same filesystem. Use the import_move configuration option and see .beetsconfig for more details. Thanks to Domen Kožar.
  • New Random Plugin: Randomly select albums and tracks from your library. Thanks to Philippe Mongeau.
  • The MusicBrainz Collection Plugin by Jeffrey Aylesworth was added to the core beets distribution.
  • New ImportFeeds Plugin: Catalog imported files in m3u playlist files or as symlinks for easy importing to other systems. Thanks to Fabrice Laporte.
  • The -f (output format) option to the beet list command can now contain template functions as well as field references. Thanks to Steve Dougherty.
  • A new command beet fields displays the available metadata fields (thanks to Matteo Mecucci).
  • The import command now has a --noincremental or -I flag to disable incremental imports (thanks to Matteo Mecucci).
  • When the autotagger fails to find a match, it now displays the number of tracks on the album (to help you guess what might be going wrong) and a link to the FAQ.
  • The default filename character substitutions were changed to be more conservative. The Windows “reserved characters” are substituted by default even on Unix platforms (this causes less surprise when using Samba shares to store music). To customize your character substitutions, see the replace config option.
  • LastGenre Plugin: Added a “fallback” option when no suitable genre can be found (thanks to Fabrice Laporte).
  • Rewrite Plugin: Unicode rewriting rules are now allowed (thanks to Nicolas Dietrich).
  • Filename collisions are now avoided when moving album art.
  • BPD Plugin: Print messages to show when directory tree is being constructed.
  • BPD Plugin: Use Gstreamer’s playbin2 element instead of the deprecated playbin.
  • BPD Plugin: Random and repeat modes are now supported (thanks to Matteo Mecucci).
  • BPD Plugin: Listings are now sorted (thanks once again to Matteo Mecucci).
  • Filenames are normalized with Unicode Normal Form D (NFD) on Mac OS X and NFC on all other platforms.
  • Significant internal restructuring to avoid SQLite locking errors. As part of these changes, the not-very-useful “save” plugin event has been removed.

1.0b13 (March 16, 2012)

Beets 1.0b13 consists of a plethora of small but important fixes and refinements. A lyrics plugin is now included with beets; new audio properties are catalogged; the list command has been made more powerful; the autotagger is more tolerant of different tagging styles; and importing with original file deletion now cleans up after itself more thoroughly. Many, many bugs—including several crashers—were fixed. This release lays the foundation for more features to come in the next couple of releases.

  • The Lyrics Plugin, originally by Peter Brunner, is revamped and included with beets, making it easy to fetch song lyrics.
  • Items now expose their audio sample rate, number of channels, and bits per sample (bitdepth). See Path Formats for a list of all available audio properties. Thanks to Andrew Dunn.
  • The beet list command now accepts a “format” argument that lets you show specific information about each album or track. For example, run beet ls -af '$album: $tracktotal' beatles to see how long each Beatles album is. Thanks to Philippe Mongeau.
  • The autotagger now tolerates tracks on multi-disc albums that are numbered per-disc. For example, if track 24 on a release is the first track on the second disc, then it is not penalized for having its track number set to 1 instead of 24.
  • The autotagger sets the disc number and disc total fields on autotagged albums.
  • The autotagger now also tolerates tracks whose track artists tags are set to “Various Artists”.
  • Terminal colors are now supported on Windows via Colorama (thanks to Karl).
  • When previewing metadata differences, the importer now shows discrepancies in track length.
  • Importing with import_delete enabled now cleans up empty directories that contained deleting imported music files.
  • Similarly, import_delete now causes original album art imported from the disk to be deleted.
  • Plugin-supplied template values, such as those created by rewrite, are now properly sanitized (for example, AC/DC properly becomes AC_DC).
  • Filename extensions are now always lower-cased when copying and moving files.
  • The inline plugin now prints a more comprehensible error when exceptions occur in Python snippets.
  • The replace configuration option can now remove characters entirely (in addition to replacing them) if the special string <strip> is specified as the replacement.
  • New plugin API: plugins can now add fields to the MediaFile tag abstraction layer. See Writing Plugins.
  • A reasonable error message is now shown when the import log file cannot be opened.
  • The import log file is now flushed and closed properly so that it can be used to monitor import progress, even when the import crashes.
  • Duplicate track matches are no longer shown when autotagging singletons.
  • The chroma plugin now logs errors when fingerprinting fails.
  • The lastgenre plugin suppresses more errors when dealing with the API.
  • Fix a bug in the rewrite plugin that broke the use of multiple rules for a single field.
  • Fix a crash with non-ASCII characters in bytestring metadata fields (e.g., MusicBrainz IDs).
  • Fix another crash with non-ASCII characters in the configuration paths.
  • Fix a divide-by-zero crash on zero-length audio files.
  • Fix a crash in the chroma plugin when the Acoustid database had no recording associated with a fingerprint.
  • Fix a crash when an autotagging with an artist or album containing “AND” or “OR” (upper case).
  • Fix an error in the rewrite and inline plugins when the corresponding config sections did not exist.
  • Fix bitrate estimation for AAC files whose headers are missing the relevant data.
  • Fix the list command in BPD (thanks to Simon Chopin).

