1.3.7 (August 22, 2014)

This release of beets fixes all the bugs, and you can be confident that you will never again find any bugs in beets, ever. It also adds support for plain old AIFF files and adds three more plugins, including a nifty one that lets you measure a song’s tempo by tapping out the beat on your keyboard. The importer deals more elegantly with duplicates and you can broaden your cover art search to the entire web with Google Image Search.

The big new features are:

  • Support for AIFF files. Tags are stored as ID3 frames in one of the file’s IFF chunks. Thanks to Evan Purkhiser for contributing support to Mutagen.
  • The new ImportAdded Plugin reads files’ modification times to set their “added” date. Thanks to Stig Inge Lea Bjørnsen.
  • The new BPM Plugin lets you manually measure the tempo of a playing song. Thanks to aroquen.
  • The new Spotify Plugin generates playlists for your Spotify account. Thanks to Olin Gay.
  • A new required configuration option for the importer skips matches that are missing certain data. Thanks to oprietop.
  • When the importer detects duplicates, it now shows you some details about the potentially-replaced music so you can make an informed decision. Thanks to Howard Jones.
  • FetchArt Plugin: You can now optionally search for cover art on Google Image Search. Thanks to Lemutar.
  • A new asciify_paths configuration option replaces all non-ASCII characters in paths.

And the multitude of little improvements and fixes:

  • Compatibility with the latest version of Mutagen, 1.23.
  • Web Plugin: Lyrics now display readably with correct line breaks. Also, the detail view scrolls to reveal all of the lyrics. Thanks to Meet Udeshi.
  • Play Plugin: The command config option can now contain arguments (rather than just an executable). Thanks to Alessandro Ghedini.
  • Fix an error when using the modify command to remove a flexible attribute. Thanks to Pierre Rust.
  • Info Plugin: The command now shows audio properties (e.g., bitrate) in addition to metadata. Thanks Alessandro Ghedini.
  • Avoid a crash on Windows when writing to files with special characters in their names.
  • Play Plugin: Playing albums now generates filenames by default (as opposed to directories) for better compatibility. The use_folders option restores the old behavior. Thanks to Lucas Duailibe.
  • Fix an error when importing an empty directory with the --flat option.
  • MPDStats Plugin: The last song in a playlist is now correctly counted as played. Thanks to Johann Klähn.
  • Zero Plugin: Prevent accidental nulling of dangerous fields (IDs and paths). Thanks to brunal.
  • The remove command now shows the paths of files that will be deleted. Thanks again to brunal.
  • Don’t display changes for fields that are not in the restricted field set. This fixes write showing changes for fields that are not written to the file.
  • The write command avoids displaying the item name if there are no changes for it.
  • When using both the Convert Plugin and the Scrub Plugin, avoid scrubbing the source file of conversions. (Fix a regression introduced in the previous release.)
  • ReplayGain Plugin: Logging is now quieter during import. Thanks to Yevgeny Bezman.
  • FetchArt Plugin: When loading art from the filesystem, we now prioritize covers with more keywords in them. This means that cover-front.jpg will now be taken before cover-back.jpg because it contains two keywords rather than one. Thanks to Fabrice Laporte.
  • LastGenre Plugin: Remove duplicates from canonicalized genre lists. Thanks again to Fabrice Laporte.
  • The importer now records its progress when skipping albums. This means that incremental imports will no longer try to import albums again after you’ve chosen to skip them, and erroneous invitations to resume “interrupted” imports should be reduced. Thanks to jcassette.
  • Bucket Plugin: You can now customize the definition of alphanumeric “ranges” using regular expressions. And the heuristic for detecting years has been improved. Thanks to sotho.
  • Already-imported singleton tracks are skipped when resuming an import.
  • Chromaprint/Acoustid Plugin: A new auto configuration option disables fingerprinting on import. Thanks to ddettrittus.
  • Convert Plugin: A new --format option to can select the transcoding preset from the command-line.
  • Convert Plugin: Transcoding presets can now omit their filename extensions (extensions default to the name of the preset).
  • Convert Plugin: A new --pretend option lets you preview the commands the plugin will execute without actually taking any action. Thanks to Dietrich Daroch.
  • Fix a crash when a float-valued tag field only contained a + or - character.
  • Fixed a regression in the core that caused the Scrub Plugin not to work in auto mode. Thanks to Harry Khanna.
  • The write command now has a --force flag. Thanks again to Harry Khanna.
  • MBSync Plugin: Track alignment now works with albums that have multiple copies of the same recording. Thanks to Rui Gonçalves.

1.3.6 (May 10, 2014)

This is primarily a bugfix release, but it also brings two new plugins: one for playing music in desktop players and another for organizing your directories into “buckets.” It also brings huge performance optimizations to queries—your beet ls commands will now go much faster.

New features:

  • The new Play Plugin lets you start your desktop music player with the songs that match a query. Thanks to David Hamp-Gonsalves.
  • The new Bucket Plugin provides a %bucket{} function for path formatting to generate folder names representing ranges of years or initial letter. Thanks to Fabrice Laporte.
  • Item and album queries are much faster.
  • FtInTitle Plugin: A new option lets you remove featured artists entirely instead of moving them to the title. Thanks to SUTJael.

And those all-important bug fixes:

  • MBSync Plugin: Fix a regression in 1.3.5 that broke the plugin entirely.
  • Shell completion now searches more common paths for its bash_completion dependency.
  • Fix encoding-related logging errors in Convert Plugin and ReplayGain Plugin.
  • ReplayGain Plugin: Suppress a deprecation warning emitted by later versions of PyGI.
  • Fix a crash when reading files whose iTunes SoundCheck tags contain non-ASCII characters.
  • The %if{} template function now appropriately interprets the condition as false when it contains the string “false”. Thanks to Ayberk Yilmaz.
  • Convert Plugin: Fix conversion for files that include a video stream by ignoring it. Thanks to brunal.
  • FetchArt Plugin: Log an error instead of crashing when tag manipulation fails.
  • Convert Plugin: Log an error instead of crashing when embedding album art fails.
  • Convert Plugin: Embed cover art into converted files. Previously they were embedded into the source files.
  • New plugin event: before_item_moved. Thanks to Robert Speicher.

1.3.5 (April 15, 2014)

This is a short-term release that adds some great new stuff to beets. There’s support for tracking and calculating musical keys, the ReplayGain plugin was expanded to work with more music formats via GStreamer, we can now import directly from compressed archives, and the lyrics plugin is more robust.

One note for upgraders and packagers: this version of beets has a new dependency in enum34, which is a backport of the new enum standard library module.

