New user: Constant Bit Rate

How do I get constant bit rate instead of variable bit rate in my converted files.

Here is my config.yaml -

directory: /media/lacy/My Book/Music
library: /media/lacy/My Book/MusicDB/MusicDB.blb

Copy: no
Write: no

plugins: convert web

auto: yes
embed: yes
max_bitrate: 256

Hello! You will need to use the plugin’s command-line configuration to send the proper flags to the underlying transcoder program (i.e., ffmpeg). For that, you’ll want to try the ffmpeg docs.

I’ve tried that, but I keep getting “Failed” when converting. I’ll look over the ffmpeg docs again. Thank you.

Ok, I added this under convert:

command: ffmpeg -i $source -y -vn -b:a 256k

It is still failing. Is there a problem with my syntax?

Hi! It’s impossible to say without more details. Can you be specific about exactly what you tried (commands you ran) and what is going wrong (the output you saw)?

It might be helpful to read this grading rubric for bug reports. The above comment currently scores 1/5.

1 Like

This is my current config.yaml

directory: /media/lacy/My Book/Music
library: /media/lacy/My Book/MusicDB/MusicDB.blb

Copy: no
Write: no

plugins: convert

command: ffmpeg -i $source -y -vn -b:a 256k
auto: yes
embed: yes
max_bitrate: 256