1.0b12 (January 16, 2012)

This release focuses on making beets’ path formatting vastly more powerful. It adds a function syntax for transforming text. Via a new plugin, arbitrary Python code can also be used to define new path format fields. Each path format template can now be activated conditionally based on a query. Character set substitutions are also now configurable.

In addition, beets avoids problematic filename conflicts by appending numbers to filenames that would otherwise conflict. Three new plugins (inline, scrub, and rewrite) are included in this release.

  • Functions in path formats provide a simple way to write complex file naming rules: for example, %upper{%left{$artist,1}} will insert the capitalized first letter of the track’s artist. For more details, see Path Formats. If you’re interested in adding your own template functions via a plugin, see Writing Plugins.
  • Plugins can also now define new path fields in addition to functions.
  • The new Inline Plugin lets you use Python expressions to customize path formats by defining new fields in the config file.
  • The configuration can condition path formats based on queries. That is, you can write a path format that is only used if an item matches a given query. (This supersedes the earlier functionality that only allowed conditioning on album type; if you used this feature in a previous version, you will need to replace, for example, soundtrack: with albumtype_soundtrack:.) See Path Format Configuration.
  • Filename substitutions are now configurable via the replace config value. You can choose which characters you think should be allowed in your directory and music file names. See .beetsconfig.
  • Beets now ensures that files have unique filenames by appending a number to any filename that would otherwise conflict with an existing file.
  • The new Scrub Plugin can remove extraneous metadata either manually or automatically.
  • The new Rewrite Plugin can canonicalize names for path formats.
  • The autotagging heuristics have been tweaked in situations where the MusicBrainz database did not contain track lengths. Previously, beets penalized matches where this was the case, leading to situations where seemingly good matches would have poor similarity. This penalty has been removed.
  • Fix an incompatibility in BPD with libmpc (the library that powers mpc and ncmpc).
  • Fix a crash when importing a partial match whose first track was missing.
  • The lastgenre plugin now correctly writes discovered genres to imported files (when tag-writing is enabled).
  • Add a message when skipping directories during an incremental import.
  • The default ignore settings now ignore all files beginning with a dot.
  • Date values in path formats ($year, $month, and $day) are now appropriately zero-padded.
  • Removed the --path-format global flag for beet.
  • Removed the lastid plugin, which was deprecated in the previous version.

1.0b11 (December 12, 2011)

This version of beets focuses on transitioning the autotagger to the new version of the MusicBrainz database (called NGS). This transition brings with it a number of long-overdue improvements: most notably, predictable behavior when tagging multi-disc albums and integration with the new Acoustid acoustic fingerprinting technology.

The importer can also now tag incomplete albums when you’re missing a few tracks from a given release. Two other new plugins are also included with this release: one for assigning genres and another for ReplayGain analysis.

