beaTunes News

Thursday, October 31, 2013

So where exactly does beaTunes store key and color?

A question that comes up again and again, is where data is stored. The clear answer is: It depends. So, let me explain...

First of all, you need to know, what kind of library you have. beaTunes works with two different kinds of music collections: Either an iTunes library or a folder-based one. Let's assume for now you have an iTunes-based library (if you're using iTunes—that's the highly recommended kind). Whenever you change something in beaTunes, it is reflected in iTunes. This is because beaTunes tells iTunes right away and iTunes (not beaTunes!) makes the change in two locations: The audio file itself and the iTunes database. Obviously this can only work for fields that are supported by iTunes, like BPM and Artist. Other fields, like Key or Color, that are not supported, cannot be stored by iTunes. Those fields are always stored in the internal beaTunes database. This is very efficient and does not mess with your files. However, if the database ever breaks, the data is lost unless you have a backup of the database. This is why beaTunes can also write non-iTunes fields like Key to your files. But it's not the default behavior. To enable embedding of non-iTunes fields in your files, you have to check the appropriate box in beaTunes' General preferences, before you make any changes. That's right: Only changes made after you checked that box are also written to your audio files. And once they were written to your files, they are readable by other applications like Serato or Traktor.

Does that mean you have to re-analyze all your tracks to export data to your files? The short answer is: No. In the Tools menu you can find an item called Embed non-iTunes Fields. It allows you to embed all data from the internal beaTunes library into your files. Be warned—this means every single file will be touched and changed (it's a Library Batch Action). Perhaps you want to backup your files before you do something like this...

Now, at the beginning I mentioned the two kinds of libraries beaTunes supports. With the second one, folder-based, things are easier. Since beaTunes does not communicate with iTunes, it always embeds your data into your files. That's it.

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