How to tell an iTunes-based library from a file-based one

Starting with version 3, beaTunes supports two kinds of music collections:

  1. iTunes-based
  2. Folder-based

iTunes-based music collections basically mirror everything you have in your iTunes music collections. Also, whenever you change something in beaTunes, it is automatically communicated to iTunes, so all data stays in sync as much as possible. If you are keeping your music in iTunes, this is what you want.

Folder/FileSystem-based music collections have nothing to do with iTunes. Instead you basically point beaTunes to a base folder in which all your music files reside. This approach does not sync any data with iTunes. Therefore, iTunes only recognizes changes once it plays a modified file. So if you are not using iTunes, but some other music player, this is what you want.

When you first run beaTunes you are asked to choose what kind of music collection you want. If you don't remember what you chose, simply open the beaTunes general preferences and take a look at the name of your collection. If it starts with iTunes, it is iTunes based. If it starts with FileSystem, it's folder based.

If you accidentally chose the wrong kind of library, you can easily create a new one.

  • beaTunes4: Open the menu File, New Library, then choose the kind of library you are interested in.
  • beaTunes3: In the beaTunes general preferences, click on the + button underneath the library name and choose the kind you are interested in.

If you choose iTunes, you will have to select the corresponding iTunes Music Library.xml file. If you choose Directory based, you will have to choose the base directory of your music files.