The major new features are:

  • Beets can now import zip, tar, and rar archives. Just type beet import to have beets transparently extract the files to import.
  • ReplayGain Plugin: Added support for calculating ReplayGain values with GStreamer as well the mp3gain program. This enables ReplayGain calculation for any audio format. Thanks to Yevgeny Bezman.
  • Lyrics Plugin: Lyrics should now be found for more songs. Searching is now sensitive to featured artists and parenthesized title suffixes. When a song has multiple titles, lyrics from all the named songs are now concatenated. Thanks to Fabrice Laporte and Paul Phillips.

In particular, a full complement of features for supporting musical keys are new in this release:

  • A new initial_key field is available in the database and files’ tags. You can set the field manually using a command like beet modify initial_key=Am.
  • The Echo Nest Plugin sets the initial_key field if the data is available.
  • A new Key Finder Plugin runs a command-line tool to get the key from audio data and store it in the initial_key field.

There are also many bug fixes and little enhancements:

  • Echo Nest Plugin: Truncate files larger than 50MB before uploading for analysis.
  • FetchArt Plugin: Fix a crash when the server does not specify a content type. Thanks to Lee Reinhardt.
  • Convert Plugin: The --keep-new flag now works correctly and the library includes the converted item.
  • The importer now logs a message instead of crashing when errors occur while opening the files to be imported.
  • EmbedArt Plugin: Better error messages in exceptional conditions.
  • Silenced some confusing error messages when searching for a non-MusicBrainz ID. Using an invalid ID (of any kind—Discogs IDs can be used there too) at the “Enter ID:” importer prompt now just silently returns no results. More info is in the verbose logs.
  • MBSync Plugin: Fix application of album-level metadata. Due to a regression a few releases ago, only track-level metadata was being updated.
  • On Windows, paths on network shares (UNC paths) no longer cause “invalid filename” errors.
  • ReplayGain Plugin: Fix crashes when attempting to log errors.
  • The modify command can now accept query arguments that contain = signs. An argument is considered a query part when a : appears before any =s. Thanks to mook.

1.3.4 (April 5, 2014)

This release brings a hodgepodge of medium-sized conveniences to beets. A new config command manages your configuration, we now have bash completion, and the modify command can delete attributes. There are also some significant performance optimizations to the autotagger’s matching logic.

One note for upgraders: if you use the FetchArt Plugin, it has a new dependency, the requests module.

New stuff:

  • Added a config command to manage your configuration. It can show you what you currently have in your config file, point you at where the file should be, or launch your text editor to let you modify the file. Thanks to geigerzaehler.
  • Beets now ships with a shell command completion script! See Shell Completion. Thanks to geigerzaehler.
  • The modify command now allows removing flexible attributes. For example, beet modify artist:beatles oldies! deletes the oldies attribute from matching items. Thanks to brilnius.
  • Internally, beets has laid the groundwork for supporting multi-valued fields. Thanks to geigerzaehler.
  • The importer interface now shows the URL for MusicBrainz matches. Thanks to johtso.
  • Smart Playlist Plugin: Playlists can now be generated from multiple queries (combined with “or” logic). Album-level queries are also now possible and automatic playlist regeneration can now be disabled. Thanks to brilnius.
  • Echo Nest Plugin: Echo Nest similarity now weights the tempo in better proportion to other metrics. Also, options were added to specify custom thresholds and output formats. Thanks to Adam M.
  • Added the after_write plugin event.
  • LastGenre Plugin: Separator in genre lists can now be configured. Thanks to brilnius.
  • We now only use “primary” aliases for artist names from MusicBrainz. This eliminates some strange naming that could occur when the languages config option was set. Thanks to Filipe Fortes.
  • The performance of the autotagger’s matching mechanism is vastly improved. This should be noticeable when matching against very large releases such as box sets.
  • The import command can now accept individual files as arguments even in non-singleton mode. Files are imported as one-track albums.


  • Error messages involving paths no longer escape non-ASCII characters (for legibility).
  • Fixed a regression that made it impossible to use the modify command to add new flexible fields. Thanks to brilnius.
  • Echo Nest Plugin: Avoid crashing when the audio analysis fails. Thanks to Pedro Silva.
  • Duplicates Plugin: Fix checksumming command execution for files with quotation marks in their names. Thanks again to Pedro Silva.
  • Fix a crash when importing with both of the group_albums and incremental options enabled. Thanks to geigerzaehler.
  • Give a sensible error message when BEETSDIR points to a file. Thanks again to geigerzaehler.
  • Fix a crash when reading WMA files whose boolean-valued fields contain strings. Thanks to johtso.
  • FetchArt Plugin: The plugin now sends “beets” as the User-Agent when making scraping requests. This helps resolve some blocked requests. The plugin now also depends on the requests Python library.
  • The write command now only shows the changes to fields that will actually be written to a file.
  • Duplicates Plugin: Spurious reports are now avoided for tracks with missing values (e.g., no MBIDs). Thanks to Pedro Silva.
  • The default replace sanitation options now remove leading whitespace by default. Thanks to brilnius.
  • ImportFeeds Plugin: Fix crash when importing albums containing / with the m3u_multi format.
  • Avoid crashing on Mutagen bugs while writing files’ tags.
  • Convert Plugin: Display a useful error message when the FFmpeg executable can’t be found.

1.3.3 (February 26, 2014)

Version 1.3.3 brings a bunch changes to how item and album fields work internally. Along with laying the groundwork for some great things in the future, this brings a number of improvements to how you interact with beets. Here’s what’s new with fields in particular:

  • Plugin-provided fields can now be used in queries. For example, if you use the Inline Plugin to define a field called era, you can now filter your library based on that field by typing something like beet list era:goldenage.
  • Album-level flexible attributes and plugin-provided attributes can now be used in path formats (and other item-level templates).
  • Date-based queries are now possible. Try getting every track you added in February 2014 with beet ls added:2014-02 or in the whole decade with added:2010... Thanks to Stig Inge Lea Bjørnsen.
  • The modify command is now better at parsing and formatting fields. You can assign to boolean fields like comp, for example, using either the words “true” or “false” or the numerals 1 and 0. Any boolean-esque value is normalized to a real boolean. The update and write commands also got smarter at formatting and colorizing changes.

For developers, the short version of the story is that Item and Album objects provide uniform access across fixed, flexible, and computed attributes. You can write to access the foo field without worrying about where the data comes from.