  • Beets now communicates with MusicBrainz via the new Next Generation Schema (NGS) service via python-musicbrainz-ngs. The bindings are included with this version of beets, but a future version will make them an external dependency.
  • The importer now detects multi-disc albums and tags them together. Using a heuristic based on the names of directories, certain structures are classified as multi-disc albums: for example, if a directory contains subdirectories labeled “disc 1” and “disc 2”, these subdirectories will be coalesced into a single album for tagging.
  • The new Chromaprint/Acoustid Plugin uses the Acoustid open-source acoustic fingerprinting service. This replaces the old lastid plugin, which used fingerprinting and is now deprecated. Fingerprinting with this library should be faster and more reliable.
  • The importer can now perform partial matches. This means that, if you’re missing a few tracks from an album, beets can still tag the remaining tracks as a single album. (Thanks to Simon Chopin.)
  • The new LastGenre Plugin automatically assigns genres to imported albums and items based on tags and an internal whitelist. (Thanks to KraYmer.)
  • The ReplayGain Plugin, written by Peter Brunner, has been merged into the core beets distribution. Use it to analyze audio and adjust playback levels in ReplayGain-aware music players.
  • Albums are now tagged with their original release date rather than the date of any reissue, remaster, “special edition”, or the like.
  • The config file and library databases are now given better names and locations on Windows. Namely, both files now reside in %APPDATA%; the config file is named beetsconfig.ini and the database is called beetslibrary.blb (neither has a leading dot as on Unix). For backwards compatibility, beets will check the old locations first.
  • When entering an ID manually during tagging, beets now searches for anything that looks like an MBID in the entered string. This means that full MusicBrainz URLs now work as IDs at the prompt. (Thanks to derwin.)
  • The importer now ignores certain “clutter” files like .AppleDouble directories and ._* files. The list of ignored patterns is configurable via the ignore setting; see .beetsconfig.
  • The database now keeps track of files’ modification times so that, during an update, unmodified files can be skipped. (Thanks to Jos van der Til.)
  • The album art fetcher now uses as a fallback when the Amazon art downloader fails.
  • A new timeout config value avoids database locking errors on slow systems.
  • Fix a crash after using the “as Tracks” option during import.
  • Fix a Unicode error when tagging items with missing titles.
  • Fix a crash when the state file (~/.beetsstate) became emptied or corrupted.

1.0b10 (September 22, 2011)

This version of beets focuses on making it easier to manage your metadata after you’ve imported it. A bumper crop of new commands has been added: a manual tag editor (modify), a tool to pick up out-of-band deletions and modifications (update), and functionality for moving and copying files around (move). Furthermore, the concept of “re-importing” is new: you can choose to re-run beets’ advanced autotagger on any files you already have in your library if you change your mind after you finish the initial import.

As a couple of added bonuses, imports can now automatically skip previously-imported directories (with the -i flag) and there’s an experimental Web interface to beets in a new standard plugin.

  • A new beet modify command enables manual, command-line-based modification of music metadata. Pass it a query along with field=value pairs that specify the changes you want to make.
  • A new beet update command updates the database to reflect changes in the on-disk metadata. You can now use an external program to edit tags on files, remove files and directories, etc., and then run beet update to make sure your beets library is in sync. This will also rename files to reflect their new metadata.
  • A new beet move command can copy or move files into your library directory or to another specified directory.
  • When importing files that are already in the library database, the items are no longer duplicated—instead, the library is updated to reflect the new metadata. This way, the import command can be transparently used as a re-import.
  • Relatedly, the -L flag to the “import” command makes it take a query as its argument instead of a list of directories. The matched albums (or items, depending on the -s flag) are then re-imported.
  • A new flag -i to the import command runs incremental imports, keeping track of and skipping previously-imported directories. This has the effect of making repeated import commands pick up only newly-added directories. The import_incremental config option makes this the default.
  • When pruning directories, “clutter” files such as .DS_Store and Thumbs.db are ignored (and removed with otherwise-empty directories).
  • The Web Plugin encapsulates a simple Web-based GUI for beets. The current iteration can browse the library and play music in browsers that support HTML5 Audio.
  • When moving items that are part of an album, the album art implicitly moves too.
  • Files are no longer silently overwritten when moving and copying files.
  • Handle exceptions thrown when running Mutagen.
  • Fix a missing __future__ import in embed art on Python 2.5.
  • Fix ID3 and MPEG-4 tag names for the album-artist field.
  • Fix Unicode encoding of album artist, album type, and label.
  • Fix crash when “copying” an art file that’s already in place.