Here is an example of what is happening

Encoding /media/lacy/TOSHIBA EXT/M1/Eurythmics-Sweet_Dreams_(Are_Made_Of_This)-REMASTERED-WEB-2005-ENTiTLED_iNT.1/05-eurythmics-the_walk_(remastered_version)-90b4b5f4.mp3
Encoding /media/lacy/TOSHIBA EXT/M1/Eurythmics-Sweet_Dreams_(Are_Made_Of_This)-REMASTERED-WEB-2005-ENTiTLED_iNT.1/05-eurythmics-the_walk_(remastered_version)-90b4b5f4.mp3 failed. Cleaning up…
Encoding /media/lacy/TOSHIBA EXT/M1/Eurythmics-Sweet_Dreams_(Are_Made_Of_This)-REMASTERED-WEB-2005-ENTiTLED_iNT.1/15-eurythmics-love_is_a_stranger_(coldcut_remix_-remastered_version)-e88adec5.mp3
Encoding /media/lacy/TOSHIBA EXT/M1/Eurythmics-Sweet_Dreams
(Are_Made_Of_This)-REMASTERED-WEB-2005-ENTiTLED_iNT.1/15-eurythmics-love_is_a_stranger_(coldcut_remix_-remastered_version)-e88adec5.mp3 failed. Cleaning up…
Encoding /media/lacy/TOSHIBA EXT/M1/Eurythmics-Sweet_Dreams
Encoding /media/lacy/TOSHIBA EXT/M1/Eurythmics-Sweet_Dreams_(Are_Made_Of_This)-REMASTERED-WEB-2005-ENTiTLED_iNT.1/09-eurythmics-somebody_told_me_(remastered_version)-af870b54.mp3 failed. Cleaning up…
Encoding /media/lacy/TOSHIBA EXT/M1/Eurythmics-Sweet_Dreams_(Are_Made_Of_This)-REMASTERED-WEB-2005-ENTiTLED_iNT.1/14-eurythmics-sweet_dreams_(are_made_of_this)(hot_remix-remastered_version)-747af1da.mp3
Encoding /media/lacy/TOSHIBA EXT/M1/Eurythmics-Sweet_Dreams
(Are_Made_Of_This)-REMASTERED-WEB-2005-ENTiTLED_iNT.1/14-eurythmics-sweet_dreams_(are_made_of_this)(hot_remix-remastered_version)-747af1da.mp3 failed. Cleaning up…
Encoding /media/lacy/TOSHIBA EXT/M1/Eurythmics-Sweet_Dreams
Encoding /media/lacy/TOSHIBA EXT/M1/Eurythmics-Sweet_Dreams_(Are_Made_Of_This)-REMASTERED-WEB-2005-ENTiTLED_iNT.1/01-eurythmics-love_is_a_stranger_(remastered_version)-f885398e.mp3 failed. Cleaning up…
Encoding /media/lacy/TOSHIBA EXT/M1/Eurythmics-Sweet_Dreams_(Are_Made_Of_This)-REMASTERED-WEB-2005-ENTiTLED_iNT.1/10-eurythmics-this_city_never_sleeps_(remastered_version)-033c61d1.mp3
Encoding /media/lacy/TOSHIBA EXT/M1/Eurythmics-Sweet_Dreams_(Are_Made_Of_This)-REMASTERED-WEB-2005-ENTiTLED_iNT.1/10-eurythmics-this_city_never_sleeps_(remastered_version)-033c61d1.mp3 failed. Cleaning up…
Encoding /media/lacy/TOSHIBA EXT/M1/Eurythmics-Sweet_Dreams_(Are_Made_Of_This)-REMASTERED-WEB-2005-ENTiTLED_iNT.1/02-eurythmics-ive_got_an_angel_(remastered_version)-342c894d.mp3
Encoding /media/lacy/TOSHIBA EXT/M1/Eurythmics-Sweet_Dreams_(Are_Made_Of_This)-REMASTERED-WEB-2005-ENTiTLED_iNT.1/02-eurythmics-ive_got_an_angel_(remastered_version)-342c894d.mp3 failed. Cleaning up…
Encoding /media/lacy/TOSHIBA EXT/M1/Eurythmics-Sweet_Dreams_(Are_Made_Of_This)-REMASTERED-WEB-2005-ENTiTLED_iNT.1/03-eurythmics-wrap_it_up_(remastered_version)-1f4408d2.mp3
Encoding /media/lacy/TOSHIBA EXT/M1/Eurythmics-Sweet_Dreams_(Are_Made_Of_This)-REMASTERED-WEB-2005-ENTiTLED_iNT.1/03-eurythmics-wrap_it_up_(remastered_version)-1f4408d2.mp3 failed. Cleaning up…
Encoding /media/lacy/TOSHIBA EXT/M1/Eurythmics-Sweet_Dreams_(Are_Made_Of_This)-REMASTERED-WEB-2005-ENTiTLED_iNT.1/08-eurythmics-this_is_the_house_(remastered_version)-ab04cb53.mp3
Encoding /media/lacy/TOSHIBA EXT/M1/Eurythmics-Sweet_Dreams_(Are_Made_Of_This)-REMASTERED-WEB-2005-ENTiTLED_iNT.1/08-eurythmics-this_is_the_house_(remastered_version)-ab04cb53.mp3 failed. Cleaning up…
Encoding /media/lacy/TOSHIBA EXT/M1/Eurythmics-Sweet_Dreams_(Are_Made_Of_This)-REMASTERED-WEB-2005-ENTiTLED_iNT.1/06-eurythmics-sweet_dreams_(are_made_of_this)(remastered)-934eaa44.mp3
Encoding /media/lacy/TOSHIBA EXT/M1/Eurythmics-Sweet_Dreams
(Are_Made_Of_This)-REMASTERED-WEB-2005-ENTiTLED_iNT.1/06-eurythmics-sweet_dreams_(are_made_of_this)(remastered)-934eaa44.mp3 failed. Cleaning up…
Encoding /media/lacy/TOSHIBA EXT/M1/Eurythmics-Sweet_Dreams
Encoding /media/lacy/TOSHIBA EXT/M1/Eurythmics-Sweet_Dreams
(Are_Made_Of_This)-REMASTERED-WEB-2005-ENTiTLED_iNT.1/04-eurythmics-i_could_give_you_(a_mirror)(remastered_version)-e6d3b28e.mp3 failed. Cleaning up…
Encoding /media/lacy/TOSHIBA EXT/M1/Eurythmics-Sweet_Dreams
Encoding /media/lacy/TOSHIBA EXT/M1/Eurythmics-Sweet_Dreams_(Are_Made_Of_This)-REMASTERED-WEB-2005-ENTiTLED_iNT.1/07-eurythmics-jennifer_(remastered_version)-1b5a5dce.mp3 failed. Cleaning up…
Encoding /media/lacy/TOSHIBA EXT/M1/Eurythmics-Sweet_Dreams_(Are_Made_Of_This)-REMASTERED-WEB-2005-ENTiTLED_iNT.1/16-eurythmics-satellite_of_love_(remastered_version)-07de616c.mp3
Encoding /media/lacy/TOSHIBA EXT/M1/Eurythmics-Sweet_Dreams_(Are_Made_Of_This)-REMASTERED-WEB-2005-ENTiTLED_iNT.1/16-eurythmics-satellite_of_love_(remastered_version)-07de616c.mp3 failed. Cleaning up…
Encoding /media/lacy/TOSHIBA EXT/M1/Eurythmics-Sweet_Dreams_(Are_Made_Of_This)-REMASTERED-WEB-2005-ENTiTLED_iNT.1/13-eurythmics-babys_gone_blue_(remastered_version)-dbc4619f.mp3
Encoding /media/lacy/TOSHIBA EXT/M1/Eurythmics-Sweet_Dreams_(Are_Made_Of_This)-REMASTERED-WEB-2005-ENTiTLED_iNT.1/13-eurythmics-babys_gone_blue_(remastered_version)-dbc4619f.mp3 failed. Cleaning up…
Encoding /media/lacy/TOSHIBA EXT/M1/Eurythmics-Sweet_Dreams_(Are_Made_Of_This)-REMASTERED-WEB-2005-ENTiTLED_iNT.1/12-eurythmics-monkey_monkey_(remastered_version)-c79b8885.mp3
Encoding /media/lacy/TOSHIBA EXT/M1/Eurythmics-Sweet_Dreams_(Are_Made_Of_This)-REMASTERED-WEB-2005-ENTiTLED_iNT.1/12-eurythmics-monkey_monkey_(remastered_version)-c79b8885.mp3 failed. Cleaning up…
Encoding /media/lacy/TOSHIBA EXT/M1/Eurythmics-Sweet_Dreams_(Are_Made_Of_This)-REMASTERED-WEB-2005-ENTiTLED_iNT.1/11-eurythmics-home_is_where_the_heart_is_(remastered_version)-4c657cb4.mp3
Encoding /media/lacy/TOSHIBA EXT/M1/Eurythmics-Sweet_Dreams_(Are_Made_Of_This)-REMASTERED-WEB-2005-ENTiTLED_iNT.1/11-eurythmics-home_is_where_the_heart_is_(remastered_version)-4c657cb4.mp3 failed. Cleaning up…