Unrelated new stuff:

  • The importer has a new interactive option (G for “Group albums”), command-line flag (--group-albums), and config option (group_albums) that lets you split apart albums that are mixed together in a single directory. Thanks to geigerzaehler.
  • A new --config command-line option lets you specify an additional configuration file. This option combines config settings with your default config file. (As part of this change, the BEETSDIR environment variable no longer combines—it replaces your default config file.) Thanks again to geigerzaehler.
  • IHate Plugin: The plugin’s configuration interface was overhauled. Its configuration is now much simpler—it uses beets queries instead of an ad-hoc per-field configuration. This is backwards-incompatible—if you use this plugin, you will need to update your configuration. Thanks to BrainDamage.

Other little fixes:

  • Echo Nest Plugin: Tempo (BPM) is now always stored as an integer. Thanks to Heinz Wiesinger.
  • Fix Python 2.6 compatibility in some logging statements in Chromaprint/Acoustid Plugin and LastGenre Plugin.
  • Prevent some crashes when things go really wrong when writing file metadata at the end of the import process.
  • New plugin events: item_removed (thanks to Romuald Conty) and item_copied (thanks to Stig Inge Lea Bjørnsen).
  • The pluginpath config option can now point to the directory containing plugin code. (Previously, it awkwardly needed to point at a directory containing a beetsplug directory, which would then contain your code. This is preserved as an option for backwards compatibility.) This change should also work around a long-standing issue when using pluginpath when beets is installed using pip. Many thanks to geigerzaehler.
  • Web Plugin: The /item/ and /album/ API endpoints now produce full details about albums and items, not just lists of IDs. Thanks to geigerzaehler.
  • Fix a potential crash when using image resizing with the FetchArt Plugin or EmbedArt Plugin without ImageMagick installed.
  • Also, when invoking convert for image resizing fails, we now log an error instead of crashing.
  • FetchArt Plugin: The beet fetchart command can now associate local images with albums (unless --force is provided). Thanks to brilnius.
  • FetchArt Plugin: Command output is now colorized. Thanks again to brilnius.
  • The modify command avoids writing files and committing to the database when nothing has changed. Thanks once more to brilnius.
  • The importer now uses the album artist field when guessing existing metadata for albums (rather than just the track artist field). Thanks to geigerzaehler.
  • FromFilename Plugin: Fix a crash when a filename contained only a track number (e.g., 02.mp3).
  • Convert Plugin: Transcoding should now work on Windows.
  • Duplicates Plugin: The move and copy destination arguments are now treated as directories. Thanks to Pedro Silva.
  • The modify command now skips confirmation and prints a message if no changes are necessary. Thanks to brilnius.
  • FetchArt Plugin: When using the remote_priority config option, local image files are no longer completely ignored.
  • Echo Nest Plugin: Fix an issue causing the plugin to appear twice in the output of the beet version command.
  • LastGenre Plugin: Fix an occasional crash when no tag weight was returned by
  • MPDStats Plugin: Restore the last_played field. Thanks to Johann Klähn.
  • The modify command’s output now clearly shows when a file has been deleted.
  • Album art in files with Vorbis Comments is now marked with the “front cover” type. Thanks to Jason Lefley.

1.3.2 (December 22, 2013)

This update brings new plugins for fetching acoustic metrics and listening statistics, many more options for the duplicate detection plugin, and flexible options for fetching multiple genres.

The “core” of beets gained a new built-in command: beet write updates the metadata tags for files, bringing them back into sync with your database. Thanks to Heinz Wiesinger.

We added some plugins and overhauled some existing ones:

  • The new Echo Nest Plugin plugin can fetch a wide range of acoustic attributes from The Echo Nest, including the “speechiness” and “liveness” of each track. The new plugin supersedes an older version (echonest_tempo) that only fetched the BPM field. Thanks to Pedro Silva and Peter Schnebel.
  • The Duplicates Plugin got a number of new features, thanks to Pedro Silva:
    • The keys option lets you specify the fields used detect duplicates.
    • You can now use checksumming (via an external command) to find duplicates instead of metadata via the checksum option.
    • The plugin can perform actions on the duplicates it find. The new copy, move, delete, delete_file, and tag options perform those actions.
  • The new MPDStats Plugin collects statistics about your listening habits from MPD. Thanks to Peter Schnebel and Johann Klähn.
  • LastGenre Plugin: The new multiple option has been replaced with the count option, which lets you limit the number of genres added to your music. (No more thousand-character genre fields!) Also, the min_weight field filters out nonsense tags to make your genres more relevant. Thanks to Peter Schnebel and rashley60.
  • Lyrics Plugin: A new --force option optionally re-downloads lyrics even when files already have them. Thanks to Bitdemon.

As usual, there are also innumerable little fixes and improvements:

  • When writing ID3 tags for ReplayGain normalization, tags are written with both upper-case and lower-case TXXX frame descriptions. Previous versions of beets used only the upper-case style, which seems to be more standard, but some players (namely, Quod Libet and foobar2000) seem to only use lower-case names.
  • Missing Plugin: Avoid a possible error when an album’s tracktotal field is missing.
  • FtInTitle Plugin: Fix an error when the sort artist is missing.
  • EchoNest Tempo Plugin: The plugin should now match songs more reliably (i.e., fewer “no tempo found” messages). Thanks to Peter Schnebel.
  • Convert Plugin: Fix an “Item has no library” error when using the auto config option.
  • Convert Plugin: Fix an issue where files of the wrong format would have their transcoding skipped (and files with the right format would be needlessly transcoded). Thanks to Jakob Schnitzer.
  • Fix an issue that caused the id3v23 option to work only occasionally.
  • Also fix using id3v23 in conjunction with the scrub and embedart plugins. Thanks to Chris Cogburn.
  • IHate Plugin: Fix an error when importing singletons. Thanks to Mathijs de Bruin.
  • The clutter option can now be a whitespace-separated list in addition to a YAML list.
  • Values for the replace option can now be empty (i.e., null is equivalent to the empty string).
  • LastGenre Plugin: Fix a conflict between canonicalization and multiple genres.
  • When a match has a year but not a month or day, the autotagger now “zeros out” the month and day fields after applying the year.
  • For plugin developers: added an optparse callback utility function for performing actions based on arguments. Thanks to Pedro Silva.
  • Scrub Plugin: Fix scrubbing of MPEG-4 files. Thanks to Yevgeny Bezman.

1.3.1 (October 12, 2013)

This release boasts a host of new little features, many of them contributed by beets’ amazing and prolific community. It adds support for Opus files, transcoding to any format, and two new plugins: one that guesses metadata for “blank” files based on their filenames and one that moves featured artists into the title field.

Here’s the new stuff:

  • Add Opus audio support. Thanks to Rowan Lewis.
  • Convert Plugin: You can now transcode files to any audio format, rather than just MP3. Thanks again to Rowan Lewis.
  • The new FromFilename Plugin guesses tags from the filenames during import when metadata tags themselves are missing. Thanks to Jan-Erik Dahlin.
  • The FtInTitle Plugin, by @Verrus, is now distributed with beets. It helps you rewrite tags to move “featured” artists from the artist field to the title field.
  • The MusicBrainz data source now uses track artists over recording artists. This leads to better metadata when tagging classical music. Thanks to Henrique Ferreiro.
  • LastGenre Plugin: You can now get multiple genres per album or track using the multiple config option. Thanks to rashley60 on GitHub.
  • A new id3v23 config option makes beets write MP3 files’ tags using the older ID3v2.3 metadata standard. Use this if you want your tags to be visible to Windows and some older players.

And some fixes:

  • FetchArt Plugin: Better error message when the image file has an unrecognized type.
  • MusicBrainz Collection Plugin: Detect, log, and skip invalid MusicBrainz IDs (instead of failing with an API error).
  • Info Plugin: Fail gracefully when used erroneously with a directory.
  • EchoNest Tempo Plugin: Fix an issue where the plugin could use the tempo from the wrong song when the API did not contain the requested song.
  • Fix a crash when a file’s metadata included a very large number (one wider than 64 bits). These huge numbers are now replaced with zeroes in the database.
  • When a track on a MusicBrainz release has a different length from the underlying recording’s length, the track length is now used instead.
  • With per_disc_numbering enabled, the tracktotal field is now set correctly (i.e., to the number of tracks on the disc).
  • Scrub Plugin: The scrub command now restores album art in addition to other (database-backed) tags.
  • MPDUpdate Plugin: Domain sockets can now begin with a tilde (which is correctly expanded to $HOME) as well as a slash. Thanks to Johann Klähn.
  • LastGenre Plugin: Fix a regression that could cause new genres found during import not to be persisted.
  • Fixed a crash when imported album art was also marked as “clutter” where the art would be deleted before it could be moved into place. This led to a “image.jpg not found during copy” error. Now clutter is removed (and directories pruned) much later in the process, after the import_task_files hook.
  • Missing Plugin: Fix an error when printing missing track names. Thanks to Pedro Silva.
  • Fix an occasional KeyError in the update command introduced in 1.3.0.
  • Scrub Plugin: Avoid preserving certain non-standard ID3 tags such as NCON.

1.3.0 (September 11, 2013)

Albums and items now have flexible attributes. This means that, when you want to store information about your music in the beets database, you’re no longer constrained to the set of fields it supports out of the box (title, artist, track, etc.). Instead, you can use any field name you can think of and treat it just like the built-in fields.

For example, you can use the modify command to set a new field on a track:

$ beet modify mood=sexy artist:miguel

and then query your music based on that field:

$ beet ls mood:sunny

or use templates to see the value of the field:

$ beet ls -f '$title: $mood'

While this feature is nifty when used directly with the usual command-line suspects, it’s especially useful for plugin authors and for future beets features. Stay tuned for great things built on this flexible attribute infrastructure.

One side effect of this change: queries that include unknown fields will now match nothing instead of everything. So if you type beet ls fieldThatDoesNotExist:foo, beets will now return no results, whereas previous versions would spit out a warning and then list your entire library.

There’s more detail than you could ever need on the beets blog.

1.2.2 (August 27, 2013)

This is a bugfix release. We’re in the midst of preparing for a large change in beets 1.3, so 1.2.2 resolves some issues that came up over the last few weeks. Stay tuned!

The improvements in this release are:

  • A new plugin event, item_moved, is sent when files are moved on disk. Thanks to dsedivec.
  • Lyrics Plugin: More improvements to the Google backend by Fabrice Laporte.
  • BPD Plugin: Fix for a crash when searching, thanks to Simon Chopin.
  • Regular expression queries (and other query types) over paths now work. (Previously, special query types were ignored for the path field.)
  • FetchArt Plugin: Look for images in the Cover Art Archive for the release group in addition to the specific release. Thanks to Filipe Fortes.
  • Fix a race in the importer that could cause files to be deleted before they were imported. This happened when importing one album, importing a duplicate album, and then asking for the first album to be replaced with the second. The situation could only arise when importing music from the library directory and when the two albums are imported close in time.

1.2.1 (June 22, 2013)

This release introduces a major internal change in the way that similarity scores are handled. It means that the importer interface can now show you exactly why a match is assigned its score and that the autotagger gained a few new options that let you customize how matches are prioritized and recommended.

The refactoring work is due to the continued efforts of Tai Lee. The changes you’ll notice while using the autotagger are:

  • The top 3 distance penalties are now displayed on the release listing, and all album and track penalties are now displayed on the track changes list. This should make it clear exactly which metadata is contributing to a low similarity score.
  • When displaying differences, the colorization has been made more consistent and helpful: red for an actual difference, yellow to indicate that a distance penalty is being applied, and light gray for no penalty (e.g., case changes) or disambiguation data.

There are also three new (or overhauled) configuration options that let you customize the way that matches are selected:

  • The ignored setting lets you instruct the importer not to show you matches that have a certain penalty applied.
  • The preferred collection of settings specifies a sorted list of preferred countries and media types, or prioritizes releases closest to the original year for an album.
  • The max_rec settings can now be used for any distance penalty component. The recommendation will be downgraded if a non-zero penalty is being applied to the specified field.

And some little enhancements and bug fixes:

  • Multi-disc directory names can now contain “disk” (in addition to “disc”). Thanks to John Hawthorn.
  • Web Plugin: Item and album counts are now exposed through the API for use with the Tomahawk resolver. Thanks to Uwe L. Korn.
  • Python 2.6 compatibility for Beatport Plugin, Missing Plugin, and Duplicates Plugin. Thanks to Wesley Bitter and Pedro Silva.
  • Don’t move the config file during a null migration. Thanks to Theofilos Intzoglou.
  • Fix an occasional crash in the Beatport Plugin when a length field was missing from the API response. Thanks to Timothy Appnel.
  • Scrub Plugin: Handle and log I/O errors.
  • Lyrics Plugin: The Google backend should now turn up more results. Thanks to Fabrice Laporte.
  • Random Plugin: Fix compatibility with Python 2.6. Thanks to Matthias Drochner.

1.2.0 (June 5, 2013)

There’s a lot of new stuff in this release: new data sources for the autotagger, new plugins to look for problems in your library, tracking the date that you acquired new music, an awesome new syntax for doing queries over numeric fields, support for ALAC files, and major enhancements to the importer’s UI and distance calculations. A special thanks goes out to all the contributors who helped make this release awesome.

