Rebuilding PC / Moving OS. Best practice with beets?

Hi all,

So I wasn’t expecting to like beets as much as I do. Fab software.

However, I started work organizing my music using a laptop that I now need to rebuild.

So two questions. (I’m optimistic about the answers but wanted to check!)

  1. The current beets setup is on a windows 7 machine. If I rebuild the machine, do I simply need to back up the music directory, then back up everying in the beets directory (config file, db file etc).
    And then, once rebuilt, copy everything back onto the clean build making sure everything lines up with instructions in the config file [and, of course, reinstalling everything I need to get beets running in the first place]).

I’m hoping thats a “yes” - but wanted to check.

  1. What if I wanted to move everything I currently have on my windows machine, onto a linux machine? I was originally going to install beets on a machine running unbuntu - but feel more confident with windows, so started out on the windows machine that now needs a rebuild.

If I wanted to move my music and db across from the windows machine onto the unbuntu machine - would I simply follow the instructions laid out in 1… or am I forgetting an important step / reasons why this wouldn’t work.

Thanks in advance.

Good questions!

  1. Yes! As long as the files live at exactly the same paths as before (i.e., you put your music directory in the same place on the filesystem), that should be enough.
  2. Moving to Linux will mean that the paths change, so you’ll need to rebuild the library database. See this FAQ, and consider using beet import -AWC to reconstruct the database.
1 Like


Thank you.

A method I like is to make a copy of the db file, se it as the db in the config, use ‘beet move -c’ . Then you have two versions of the database, one with the data on the place where you copied it and one that is unchanged.