1.0b9 (July 9, 2011)

This release focuses on a large number of small fixes and improvements that turn beets into a well-oiled, music-devouring machine. See the full release notes, below, for a plethora of new features.

  • Queries can now contain whitespace. Spaces passed as shell arguments are now preserved, so you can use your shell’s escaping syntax (quotes or backslashes, for instance) to include spaces in queries. For example, typing``beet ls “the knife”`` or beet ls the\ knife. Read more in Queries.
  • Queries can match items from the library by directory. A path: prefix is optional; any query containing a path separator (/ on POSIX systems) is assumed to be a path query. Running beet ls path/to/music will show all the music in your library under the specified directory. The Queries reference again has more details.
  • Local album art is now automatically discovered and copied from the imported directories when available.
  • When choosing the “as-is” import album (or doing a non-autotagged import), every album either has an “album artist” set or is marked as a compilation (Various Artists). The choice is made based on the homogeneity of the tracks’ artists. This prevents compilations that are imported as-is from being scattered across many directories after they are imported.
  • The release label for albums and tracks is now fetched from !MusicBrainz, written to files, and stored in the database.
  • The “list” command now accepts a -p switch that causes it to show paths instead of titles. This makes the output of beet ls -p suitable for piping into another command such as xargs.
  • Release year and label are now shown in the candidate selection list to help disambiguate different releases of the same album.
  • Prompts in the importer interface are now colorized for easy reading. The default option is always highlighted.
  • The importer now provides the option to specify a MusicBrainz ID manually if the built-in searching isn’t working for a particular album or track.
  • $bitrate in path formats is now formatted as a human-readable kbps value instead of as a raw integer.
  • The import logger has been improved for “always-on” use. First, it is now possible to specify a log file in .beetsconfig. Also, logs are now appended rather than overwritten and contain timestamps.
  • Album art fetching and plugin events are each now run in separate pipeline stages during imports. This should bring additional performance when using album art plugins like embedart or beets-lyrics.
  • Accents and other Unicode decorators on characters are now treated more fairly by the autotagger. For example, if you’re missing the acute accent on the “e” in “café”, that change won’t be penalized. This introduces a new dependency on the unidecode Python module.
  • When tagging a track with no title set, the track’s filename is now shown (instead of nothing at all).
  • The bitrate of lossless files is now calculated from their file size (rather than being fixed at 0 or reflecting the uncompressed audio bitrate).
  • Fixed a problem where duplicate albums or items imported at the same time would fail to be detected.
  • BPD now uses a persistent “virtual filesystem” in order to fake a directory structure. This means that your path format settings are respected in BPD’s browsing hierarchy. This may come at a performance cost, however. The virtual filesystem used by BPD is available for reuse by plugins (e.g., the FUSE plugin).
  • Singleton imports (beet import -s) can now take individual files as arguments as well as directories.
  • Fix Unicode queries given on the command line.
  • Fix crasher in quiet singleton imports (import -qs).
  • Fix crash when autotagging files with no metadata.
  • Fix a rare deadlock when finishing the import pipeline.
  • Fix an issue that was causing mpdupdate to run twice for every album.
  • Fix a bug that caused release dates/years not to be fetched.
  • Fix a crasher when setting MBIDs on MP3s file metadata.
  • Fix a “broken pipe” error when piping beets’ standard output.
  • A better error message is given when the database file is unopenable.
  • Suppress errors due to timeouts and bad responses from MusicBrainz.
  • Fix a crash on album queries with item-only field names.

1.0b8 (April 28, 2011)

This release of beets brings two significant new features. First, beets now has first-class support for “singleton” tracks. Previously, it was only really meant to manage whole albums, but many of us have lots of non-album tracks to keep track of alongside our collections of albums. So now beets makes it easy to tag, catalog, and manipulate your individual tracks. Second, beets can now (optionally) embed album art directly into file metadata rather than only storing it in a “file on the side.” Check out the EmbedArt Plugin for that functionality.

