beets: geeky music organizer

beets_compWhen it comes to music organizers, Linux has a overwhelming number of options. Amarok, Banshee are the heavyweights with awesome GUIs. However, if you are looking of a cmdline alternative to do the same remotely on your music server, you are in trouble. beets is an awesome solution for the situation. It creates a searchable music library for you with data from online sources. It is written in python and uses a sqlite db.


  • Fetch or calculate all the metadata you could possibly need: album art, lyrics, genres, tempos, ReplayGain levels, or acoustic fingerprints
  • Get metadata from MusicBrainz or Discogs. Or guess metadata using songs’ filenames or their acoustic fingerprints
  • Transcode audio to any format you like
  • Check your library for duplicate tracks and albums or for albums that are missing tracks
  • Clean up crufty tags left behind by other, less-awesome tools
  • Embed and extract album art from files’ metadata
  • Browse your music library graphically through a Web browser and play it in any browser that supports HTML5 Audio
  • Analyze music files’ metadata from the command line
  • Listen to your library with a music player that speaks the MPD protocol and works with a staggering variety of interfaces
  • Written as a library and can be extended easily by writing your own plugins


To install beets on Ubuntu, run:

$ sudo apt-get install beets


The simplest use case is adding a new album to your library:

$ beet import ~/The\ Open\ Door/

/home/neo/The Open Door (14 items)
    Evanescence - The Open Door
(Similarity: 100.0%) (Digital Media, 2006, US, digital pre-order)
 * Call Me When You're Sober        -> Call Me When You’re Sober
 * All That I'm Living For          -> All That I’m Living For
 * The Last Song I'm Wasting On You -> The Last Song I’m Wasting on You

Search music:

$ beet ls you
Evanescence - The Open Door - Your Star
Evanescence - The Open Door - Call Me When You’re Sober
Evanescence - The Open Door - Like You
Evanescence - The Open Door - The Last Song I’m Wasting on You

Help and options:

$ beet help

Beets has a comprehensive documentation.


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