If I take the line out “command: ffmpeg -i $source -y -vn -b:a 256k” then my output music files are all in variable bit rate.

Am I honestly the only person who has ever asked how to get the converted files in constant bit rate?

Can you please do these two things to make the output more useful:

  • Use verbose mode (-vv).
  • When pasting, use Markdown code blocks (“preformatted text,” in the Discourse interface).

Also, please include the beets command that you ran.

Hi @Sabot_Du,

well, it is really ffmpeg doing the conversion here and not Beets. What do you get when you do the conversion directly through ffmpeg?

ffmpeg -i sweet_dreams.mp3 -y -vn -b:a 256k

Does it successfully convert your song?

1 Like

Adrian, if your only goal in life is to make things more difficult than they need to be, then perhaps you should find some other way to spend your time.

Thank you Adam, I will try this and see if I can get the syntax correct. Your help is appreciated.

Dear @Sabot_Du,

I think you took @adrian’s reply the wrong way. He was the first one to offer you help (as he most of the time is) and he was just trying to urge you to supply more information so that he/we can give you proper help. Perhaps you were not prepared to get a grade on your current bug report (psst, he is an assistant prof at uni :cowboy_hat_face:). Please don’t take it too seriously: it was just a fun way to make you reflect upon it. If it was me I would take it as an opportunity to become a better bug reporter so my issues will get resolved with more ease and in less time in the future. In fact, my suggestion about trying out ffmpeg directly was just a shot in the dark because I also feel that there is way too little information to give you any concrete help. I also think your reply to @adrian was impolite.

Let’s get your problem fixed: try to supply as much relevant information to your issue as possible (command you are executing like:beet -vv convert ..., the full output of the command, output of beet config -d, etc.).

1 Like

You are correct, it was impolite, as it was intended to be.

By repeatedly telling me to reformat a simple question, he came off as both arrogant and rude.

If he can not handle a little criticism in this area, then I will say it again, he should find other ways to spend his time, like refining his code to be more user friendly thus reducing the need for help with such a simple request.

As for the solution, I finally figured it out on my own with much trial and error and with your help about the formating of the ffmpeg command.

After I corrected the formating of the command, it was still not working.

Then I rearranged the lines in config.yaml to the following and finally got it working -

max_bitrate: 256
auto: yes
command: ffmpeg -i $source -y -b:a 256k $dest
extension: mp3

So somewhere in the way that beets is parsing that data, it is sending a corrupted command sequence, if the order of those lines is not correct.

If there is documentation pointing to how each pluggin’s line items should be arranged, I would appreciate the help in finding it.

But if I need to repeat this query seven times in seven different ways, then don’t bother.

Now I do apologize is the criticism has been received poorly, but I spent many years in technical support and as a technical trainer and I can tell you that telling folks you will not answer their question unless they repeatedly ask it in different ways will make people believe one of two things -

A.  That you don’t know the answer to the question
B.  That you are arrogant and condescending

Welcome @Sabot_Du.
I just wanted to chime in…

I was wondering if you realize that you’re using a free tool in which @adrian and others have put a tremendous amount of time to make your life easier? He’s even willing to provide you with free support. How generous can someone be?

Can he then please (without being called rude, arrogant or condescending) ask you to format your support requests in a way that makes it easier for him to give support?
If he would go and spend his time otherwise there would be virtually no support on this forum. @jakabadambalazs is a great addition in that respect.

I had to go through a similar adaptation process because I also posted plain text code in the beginning and didn’t post verbose output. I must say it was well worth it for all the support I’ve received over the last year.


Thank you for your help explaining, @jakabadambalazs and @janpeeters. FYI, I have temporarily suspended @Sabot_Du after sending them an “official warning” DM in response to their earlier post making it clear that personal attacks are not allowed on this forum.

I can understand your decision @adrian. I hope it leads to some self reflection.