  • Better support for singleton (non-album) tracks. Whereas beets previously only really supported full albums, now it can also keep track of individual, off-album songs. The “singleton” path format can be used to customize where these tracks are stored. To import singleton tracks, provide the -s switch to the import command or, while doing a normal full-album import, choose the “as Tracks” (T) option to add singletons to your library. To list only singleton or only album tracks, use the new singleton: query term: the query singleton:true matches only singleton tracks; singleton:false matches only album tracks. The lastid plugin has been extended to support matching individual items as well.
  • The importer/autotagger system has been heavily refactored in this release. If anything breaks as a result, please get in touch or just file a bug.
  • Support for album art embedded in files. A new EmbedArt Plugin implements this functionality. Enable the plugin to automatically embed downloaded album art into your music files’ metadata. The plugin also provides the “embedart” and “extractart” commands for moving image files in and out of metadata. See the wiki for more details. (Thanks, daenney!)
  • The “distance” number, which quantifies how different an album’s current and proposed metadata are, is now displayed as “similarity” instead. This should be less noisy and confusing; you’ll now see 99.5% instead of 0.00489323.
  • A new “timid mode” in the importer asks the user every time, even when it makes a match with very high confidence. The -t flag on the command line and the import_timid config option control this mode. (Thanks to mdecker on GitHub!)
  • The multithreaded importer should now abort (either by selecting aBort or by typing ^C) much more quickly. Previously, it would try to get a lot of work done before quitting; now it gives up as soon as it can.
  • Added a new plugin event, album_imported, which is called every time an album is added to the library. (Thanks, Lugoues!)
  • A new plugin method, register_listener, is an imperative alternative to the @listen decorator (Thanks again, Lugoues!)
  • In path formats, $albumartist now falls back to $artist (as well as the other way around).
  • The importer now prints “(unknown album)” when no tags are present.
  • When autotagging, “and” is considered equal to “&”.
  • Fix some crashes when deleting files that don’t exist.
  • Fix adding individual tracks in BPD.
  • Fix crash when ~/.beetsconfig does not exist.

1.0b7 (April 5, 2011)

Beta 7’s focus is on better support for “various artists” releases. These albums can be treated differently via the new [paths] config section and the autotagger is better at handling them. It also includes a number of oft-requested improvements to the beet command-line tool, including several new configuration options and the ability to clean up empty directory subtrees.

  • “Various artists” releases are handled much more gracefully. The autotagger now sets the comp flag on albums whenever the album is identified as a “various artists” release by !MusicBrainz. Also, there is now a distinction between the “album artist” and the “track artist”, the latter of which is never “Various Artists” or other such bogus stand-in. (Thanks to Jonathan for the bulk of the implementation work on this feature!)
  • The directory hierarchy can now be customized based on release type. In particular, the path_format setting in .beetsconfig has been replaced with a new [paths] section, which allows you to specify different path formats for normal and “compilation” (various artists) releases as well as for each album type (see below). The default path formats have been changed to use $albumartist instead of $artist.
  • A new ``albumtype`` field reflects the release type as specified by MusicBrainz.
  • When deleting files, beets now appropriately “prunes” the directory tree—empty directories are automatically cleaned up. (Thanks to wlof on GitHub for this!)
  • The tagger’s output now always shows the album directory that is currently being tagged. This should help in situations where files’ current tags are missing or useless.
  • The logging option (-l) to the import command now logs duplicate albums.
  • A new import_resume configuration option can be used to disable the importer’s resuming feature or force it to resume without asking. This option may be either yes, no, or ask, with the obvious meanings. The -p and -P command-line flags override this setting and correspond to the “yes” and “no” settings.
  • Resuming is automatically disabled when the importer is in quiet (-q) mode. Progress is still saved, however, and the -p flag (above) can be used to force resuming.
  • The BEETSCONFIG environment variable can now be used to specify the location of the config file that is at ~/.beetsconfig by default.
  • A new import_quiet_fallback config option specifies what should happen in quiet mode when there is no strong recommendation. The options are skip (the default) and “asis”.
  • When importing with the “delete” option and importing files that are already at their destination, files could be deleted (leaving zero copies afterward). This is fixed.
  • The version command now lists all the loaded plugins.
  • A new plugin, called info, just prints out audio file metadata.
  • Fix a bug where some files would be erroneously interpreted as MPEG-4 audio.
  • Fix permission bits applied to album art files.
  • Fix malformed !MusicBrainz queries caused by null characters.
  • Fix a bug with old versions of the Monkey’s Audio format.
  • Fix a crash on broken symbolic links.
  • Retry in more cases when !MusicBrainz servers are slow/overloaded.
  • The old “albumify” plugin for upgrading databases was removed.

