Can I leave my current library structure alone, yet have Beets import new files?

I’m a potential new user, and I’m not completely sure from the guide if Beets can do what I’d ideally like, so I thought I’d ask here and hopefully get some pointers from more experienced users.

I have an existing big library of music, which was originally organized for me by iTunes, but which I’m now just managing manually (playing from mpd/ncmpcpp). I have lots of (.m3u) playlists which refer to this library. Thus if I simply import everything into Beets and let it rearrange my files, these may break.

What I (at least for now) really want from Beets is the ability to import new files into my library, putting them into a reasonable place. Is it possible to add files, when the library itself has not been completely organized by Beets? That is, can I set things up, pointing Beets to my existing library and telling it to not move any of my files, change that setting, then import new files, which will end up in the appropriate place, according to Beets’ config?

Yeah, that sounds like a good idea! I’d do the initial import with the -C flag to disable copying, and then add new music without that flag. Should work fine—but as always, I’d recommend doing a backup first just in case.

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That seems to work nicely, thanks! I used the instructions as described in the “Getting Started” guide, but used beet import -A -C my/existing/library (which is in the directory: field in my config file), and then can use beet import new/album.

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