Keeping The Beets with Adrian Sampson


March 12th, 2018

39 mins 23 secs

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About this Episode


Maintaining a consistent taxonomy for your music library is a challenging and time consuming endeavor. Eventually you end up with a mess of folders and files with inconsistent names and missing metadata. Beets is built to solve this problem by programmatically managing the tags and directory structure for all of your music files and providing a fast lookup when you are trying to find that perfect song to play. Adrian Sampson began the project because he was trying to clean up his own music collection and in this episode he discusses how the project was built, how streaming media is affecting our relationship to digital music, and how he envisions Beets position in the ecosystem in the future.


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  • Your host as usual is Tobias Macey and today I’m interviewing Adrian Sampson about Beets, the swiss army knife for managing your music library.


  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python?
  • What is Beets and what was your reason for creating it?
    • What was your reason for using Python and if you were to start over today would you make the same choice?

  • If I have a directory with inconsistent naming conventions, poor organization, and some random folders full of mixed MP3 files how can Beets help me and what does the workflow look like?

  • How is Beets architected to allow for interactively processing a large volume of media files and how has the design evolved over the time that you have been working on it?

  • What are your thoughts on the current trend toward streaming music services replacing local media files?

  • What have been some of the most challenging aspects of building Beets?

  • What are some of the most interesting uses for Beets that you have seen?

  • What are some of the other projects for managing a music library and how does Beets compare to them?

  • Are there any features that you have planned for the future of Beets, or any new functionality that you would like to see contributed?

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The intro and outro music is from Requiem for a Fish The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA