I’ve been using beets for approximately a year now, and I absolutely love it. For the uninitiated, beets bills itself as, “the media library management system for obsessive-compulsive music geeks.” In other words, you run your gigs and gigs of haphazard, dishevled, scraggly MP3s / M4As / FLACs through it, and out come spiffy, wholesome, metadata-complete™ tracks / albums / collections on the other side.
Not impressed yet? Then take a look at 5 reasons why beets is awesome:
Beets is the only fully-featured music organization tools that’s command-line based. I’ve used things like MusicBrainz Picard in the past (which is great in it’s own right!), but it can take a lot of time and manual work to organize a giant collection of music.
Since beets is command-line based, you can quickly and easily run commands (programmatically, even) to import, query, or play your music, as well as do things like fetch album art, fix incorrect titles / artist names, and even list albums that have duplicate and/or missing songs.
##Some examples include:
Quickly list all of The Black Keys albums I own:
Show all of the albums I have that were released in 2014:
Quickly queue up & play all of my Ryan Hemsworth tracks in my default player:
Beets can pull in the following metadata automatically for you (and more!):
- Album artwork
- Song lyrics
- Acoustic fingerprints
- Last.fm tags
It leverages music databases like MusicBrainz, Discogs, & Beatport to ensure that the metadata is as up to date and correct as possible.
Beets even lets you transcode audio from one format to another. This is especially useful if you’re an audiophile looking to convert your lossless FLAC / ALAC files to something more space-efficient, like 320 CBR MP3s.
Amassing a music collection over a long period of time (in my case, 15+ years) inevitably means that you have duplicate songs or even have albums with missing tracks. Beets can quickly notify you of these.
This will surface albums with at least one missing track, and list the number missing:
There’s a passionate community of developers behind it, which means that it’s both open for suggestions and constantly being improved. And you can even add your own features or roll your own plugin(s).
Beets is a superb tool for the more technically savvy music collector or audiophile. Yes, there are other tools that do similar things (MusicBrainz Picard, Jaikoz, TuneUp, Mp3Tag & MediaMonkey come to mind), but you won’t find the flexibility and customizability of beets anywhere else.
Using beets already? Let me know what you think, down below.