Copy files to music library, only if upgrade

Hey, I was trying to achieve this a couple of years back and wonder if there has been any progress.

I have a large library of unsorted music, and another very large library of beets sorted music. I’d like to merge the two by importing the unsorted list however there are a large number of unsorted albums in mp3 which are in my sorted library in FLAC, so obviously I don’t want to replace those.

Basically something like:
do upgrade mp3 to FLAC
do import mp3 if none exist
do import FLAC
don’t import mp3 if FLAC exists

Currently my beets config will replace whatever is in my sorted library with anything in the import folder. I only add FLAC so it’s ok to replace blindly.

Hi! There’s not currently an easy way to do it, but you might be interested in this issue:

Hi Adrian, yes that was the open issue you referred me to a couple of years back. Just hoping I may’ve missed something vital in 1.4.8. I have ~5TB waiting to be sorted… one day I hope.

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You probably already know, but when a duplicate is found upon import, you are given info on format, bitrate, etc. and the option to keep the old or replace with the new.

Otherwise, you could import everything using hardlinks (which will save you space if your music is all on the same volume) then configure the duplicates plugin to remove the lower bitrate duplicates.

Given the volume of content, I set everything to quiet import, safely assuming that all new content is of equal or higher quality. The unorganised content contains some unique music in mp3 format.

The hard link option is a good one. I’d never wrapped my head around the duplicates plugin, maybe I’ll give it another shot.

I think that’d work. If the music you’re important has decent tags, you can configure the duplicates plugin to be pretty aggressive, and configure to prefer the higher bitrate (it prefers more complete metadata by default, which is likely the opposite of what you want). The instructions in the docs are pretty easy to follow iirc.