This app is VERY useful for my RUNNING (exercise)

ken1w's Avatar


29 Jun, 2015 02:32 PM

I'm always looking for ways to improve my running. I wanted to increase my cadence (number of steps per minute), but none of my gadgets were useful for monitoring cadence while running. In iTunes, I noticed a "BPM" field for each song, but it was not populated. I assumed this meant "beats per minute." My idea was to "run to the beat" of songs that are at a known BPM. Beats per minute equals steps per minute. But iTunes has no command to populate the BPM field...

I found beaTunes by searching on how to set the BPM field in iTunes. My procedure is to open my iTunes library in beaTunes. The first time, Analyze All Songs. In the Analyze Options window, select Estimate BPM, Replace existing BPM, Algorithm = OnsetPeak, and Range = 110-220 BPM. Click Analyze. Subsequently, I just select newly added songs and use the Analyze command on selection.

That's basically what I do with beaTunes. Back in iTunes, the BPM field is now populated for most songs. I create separate smart playlists (in iTunes) that automatically show songs with a specific BPM, for a range covering my current (and slightly faster) cadence, which is about 170 BPM at this time. To have a decent number of songs on each playlist, my smart playlist rules select one BPM above and below the "target" number. So, the 170 BPM playlist has songs that are 169 to 171 BPM. The 171 BPM playlist has 170 to 172 BPM. Right now, I have such smart playlists from 169 to 173 BPM. I manually remove songs that do not work well for running to the beat.

These playlists sync to my iPod nano, which I use when I go running. On the iPod, I select the BPM playlist I want to use that day. Then I run to the beat. My cadence remains steady for each run. Over time, I steadily (and slowly) increase the BPM of the selected songs, which helps me increase my running pace in a systematic way. And my running pace (how fast I run a specific distance) has significantly improved since I started using this method. Before, I did not even know my cadence, or if it stayed steady during my run.

My suggestion is to market beaTunes to runners. Maybe have a "Runner Mode" in the app with a subset of the commands and settings, to make it easier to use for this purpose. Have beaTunes create the BPM playlists, which get synced to iTunes; most casual iTunes users have never set up smart playlists.

Thanks for helping me with my running. :)

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by hendrik on 06 Jul, 2015 10:08 AM

    hendrik's Avatar

    Hey there!

    thanks for your post. I certainly didn't have only DJs in mind, when creating the app. Anybody who works out to music can benefit from it.

    Do you have any recommendations regarding magazines or websites I should approach for better marketing?



  2. 2 Posted by ken1w on 06 Jul, 2015 11:01 PM

    ken1w's Avatar


    The only publication I've subscribed to is Runner's World

    Their "how to" articles are usually novice to intermediate level. Maybe you can get them to write an article about running cadence and how to use beaTunes to create BPM playlists for running (with a basic tutorial). They've had such articles (about cadence) before, but the advice for "how" is to run on a treadmill (boring) or use a metronome app (more boring), or count steps for short intervals (tedious). Running to the beat is fun and sustainable for entire run (like having a personal trainer). By knowing my current cadence, I can steadily increase BPM of playlists I create and use, to improve my speed (over months). Right now, I'm at about 170; I'd like to get to 180.

    Here are some things I learned about using beaTunes...

    When I used it the first few times, I had it Analyze songs using the default settings for Estimate BPM. This gave me a BPM number that was typically half of the "steps per minute" for songs that are good for running. For example, 85 instead of 170. So, I created smart playlists in iTunes using rules for BPM that were half the actual numbers I wanted. Later, I noticed there is a Range setting. By selecting 110-220 BPM, beaTunes gives me BPM numbers appropriate for my use, and more "discrete" for slowly increasing BPM over time.

    One point of confusion was why beaTunes did not show songs that were most recently added to my iTunes library. It took me a while to find the Synchronize command to sync latest library changes from iTunes to beaTunes. Updated data seems to sync from beaTunes to iTunes automatically.

    Another issue was why some songs "error'ed out" during analysis. It turned out most of them were because they had DRM (from the old days of the iTunes Store). I've upgraded old song purchases using iTunes Match, but some are no longer offered so cannot be upgraded to current DRM-free AAC format. Unfortunately, songs downloaded from the new "Apple Music" service have DRM (plus I can't sync them to my old-school iPods).

    Here's one thing that would be useful. The Analyze command refers to "online resources" for BPM. There is no way to know a song's BPM from the iTunes Store description. But if I knew the BPM of songs I do not already have in my library, I could find new songs appropriate for running and buy them from the iTunes Store or Amazon. Is there a good way to identify songs (by name and artist) that are at a particular BPM, using such "online resources"?

  3. 3 Posted by Jo Konsdorf on 11 May, 2019 05:24 PM

    Jo Konsdorf's Avatar

    I'm trying to figure out if beaTunes has the capability of actually changing the BPM of a song. I'm also a runner and have built my playlists around BPM, would love to be able to goose my playists by a couple percent to increase my cadence. Can't figure out if the sotware does this and I just can't figure it out or if it does not have this feature. The above post from ken1w seems to indicate that the feature is there. Help?

  4. Support Staff 4 Posted by hendrik on 12 May, 2019 04:36 PM

    hendrik's Avatar

    I'm trying to figure out if beaTunes has the capability of actually changing the BPM of a song.

    Sorry, it does not.

    But, if you are OK with using a command line tool, you could use SoX and in particular the option tempo for this.

  5. 5 Posted by Joan Konsdorf on 12 May, 2019 04:47 PM

    Joan Konsdorf's Avatar

    Well rats!...  FYI for future enhancements, I would definately pay quite a bit for this capability.  Would be super if I could just direct it to my itunes playlist and tell the software to increase by x% or to a specific BPM (180 for most runners)....  I'm sure I'm not the only runner that would love to be able to do this.  
    Thanks, Joan Konsdorf  Fadica Investments LLC10624 S Eastern Ave #A-559 Henderson NV 89052

        On Sunday, May 12, 2019, 9:36:50 AM PDT, hendrik <[email blocked]> wrote:

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