Overwriting duplicates when moving

I have my config file working mostly how I want it. I ran beets on a large repository of albums to tag and incorporate into my organized music directory. I accidentally ran it in copy mode. Most of the albums/files were successfully tagged and copied as expected. Some of them we skipped. I’m not sure why yet.

The problem is I don’t know which ones were copied and which were skipped, without sifting though hundreds of lines in the terminal. Beets won’t let me reimport albums already in the database. If I remove them from the database and attempt to reimport (with move), it duplicates the tracks in my library instead of overwriting. I have the duplicates plugin included in my config file with the following parameters set:

count: yes
album: yes
delete: yes
merge: yes

Didn’t seem to help. I’m really struggling to understand how to use beets to automate the importation process of new music files. Even if it wouldn’t have duplicated files on import, the original folder was left behind with junk files. I’ve added a lot of items to the ignore and clutter line in my config file, but it seems I will never catch all of them.

Here’s how I hope to use Beets: I want to either manually or automatically (either once a day or when triggered by the completion of a download or something like that) run the beets import which goes through my new download folder, tags the new files and moves complete albums into my music library using the paths setup in my config file. The original folder and any leftover junk is then deleted, and any skipped album is left alone with some indication of why it was skipped so I can fix the issue.

Hello there! Your setup, described there at the end, sounds about right: this is a pretty “normal” way to use the beets importer. So I hope this should be able to work for you!

It sounds like there are two separate issues: (a) how to configure & invoke beets to work how you want, and (b) how to clean up a previously-created mess, after the fact. For (b), since you were in “copy” mode, one option is to simply blow away the imported files and start again from scratch. An alternative would be to simply rely on beets’s duplicate detection and simply “skip new” for all duplicates. Would that do what you want?