1.0b6 (January 20, 2011)

This version consists primarily of bug fixes and other small improvements. It’s in preparation for a more feature-ful release in beta 7. The most important issue involves correct ordering of autotagged albums.

  • Quiet import: a new “-q” command line switch for the import command suppresses all prompts for input; it pessimistically skips all albums that the importer is not completely confident about.
  • Added support for the WavPack and Musepack formats. Unfortunately, due to a limitation in the Mutagen library (used by beets for metadata manipulation), Musepack SV8 is not yet supported. Here’s the upstream bug in question.
  • BPD now uses a pure-Python socket library and no longer requires eventlet/greenlet (the latter of which is a C extension). For the curious, the socket library in question is called Bluelet.
  • Non-autotagged imports are now resumable (just like autotagged imports).
  • Fix a terrible and long-standing bug where track orderings were never applied. This manifested when the tagger appeared to be applying a reasonable ordering to the tracks but, later, the database reflects a completely wrong association of track names to files. The order applied was always just alphabetical by filename, which is frequently but not always what you want.
  • We now use Windows’ “long filename” support. This API is fairly tricky, though, so some instability may still be present—please file a bug if you run into pathname weirdness on Windows. Also, filenames on Windows now never end in spaces.
  • Fix crash in lastid when the artist name is not available.
  • Fixed a spurious crash when LANG or a related environment variable is set to an invalid value (such as 'UTF-8' on some installations of Mac OS X).
  • Fixed an error when trying to copy a file that is already at its destination.
  • When copying read-only files, the importer now tries to make the copy writable. (Previously, this would just crash the import.)
  • Fixed an UnboundLocalError when no matches are found during autotag.
  • Fixed a Unicode encoding error when entering special characters into the “manual search” prompt.
  • Added `` beet version`` command that just shows the current release version.

1.0b5 (September 28, 2010)

This version of beets focuses on increasing the accuracy of the autotagger. The main addition is an included plugin that uses acoustic fingerprinting to match based on the audio content (rather than existing metadata). Additional heuristics were also added to the metadata-based tagger as well that should make it more reliable. This release also greatly expands the capabilities of beets’ plugin API. A host of other little features and fixes are also rolled into this release.

  • The lastid plugin adds acoustic fingerprinting support to the autotagger. Similar to the PUIDs used by !MusicBrainz Picard, this system allows beets to recognize files that don’t have any metadata at all. You’ll need to install some dependencies for this plugin to work.
  • To support the above, there’s also a new system for extending the autotagger via plugins. Plugins can currently add components to the track and album distance functions as well as augment the MusicBrainz search. The new API is documented at Plugins.
  • String comparisons in the autotagger have been augmented to act more intuitively. Previously, if your album had the title “Something (EP)” and it was officially called “Something”, then beets would think this was a fairly significant change. It now checks for and appropriately reweights certain parts of each string. As another example, the title “The Great Album” is considered equal to “Great Album, The”.
  • New event system for plugins (thanks, Jeff!). Plugins can now get callbacks from beets when certain events occur in the core. Again, the API is documented in Plugins.
  • The BPD plugin is now disabled by default. This greatly simplifies installation of the beets core, which is now 100% pure Python. To use BPD, though, you’ll need to set plugins: bpd in your .beetsconfig.
  • The import command can now remove original files when it copies items into your library. (This might be useful if you’re low on disk space.) Set the import_delete option in your .beetsconfig to yes.
  • Importing without autotagging (beet import -A) now prints out album names as it imports them to indicate progress.
  • The new MPDUpdate Plugin will automatically update your MPD server’s index whenever your beets library changes.
  • Efficiency tweak should reduce the number of !MusicBrainz queries per autotagged album.
  • A new -v command line switch enables debugging output.
  • Fixed bug that completely broke non-autotagged imports (import -A).
  • Fixed bug that logged the wrong paths when using import -l.
  • Fixed autotagging for the creatively-named band !!!.
  • Fixed normalization of relative paths.
  • Fixed escaping of / characters in paths on Windows.