For the first time, beets can now tag your music using additional data sources to augment the matches from MusicBrainz. When you enable either of these plugins, the importer will start showing you new kinds of matches:

We also have two other new plugins that can scan your library to check for common problems, both by Pedro Silva:

  • New Duplicates Plugin: Find tracks or albums in your library that are duplicated.
  • New Missing Plugin: Find albums in your library that are missing tracks.

There are also three more big features added to beets core:

  • Your library now keeps track of when music was added to it. The new added field is a timestamp reflecting when each item and album was imported and the new %time{} template function lets you format this timestamp for humans. Thanks to Lucas Duailibe.
  • When using queries to match on quantitative fields, you can now use numeric ranges. For example, you can get a list of albums from the ‘90s by typing beet ls year:1990..1999 or find high-bitrate music with bitrate:128000... See Numeric Range Queries. Thanks to Michael Schuerig.
  • ALAC files are now marked as ALAC instead of being conflated with AAC audio. Thanks to Simon Luijk.

In addition, the importer saw various UI enhancements, thanks to Tai Lee:

  • More consistent format and colorization of album and track metadata.
  • Display data source URL for matches from the new data source plugins. This should make it easier to migrate data from Discogs or Beatport into MusicBrainz.
  • Display album disambiguation and disc titles in the track listing, when available.
  • Track changes are highlighted in yellow when they indicate a change in format to or from the style of per_disc_numbering. (As before, no penalty is applied because the track number is still “correct”, just in a different format.)
  • Sort missing and unmatched tracks by index and title and group them together for better readability.
  • Indicate MusicBrainz ID mismatches.

The calculation of the similarity score for autotagger matches was also improved, again thanks to Tai Lee. These changes, in general, help deal with the new metadata sources and help disambiguate between similar releases in the same MusicBrainz release group:

  • Strongly prefer releases with a matching MusicBrainz album ID. This helps beets re-identify the same release when re-importing existing files.
  • Prefer releases that are closest to the tagged year. Tolerate files tagged with release or original year.
  • The new preferred_media config option lets you prefer a certain media type when the media field is unset on an album.
  • Apply minor penalties across a range of fields to differentiate between nearly identical releases: disctotal, label, catalognum, country and albumdisambig.

As usual, there were also lots of other great littler enhancements:

  • Random Plugin: A new -e option gives an equal chance to each artist in your collection to avoid biasing random samples to prolific artists. Thanks to Georges Dubus.
  • The modify now correctly converts types when modifying non-string fields. You can now safely modify the “comp” flag and the “year” field, for example. Thanks to Lucas Duailibe.
  • Convert Plugin: You can now configure the path formats for converted files separately from your main library. Thanks again to Lucas Duailibe.
  • The importer output now shows the number of audio files in each album. Thanks to jayme on GitHub.
  • Plugins can now provide fields for both Album and Item templates, thanks to Pedro Silva. Accordingly, the Inline Plugin can also now define album fields. For consistency, the pathfields configuration section has been renamed item_fields (although the old name will still work for compatibility).
  • Plugins can also provide metadata matches for ID searches. For example, the new Discogs plugin lets you search for an album by its Discogs ID from the same prompt that previously just accepted MusicBrainz IDs. Thanks to Johannes Baiter.
  • The fields command shows template fields provided by plugins. Thanks again to Pedro Silva.
  • MPDUpdate Plugin: You can now communicate with MPD over a Unix domain socket. Thanks to John Hawthorn.

And a batch of fixes:

  • Album art filenames now respect the replace configuration.
  • Friendly error messages are now printed when trying to read or write files that go missing.
  • The modify command can now change albums’ album art paths (i.e., beet modify artpath=... works). Thanks to Lucas Duailibe.
  • Zero Plugin: Fix a crash when nulling out a field that contains None.
  • Templates can now refer to non-tag item fields (e.g., $id and $album_id).
  • Lyrics Plugin: Lyrics searches should now turn up more results due to some fixes in dealing with special characters.

1.1.0 (April 29, 2013)

This final release of 1.1 brings a little polish to the betas that introduced the new configuration system. The album art and lyrics plugins also got a little love.

If you’re upgrading from 1.0.0 or earlier, this release (like the 1.1 betas) will automatically migrate your configuration to the new system. See Upgrading from 1.0.

  • EmbedArt Plugin: The embedart command now embeds each album’s associated art by default. The --file option invokes the old behavior, in which a specific image file is used.
  • Lyrics Plugin: A new (optional) Google Custom Search backend was added for finding lyrics on a wide array of sites. Thanks to Fabrice Laporte.
  • When automatically detecting the filesystem’s maximum filename length, never guess more than 200 characters. This prevents errors on systems where the maximum length was misreported. You can, of course, override this default with the max_filename_length option.
  • FetchArt Plugin: Two new configuration options were added: cover_names, the list of keywords used to identify preferred images, and cautious, which lets you avoid falling back to images that don’t contain those keywords. Thanks to Fabrice Laporte.
  • Avoid some error cases in the update command and the embedart and mbsync plugins. Invalid or missing files now cause error logs instead of crashing beets. Thanks to Lucas Duailibe.
  • Lyrics Plugin: Searches now strip “featuring” artists when searching for lyrics, which should increase the hit rate for these tracks. Thanks to Fabrice Laporte.
  • When listing the items in an album, the items are now always in track-number order. This should lead to more predictable listings from the ImportFeeds Plugin.
  • Smart Playlist Plugin: Queries are now split using shell-like syntax instead of just whitespace, so you can now construct terms that contain spaces.
  • LastGenre Plugin: The force config option now defaults to true and controls the behavior of the import hook. (Previously, new genres were always forced during import.)
  • Web Plugin: Fix an error when specifying the hostname on the command line.
  • Web Plugin: The underlying API was expanded slightly to support Tomahawk collections. And file transfers now have a “Content-Length” header. Thanks to Uwe L. Korn.
  • LastGenre Plugin: Fix an error when using genre canonicalization.

1.1b3 (March 16, 2013)

This third beta of beets 1.1 brings a hodgepodge of little new features (and internal overhauls that will make improvements easier in the future). There are new options for getting metadata in a particular language and seeing more detail during the import process. There’s also a new plugin for synchronizing your metadata with MusicBrainz. Under the hood, plugins can now extend the query syntax.

New configuration options:

  • languages controls the preferred languages when selecting an alias from MusicBrainz. This feature requires python-musicbrainz-ngs 0.3 or later. Thanks to Sam Doshi.
  • detail enables a mode where all tracks are listed in the importer UI, as opposed to only changed tracks.
  • The --flat option to the beet import command treats an entire directory tree of music files as a single album. This can help in situations where a multi-disc album is split across multiple directories.
  • ImportFeeds Plugin: An option was added to use absolute, rather than relative, paths. Thanks to Lucas Duailibe.

