When does beaTunes update files/tags?

Justi's Avatar


10 Feb, 2011 10:35 PM

Quick question: when should I expect beaTunes to be updating files (e.g./i.e. by changing id3tags)?

Longer reason for question: I am seeing many more updates than I'm expecting and trying to track this down. The updates are seemingly in random places over my library and seem to happen just when beaTunes has been running for a while (maybe without even analysing anything, not sure yet).

I can see the changes because I'm backing up to a NAS with rsync. I've verified that the altered files are actually changing (different md5s) but I haven't figured out how things have changed.

I'm running other programs (iTunes, mpd) so not absolutely sure this is beaTunes, but beaTunes is the new thing in the mix and updates don't seem to occur when beaTunes is not running. Is it doing anything in the background, such as updating files slowly from a long worklist built after analysis (or inspection), even when no analysis (or inspection commit) is currently running?

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by hendrik on 11 Feb, 2011 08:37 AM

    hendrik's Avatar


    beaTunes updates files

    • when you commit inspections
    • when you analyze files
    • when you use the Get Info dialog

    Some of these updates may be executed asynchronously, i.e. while it appears that the task is finished, beaTunes may still be writing information to files in the background. However, beaTunes does not write to files randomly.

    Note, that analyzing colors may lead to changes not only in the analyzed file, but also other files. Also, if you are using the embedding option in the general prefs, I strongly recommend to update to 2.1.18, if you haven't done that already.


  2. 2 Posted by Justi on 11 Feb, 2011 09:41 AM

    Justi's Avatar

    Many thanks for the swift answer. It sounds like the effect of the color analysis may be responsible for what I am seeing. Can you point me to any more detailed explanation of the coloring process?

    I am using the embedding option and have updated to current version. Might an older version have damaged any of my files that I should recover from back up and re-analyse?

  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by hendrik on 11 Feb, 2011 10:29 AM

    hendrik's Avatar

    beaTunes calculates a multi dimensional frequency based profile for each song.
    It then reduces the multi-dim values to 3 dims (think red, green, blue), taking all existing values into account.

    This changes some of the already computed 3 dimensional values, which then have to be updated.

    This also means, that the colors you see for your library are different from the colors other people see for their library.

    What happened in at least 2.1.17 and perhaps other versions since 2.1.14, is that when embedding data into files, beaTunes might have deleted other id3 TXXX frames. If you have valuable stuff in TXXX frames, you might want to consider restoring. However, the audio portion of the files was not modified.

    Hope this helps,


  4. 4 Posted by Justi on 11 Feb, 2011 05:00 PM

    Justi's Avatar

    Thanks, that helps.

    The color analysis updates explains why analysing just a few newly added songs changes sometimes many songs all over the place! (Out of curiosity do you have any pointers to research literature, etc, to explain the coloring algorithm in more detail?)

    Lost tags: I probably had some replay gain and Musicbrainz tags in TXXX but can regenerate former and live without latter, intact audio is most critical.

    Thanks again.

  5. 5 Posted by Justi on 11 Feb, 2011 09:46 PM

    Justi's Avatar

    Aha! I just looked in the Beatunes log file and see this:

    2011-02-11 21:37:24,494 [21569597] [DEBUG][EmbedColorQueueThread] com.tagtraum.beatunes.library.HibernateMusicLibrary: Songs still in queue for color update: 11549

    so indeed there is a lot of background activity left running and updating my file tags even though the UI seems to give no indication that this is still going on. It's many hours since I ran any analysis and beaTunes has been stopped/started meanwhile. Very nice that the queue is persisted in that way but it comes as a surprise when there is no indication in the interface of what it's doing!

  6. Support Staff 6 Posted by hendrik on 12 Feb, 2011 10:49 AM

    hendrik's Avatar


    that queue is actually not persisted - but whenever you analyze a new color, it is built up again.


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