1.0b4 (August 9, 2010)

This thrilling new release of beets focuses on making the tagger more usable in a variety of ways. First and foremost, it should now be much faster: the tagger now uses a multithreaded algorithm by default (although, because the new tagger is experimental, a single-threaded version is still available via a config option). Second, the tagger output now uses a little bit of ANSI terminal coloring to make changes stand out. This way, it should be faster to decide what to do with a proposed match: the more red you see, the worse the match is. Finally, the tagger can be safely interrupted (paused) and restarted later at the same point. Just enter b for aBort at any prompt to stop the tagging process and save its progress. (The progress-saving also works in the unthinkable event that beets crashes while tagging.)

Among the under-the-hood changes in 1.0b4 is a major change to the way beets handles paths (filenames). This should make the whole system more tolerant to special characters in filenames, but it may break things (especially databases created with older versions of beets). As always, let me know if you run into weird problems with this release.

Finally, this release’s should install a beet.exe startup stub for Windows users. This should make running beets much easier: just type beet if you have your PATH environment variable set up correctly. The Getting Started guide has some tips on installing beets on Windows.

Here’s the detailed list of changes:

  • Parallel tagger. The autotagger has been reimplemented to use multiple threads. This means that it can concurrently read files from disk, talk to the user, communicate with MusicBrainz, and write data back to disk. Not only does this make the tagger much faster because independent work may be performed in parallel, but it makes the tagging process much more pleasant for large imports. The user can let albums queue up in the background while making a decision rather than waiting for beets between each question it asks. The parallel tagger is on by default but a sequential (single- threaded) version is still available by setting the threaded config value to no (because the parallel version is still quite experimental).
  • Colorized tagger output. The autotagger interface now makes it a little easier to see what’s going on at a glance by highlighting changes with terminal colors. This feature is on by default, but you can turn it off by setting color to no in your .beetsconfig (if, for example, your terminal doesn’t understand colors and garbles the output).
  • Pause and resume imports. The import command now keeps track of its progress, so if you’re interrupted (beets crashes, you abort the process, an alien devours your motherboard, etc.), beets will try to resume from the point where you left off. The next time you run import on the same directory, it will ask if you want to resume. It accomplishes this by “fast-forwarding” through the albums in the directory until it encounters the last one it saw. (This means it might fail if that album can’t be found.) Also, you can now abort the tagging process by entering b (for aBort) at any of the prompts.
  • Overhauled methods for handling fileystem paths to allow filenames that have badly encoded special characters. These changes are pretty fragile, so please report any bugs involving UnicodeError or SQLite ProgrammingError messages in this version.
  • The destination paths (the library directory structure) now respect album-level metadata. This means that if you have an album in which two tracks have different album-level attributes (like year, for instance), they will still wind up in the same directory together. (There’s currently not a very smart method for picking the “correct” album-level metadata, but we’ll fix that later.)
  • Fixed a bug where the CLI would fail completely if the LANG environment variable was not set.
  • Fixed removal of albums (beet remove -a): previously, the album record would stay around although the items were deleted.
  • The setup script now makes a beet.exe startup stub on Windows; Windows users can now just type beet at the prompt to run beets.
  • Fixed an occasional bug where Mutagen would complain that a tag was already present.
  • Fixed a bug with reading invalid integers from ID3 tags.
  • The tagger should now be a little more reluctant to reorder tracks that already have indices.

1.0b3 (July 22, 2010)

This release features two major additions to the autotagger’s functionality: album art fetching and MusicBrainz ID tags. It also contains some important under-the-hood improvements: a new plugin architecture is introduced and the database schema is extended with explicit support for albums.