Other stuff:

  • A new MBSync Plugin provides a command that looks up each item and track in MusicBrainz and updates your library to reflect it. This can help you easily correct errors that have been fixed in the MB database. Thanks to Jakob Schnitzer.
  • Fuzzy Search Plugin: The fuzzy command was removed and replaced with a new query type. To perform fuzzy searches, use the ~ prefix with list or other commands. Thanks to Philippe Mongeau.
  • As part of the above, plugins can now extend the query syntax and new kinds of matching capabilities to beets. See Extend the Query Syntax. Thanks again to Philippe Mongeau.
  • Convert Plugin: A new --keep-new option lets you store transcoded files in your library while backing up the originals (instead of vice-versa). Thanks to Lucas Duailibe.
  • Convert Plugin: Also, a new auto config option will transcode audio files automatically during import. Thanks again to Lucas Duailibe.
  • Chromaprint/Acoustid Plugin: A new fingerprint command lets you generate and store fingerprints for items that don’t yet have them. One more round of applause for Lucas Duailibe.
  • EchoNest Tempo Plugin: API errors now issue a warning instead of exiting with an exception. We also avoid an error when track metadata contains newlines.
  • When the importer encounters an error (insufficient permissions, for example) when walking a directory tree, it now logs an error instead of crashing.
  • In path formats, null database values now expand to the empty string instead of the string “None”.
  • Add “System Volume Information” (an internal directory found on some Windows filesystems) to the default ignore list.
  • Fix a crash when ReplayGain values were set to null.
  • Fix a crash when iTunes Sound Check tags contained invalid data.
  • Fix an error when the configuration file (config.yaml) is completely empty.
  • Fix an error introduced in 1.1b1 when importing using timid mode. Thanks to Sam Doshi.
  • Convert Plugin: Fix a bug when creating files with Unicode pathnames.
  • Fix a spurious warning from the Unidecode module when matching albums that are missing all metadata.
  • Fix Unicode errors when a directory or file doesn’t exist when invoking the import command. Thanks to Lucas Duailibe.
  • MusicBrainz Collection Plugin: Show friendly, human-readable errors when MusicBrainz exceptions occur.
  • EchoNest Tempo Plugin: Catch socket errors that are not handled by the Echo Nest library.
  • Chromaprint/Acoustid Plugin: Catch Acoustid Web service errors when submitting fingerprints.

1.1b2 (February 16, 2013)

The second beta of beets 1.1 uses the fancy new configuration infrastructure to add many, many new config options. The import process is more flexible; filenames can be customized in more detail; and more. This release also supports Windows Media (ASF) files and iTunes Sound Check volume normalization.

This version introduces one change to the default behavior that you should be aware of. Previously, when importing new albums matched in MusicBrainz, the date fields (year, month, and day) would be set to the release date of the original version of the album, as opposed to the specific date of the release selected. Now, these fields reflect the specific release and original_year, etc., reflect the earlier release date. If you want the old behavior, just set original_date to true in your config file.

New configuration options:

  • default_action lets you determine the default (just-hit-return) option is when considering a candidate.
  • none_rec_action lets you skip the prompt, and automatically choose an action, when there is no good candidate. Thanks to Tai Lee.
  • max_rec lets you define a maximum recommendation for albums with missing/extra tracks or differing track lengths/numbers. Thanks again to Tai Lee.
  • original_date determines whether, when importing new albums, the year, month, and day fields should reflect the specific (e.g., reissue) release date or the original release date. Note that the original release date is always available as original_year, etc.
  • clutter controls which files should be ignored when cleaning up empty directories. Thanks to Steinþór Pálsson.
  • LastGenre Plugin: A new configuration option lets you choose to retrieve artist-level tags as genres instead of album- or track-level tags. Thanks to Peter Fern and Peter Schnebel.
  • max_filename_length controls truncation of long filenames. Also, beets now tries to determine the filesystem’s maximum length automatically if you leave this option unset.
  • FetchArt Plugin: The remote_priority option searches remote (Web) art sources even when local art is present.
  • You can now customize the character substituted for path separators (e.g., /) in filenames via path_sep_replace. The default is an underscore. Use this setting with caution.

Other new stuff:

  • Support for Windows Media/ASF audio files. Thanks to Dave Hayes.
  • New Smart Playlist Plugin: generate and maintain m3u playlist files based on beets queries. Thanks to Dang Mai Hai.
  • ReplayGain tags on MPEG-4/AAC files are now supported. And, even more astonishingly, ReplayGain values in MP3 and AAC files are now compatible with iTunes Sound Check. Thanks to Dave Hayes.
  • Track titles in the importer UI’s difference display are now either aligned vertically or broken across two lines for readability. Thanks to Tai Lee.
  • Albums and items have new fields reflecting the original release date (original_year, original_month, and original_day). Previously, when tagging from MusicBrainz, only the original date was stored; now, the old fields refer to the specific release date (e.g., when the album was reissued).
  • Some changes to the way candidates are recommended for selection, thanks to Tai Lee:
    • According to the new max_rec configuration option, partial album matches are downgraded to a “low” recommendation by default.
    • When a match isn’t great but is either better than all the others or the only match, it is given a “low” (rather than “medium”) recommendation.
    • There is no prompt default (i.e., input is required) when matches are bad: “low” or “none” recommendations or when choosing a candidate other than the first.
  • The importer’s heuristic for coalescing the directories in a multi-disc album has been improved. It can now detect when two directories alongside each other share a similar prefix but a different number (e.g., “Album Disc 1” and “Album Disc 2”) even when they are not alone in a common parent directory. Thanks once again to Tai Lee.
  • Album listings in the importer UI now show the release medium (CD, Vinyl, 3xCD, etc.) as well as the disambiguation string. Thanks to Peter Schnebel.
  • LastGenre Plugin: The plugin can now get different genres for individual tracks on an album. Thanks to Peter Schnebel.
  • When getting data from MusicBrainz, the album disambiguation string (albumdisambig) now reflects both the release and the release group.
  • MPDUpdate Plugin: Sends an update message whenever anything in the database changes—not just when importing. Thanks to Dang Mai Hai.
  • When the importer UI shows a difference in track numbers or durations, they are now colorized based on the suffixes that differ. For example, when showing the difference between 2:01 and 2:09, only the last digit will be highlighted.
  • The importer UI no longer shows a change when the track length difference is less than 10 seconds. (This threshold was previously 2 seconds.)
  • Two new plugin events were added: database_change and cli_exit. Thanks again to Dang Mai Hai.
  • Plugins are now loaded in the order they appear in the config file. Thanks to Dang Mai Hai.
  • BPD Plugin: Browse by album artist and album artist sort name. Thanks to Steinþór Pálsson.
  • EchoNest Tempo Plugin: Don’t attempt a lookup when the artist or track title is missing.
  • Fix an error when migrating the .beetsstate file on Windows.
  • A nicer error message is now given when the configuration file contains tabs. (YAML doesn’t like tabs.)
  • Fix the -l (log path) command-line option for the import command.

