Possible workflow for new albums in library

I’m trying to understand if I can make beets work with my workflow. I have forever used MediaMonkey to organize music manually and finally took the plunge with beets over the past week. I went through everything and had it skip anything it couldn’t match so I’m ready to start with the manual importing. However I’m running into a logistical issue.

Essentially all I want is for beets to find new albums in the Library directory. The reasons for this are below:

  1. I am currently using Lidarr to upgrade all of my albums to FLAC. So it makes it easy if Lidarr can just search, download, and replace. Then beets can update the library with the new files and tag it appropriately.

  2. Any new music in general can be post-processed and placed into the library directory and then beets can be used to clean it up. This way I can enjoy new music quickly, and organize/clean my library when I have time.

Is this possible or do I need to change my workflow so that new music is only ever imported from a specific directory? I tried to use the update feature of beets and that worked to remove missing files and to also update existing files, but it doesn’t add anything new that I’m aware of.

I was able to find this post and comment (Update scanning an existing beets database) which points out that it is confusing to do an import on the same directory. As in, if my library is ‘/mnt/music’ and I try to import new items from ‘/mnt/music’ then it’s not going to work well.

Is there any settings of the incremental, skip, asis, etc, that would work in this scenario to find new music only and skip everything else? Otherwise I guess I’ll need to reconfigure Lidarr a bit.

Yay! Welcome to the beets life. :smiley:

Indeed; for your own sanity, I think it is generally a really good idea to keep a separate “library” directory from your “inbox” directory. This really helps separate the stuff you’ve looked at and integrated from the new music you still need to work on.

I’d recommend using the two separate directories, but if you really want to avoid copying stuff to a second location, you will probably want to stop beets from moving/renaming your files—i.e., you’d keep them precisely where they are, and beets would just track them where they are. In which case you’d turn off copy and move and enable incremental so you can skip directories you’ve already imported.

Seems so, for everything you’ve stated.

I think I’ll have to disable the importing of music from Lidarr and just have beets import from the directories that music is downloaded. In this scenario I’ll have to keep the incremental turned on so it can track what is has seen, etc.

@adrian … is my assumption correct that if I set incremental_skip_later: no and then execute beet import -q /music/import it’ll re-look at the skipped albums so that I can manually import them later if it cannot find a good match?

Yep—that’s right. We’re aware that option is pretty confusing. Here’s some backstory on how the docs were just wrong for a while, in case you’re curious:

Thanks for the info @adrian, very helpful. Beets is doing a fantastic job and once I adjust my workflow I think it’ll be much better.

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