This release has one major backwards-incompatibility. Because of the new way beets handles albums in the library, databases created with an old version of beets might have trouble with operations that deal with albums (like the -a switch to beet list and beet remove, as well as the file browser for BPD). To “upgrade” an old database, you can use the included albumify plugin (see the fourth bullet point below).

  • Album art. The tagger now, by default, downloads album art from Amazon that is referenced in the MusicBrainz database. It places the album art alongside the audio files in a file called (for example) cover.jpg. The import_art config option controls this behavior, as do the -r and -R options to the import command. You can set the name (minus extension) of the album art file with the art_filename config option. (See .beetsconfig for more information about how to configure the album art downloader.)
  • Support for MusicBrainz ID tags. The autotagger now keeps track of the MusicBrainz track, album, and artist IDs it matched for each file. It also looks for album IDs in new files it’s importing and uses those to look up data in MusicBrainz. Furthermore, track IDs are used as a component of the tagger’s distance metric now. (This obviously lays the groundwork for a utility that can update tags if the MB database changes, but that’s for the future.) Tangentially, this change required the database code to support a lightweight form of migrations so that new columns could be added to old databases–this is a delicate feature, so it would be very wise to make a backup of your database before upgrading to this version.
  • Plugin architecture. Add-on modules can now add new commands to the beets command-line interface. The bpd and dadd commands were removed from the beets core and turned into plugins; BPD is loaded by default. To load the non-default plugins, use the config options plugins (a space-separated list of plugin names) and pluginpath (a colon-separated list of directories to search beyond sys.path). Plugins are just Python modules under the beetsplug namespace package containing subclasses of beets.plugins.BeetsPlugin. See the beetsplug directory for examples or Plugins for instructions.
  • As a consequence of adding album art, the database was significantly refactored to keep track of some information at an album (rather than item) granularity. Databases created with earlier versions of beets should work fine, but they won’t have any “albums” in them–they’ll just be a bag of items. This means that commands like beet ls -a and beet rm -a won’t match anything. To “upgrade” your database, you can use the included albumify plugin. Running beets albumify with the plugin activated (set plugins=albumify in your config file) will group all your items into albums, making beets behave more or less as it did before.
  • Fixed some bugs with encoding paths on Windows. Also, : is now replaced with - in path names (instead of _) for readability.
  • MediaFile``s now have a ``format attribute, so you can use $format in your library path format strings like $artist - $album ($format) to get directories with names like Paul Simon - Graceland (FLAC).

Beets also now has its first third-party plugin: beetfs, by Martin Eve! It exposes your music in a FUSE filesystem using a custom directory structure. Even cooler: it lets you keep your files intact on-disk while correcting their tags when accessed through FUSE. Check it out!

1.0b2 (July 7, 2010)

This release focuses on high-priority fixes and conspicuously missing features. Highlights include support for two new audio formats (Monkey’s Audio and Ogg Vorbis) and an option to log untaggable albums during import.

  • Support for Ogg Vorbis and Monkey’s Audio files and their tags. (This support should be considered preliminary: I haven’t tested it heavily because I don’t use either of these formats regularly.)
  • An option to the beet import command for logging albums that are untaggable (i.e., are skipped or taken “as-is”). Use beet import -l LOGFILE PATHS. The log format is very simple: it’s just a status (either “skip” or “asis”) followed by the path to the album in question. The idea is that you can tag a large collection and automatically keep track of the albums that weren’t found in MusicBrainz so you can come back and look at them later.
  • Fixed a UnicodeEncodeError on terminals that don’t (or don’t claim to) support UTF-8.
  • Importing without autotagging (beet import -A) is now faster and doesn’t print out a bunch of whitespace. It also lets you specify single files on the command line (rather than just directories).
  • Fixed importer crash when attempting to read a corrupt file.
  • Reorganized code for CLI in preparation for adding pluggable subcommands. Also removed dependency on the aging cmdln module in favor of a hand-rolled solution.

1.0b1 (June 17, 2010)

Initial release.