1.1b1 (January 29, 2013)

This release entirely revamps beets’ configuration system. The configuration file is now a YAML document and is located, along with other support files, in a common directory (e.g., ~/.config/beets on Unix-like systems). If you’re upgrading from an earlier version, please see Upgrading from 1.0.

  • Renamed plugins: The rdm plugin has been renamed to random and fuzzy_search has been renamed to fuzzy.
  • Renamed config options: Many plugins have a flag dictating whether their action runs at import time. This option had many names (autofetch, autoembed, etc.) but is now consistently called auto.
  • Reorganized import config options: The various import_* options are now organized under an import: heading and their prefixes have been removed.
  • New default file locations: The default filename of the library database is now library.db in the same directory as the config file, as opposed to ~/.beetsmusic.blb previously. Similarly, the runtime state file is now called state.pickle in the same directory instead of ~/.beetsstate.

It also adds some new features:

  • Inline Plugin: Inline definitions can now contain statements or blocks in addition to just expressions. Thanks to Florent Thoumie.
  • Add a configuration option, terminal_encoding, controlling the text encoding used to print messages to standard output.
  • The MusicBrainz hostname (and rate limiting) are now configurable. See MusicBrainz Options.
  • You can now configure the similarity thresholds used to determine when the autotagger automatically accepts a metadata match. See Autotagger Matching Options.
  • ImportFeeds Plugin: Added a new configuration option that controls the base for relative paths used in m3u files. Thanks to Philippe Mongeau.

1.0.0 (January 29, 2013)

After fifteen betas and two release candidates, beets has finally hit one-point-oh. Congratulations to everybody involved. This version of beets will remain stable and receive only bug fixes from here on out. New development is ongoing in the betas of version 1.1.

  • Scrub Plugin: Fix an incompatibility with Python 2.6.
  • Lyrics Plugin: Fix an issue that failed to find lyrics when metadata contained “real” apostrophes.
  • ReplayGain Plugin: On Windows, emit a warning instead of crashing when analyzing non-ASCII filenames.
  • Silence a spurious warning from version 0.04.12 of the Unidecode module.

1.0rc2 (December 31, 2012)

This second release candidate follows quickly after rc1 and fixes a few small bugs found since that release. There were a couple of regressions and some bugs in a newly added plugin.

  • EchoNest Tempo Plugin: If the Echo Nest API limit is exceeded or a communication error occurs, the plugin now waits and tries again instead of crashing. Thanks to Zach Denton.
  • FetchArt Plugin: Fix a regression that caused crashes when art was not available from some sources.
  • Fix a regression on Windows that caused all relative paths to be “not found”.

1.0rc1 (December 17, 2012)

The first release candidate for beets 1.0 includes a deluge of new features contributed by beets users. The vast majority of the credit for this release goes to the growing and vibrant beets community. A million thanks to everybody who contributed to this release.

There are new plugins for transcoding music, fuzzy searches, tempo collection, and fiddling with metadata. The ReplayGain plugin has been rebuilt from scratch. Album art images can now be resized automatically. Many other smaller refinements make things “just work” as smoothly as possible.

With this release candidate, beets 1.0 is feature-complete. We’ll be fixing bugs on the road to 1.0 but no new features will be added. Concurrently, work begins today on features for version 1.1.

  • New plugin: Convert Plugin transcodes music and embeds album art while copying to a separate directory. Thanks to Jakob Schnitzer and Andrew G. Dunn.
  • New plugin: Fuzzy Search Plugin lets you find albums and tracks using fuzzy string matching so you don’t have to type (or even remember) their exact names. Thanks to Philippe Mongeau.
  • New plugin: EchoNest Tempo Plugin fetches tempo (BPM) information from The Echo Nest. Thanks to David Brenner.
  • New plugin: The Plugin adds a template function that helps format text for nicely-sorted directory listings. Thanks to Blemjhoo Tezoulbr.
  • New plugin: Zero Plugin filters out undesirable fields before they are written to your tags. Thanks again to Blemjhoo Tezoulbr.
  • New plugin: IHate Plugin automatically skips (or warns you about) importing albums that match certain criteria. Thanks once again to Blemjhoo Tezoulbr.
  • ReplayGain Plugin: This plugin has been completely overhauled to use the mp3gain or aacgain command-line tools instead of the failure-prone Gstreamer ReplayGain implementation. Thanks to Fabrice Laporte.
  • FetchArt Plugin and EmbedArt Plugin: Both plugins can now resize album art to avoid excessively large images. Use the maxwidth config option with either plugin. Thanks to Fabrice Laporte.
  • Scrub Plugin: Scrubbing now removes all types of tags from a file rather than just one. For example, if your FLAC file has both ordinary FLAC tags and ID3 tags, the ID3 tags are now also removed.
  • stats command: New --exact switch to make the file size calculation more accurate (thanks to Jakob Schnitzer).
  • list command: Templates given with -f can now show items’ and albums’ paths (using $path).
  • The output of the update, remove, and modify commands now respects the list_format_album and list_format_item config options. Thanks to Mike Kazantsev.
  • The art_filename option can now be a template rather than a simple string. Thanks to Jarrod Beardwood.
  • Fix album queries for artpath and other non-item fields.
  • Null values in the database can now be matched with the empty-string regular expression, ^$.
  • Queries now correctly match non-string values in path format predicates.
  • When autotagging a various-artists album, the album artist field is now used instead of the majority track artist.
  • LastGenre Plugin: Use the albums’ existing genre tags if they pass the whitelist (thanks to Fabrice Laporte).
  • LastGenre Plugin: Add a lastgenre command for fetching genres post facto (thanks to Jakob Schnitzer).
  • FetchArt Plugin: Local image filenames are now used in alphabetical order.
  • FetchArt Plugin: Fix a bug where cover art filenames could lack a .jpg extension.
  • Lyrics Plugin: Fix an exception with non-ASCII lyrics.
  • Web Plugin: The API now reports file sizes (for use with the Tomahawk resolver).
  • Web Plugin: Files now download with a reasonable filename rather than just being called “file” (thanks to Zach Denton).
  • ImportFeeds Plugin: Fix error in symlink mode with non-ASCII filenames.
  • MusicBrainz Collection Plugin: Fix an error when submitting a large number of releases (we now submit only 200 releases at a time instead of 350). Thanks to Jonathan Towne.
  • EmbedArt Plugin: Made the method for embedding art into FLAC files standard-compliant. Thanks to Daniele Sluijters.
  • Add the track mapping dictionary to the album_distance plugin function.
  • When an exception is raised while reading a file, the path of the file in question is now logged (thanks to Mike Kazantsev).
  • Truncate long filenames based on their bytes rather than their Unicode characters, fixing situations where encoded names could be too long.
  • Filename truncation now incorporates the length of the extension.
  • Fix an assertion failure when the MusicBrainz main database and search server disagree.
  • Fix a bug that caused the LastGenre Plugin and other plugins not to modify files’ tags even when they successfully change the database.
  • Fix a VFS bug leading to a crash in the BPD Plugin when files had non-ASCII extensions.
  • Fix for changing date fields (like “year”) with the modify command.
  • Fix a crash when input is read from a pipe without a specified encoding.
  • Fix some problem with identifying files on Windows with Unicode directory names in their path.
  • Fix a crash when Unicode queries were used with import -L re-imports.
  • Fix an error when fingerprinting files with Unicode filenames on Windows.
  • Warn instead of crashing when importing a specific file in singleton mode.
  • Add human-readable error messages when writing files’ tags fails or when a directory can’t be created.
  • Changed plugin loading so that modules can be imported without unintentionally loading the plugins they contain.

1.0b15 (July 26, 2012)

The fifteenth (!) beta of beets is compendium of small fixes and features, most of which represent long-standing requests. The improvements include matching albums with extra tracks, per-disc track numbering in multi-disc albums, an overhaul of the album art downloader, and robustness enhancements that should keep beets running even when things go wrong. All these smaller changes should help us focus on some larger changes coming before 1.0.

Please note that this release contains one backwards-incompatible change: album art fetching, which was previously baked into the import workflow, is now encapsulated in a plugin (the FetchArt Plugin). If you want to continue fetching cover art for your music, enable this plugin after upgrading to beets 1.0b15.

  • The autotagger can now find matches for albums when you have extra tracks on your filesystem that aren’t present in the MusicBrainz catalog. Previously, if you tried to match album with 15 audio files but the MusicBrainz entry had only 14 tracks, beets would ignore this match. Now, beets will show you matches even when they are “too short” and indicate which tracks from your disk are unmatched.
  • Tracks on multi-disc albums can now be numbered per-disc instead of per-album via the per_disc_numbering config option.
  • The default output format for the beet list command is now configurable via the list_format_item and list_format_album config options. Thanks to Fabrice Laporte.
  • Album cover art fetching is now encapsulated in the FetchArt Plugin. Be sure to enable this plugin if you’re using this functionality. As a result of this new organization, the new plugin has gained a few new features:
    • “As-is” and non-autotagged imports can now have album art imported from the local filesystem (although Web repositories are still not searched in these cases).
    • A new command, beet fetchart, allows you to download album art post-import. If you only want to fetch art manually, not automatically during import, set the new plugin’s autofetch option to no.
    • New album art sources have been added.
  • Errors when communicating with MusicBrainz now log an error message instead of halting the importer.
  • Similarly, filesystem manipulation errors now print helpful error messages instead of a messy traceback. They still interrupt beets, but they should now be easier for users to understand. Tracebacks are still available in verbose mode.
  • New metadata fields for artist credits: artist_credit and albumartist_credit can now contain release- and recording-specific variations of the artist’s name. See Available Values.
  • Revamped the way beets handles concurrent database access to avoid nondeterministic SQLite-related crashes when using the multithreaded importer. On systems where SQLite was compiled without usleep(3) support, multithreaded database access could cause an internal error (with the message “database is locked”). This release synchronizes access to the database to avoid internal SQLite contention, which should avoid this error.
  • Plugins can now add parallel stages to the import pipeline. See Writing Plugins.
  • Beets now prints out an error when you use an unrecognized field name in a query: for example, when running beet ls -a artist:foo (because artist is an item-level field).
  • New plugin events:
    • import_task_choice is called after an import task has an action assigned.
    • import_task_files is called after a task’s file manipulation has finished (copying or moving files, writing metadata tags).
    • library_opened is called when beets starts up and opens the library database.
  • LastGenre Plugin: Fixed a problem where path formats containing $genre would use the old genre instead of the newly discovered one.
  • Fix a crash when moving files to a Samba share.
  • MPDUpdate Plugin: Fix TypeError crash (thanks to Philippe Mongeau).
  • When re-importing files with import_copy enabled, only files inside the library directory are moved. Files outside the library directory are still copied. This solves a problem (introduced in 1.0b14) where beets could crash after adding files to the library but before finishing copying them; during the next import, the (external) files would be moved instead of copied.
  • Artist sort names are now populated correctly for multi-artist tracks and releases. (Previously, they only reflected the first artist.)
  • When previewing changes during import, differences in track duration are now shown as “2:50 vs. 3:10” rather than separated with -> like track numbers. This should clarify that beets isn’t doing anything to modify lengths.
  • Fix a problem with query-based path format matching where a field-qualified pattern, like albumtype_soundtrack, would match everything.
  • Chromaprint/Acoustid Plugin: Fix matching with ambiguous Acoustids. Some Acoustids are identified with multiple recordings; beets now considers any associated recording a valid match. This should reduce some cases of errant track reordering when using chroma.
  • Fix the ID3 tag name for the catalog number field.
  • Chromaprint/Acoustid Plugin: Fix occasional crash at end of fingerprint submission and give more context to “failed fingerprint generation” errors.
  • Interactive prompts are sent to stdout instead of stderr.
  • EmbedArt Plugin: Fix crash when audio files are unreadable.
  • BPD Plugin: Fix crash when sockets disconnect (thanks to Matteo Mecucci).
  • Fix an assertion failure while importing with moving enabled when the file was already at its destination.
  • Fix Unicode values in the replace config option (thanks to Jakob Borg).
  • Use a nicer error message when input is requested but stdin is closed.
  • Fix errors on Windows for certain Unicode characters that can’t be represented in the MBCS encoding. This required a change to the way that paths are represented in the database on Windows; if you find that beets’ paths are out of sync with your filesystem with this release, delete and recreate your database with beet import -AWC /path/to/music.
  • Fix import with relative path arguments on Windows.

1.0b14 (May 12, 2012)

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.

  • 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 Configuration 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 Configuration.
  • 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 Configuration.
  • 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 Configuration 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.