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beets ydl

Download audio from youtube-dl sources and import into beets

$ beet ydl ""

$ beet ls short music for short people

59 Times the Pain - Short Music for Short People - We Want the Kids
7 Seconds - Short Music for Short People - F.O.F.O.D.
88 Fingers Louie - Short Music for Short People - All My Friends Are in Popular Bands
Adrenalin O.D. - Short Music for Short People - Your Kung Fu Is Old... And Now You Must Die!
Aerobitch - Short Music for Short People - Steamroller Blues


pip install beets-ydl

And enable ydl plugin on your config.yaml file.


Available options and default values on config.yaml:

plugins: ydl

    download: True         # download files from sources after getting information,
    split_files: True       # try to split album files into separate tracks,
    import: True           # import files on youtube-dl after downloading and splitting,
    youtubedl_options: {}  # youtube-dl available options --
    urls: []               # list of default urls to download when no arguments are provided, you
                           # can provide a playlist to get checked every time

How it works

The plugin main goal is to deliver an importable file set to the beet import command, so it will download an audio file, look for a tracklist with track times in the video description, split the file into per-track files, assign some basic ID3 tags to them, and finally run beet import on ${BEETS_CONFIG}/ydl-cache/${VIDEO_ID} directory.


  • The video title can trick beets to find the correct album, in this case you'll have to manually enter a search term

  • Use the bandcamp plugin for better results

  • Use a .netrc file to use your own YouTube playlists

    Security discussions apart, you can create a ~/.netrc with credentials for youtube-dl to read.

    machine youtube login password somepassword

    Check this entry on youtube-dl docs for more information.

    Like this, you can download private playlists or your subscriptions:

    beet ydl ""
  • Download and import later

    To download and split files without importing into beets:

    beet ydl "<source>" --keep-files --no-import

    And later, to import:

    beet ydl "<source>" --no-download --no-split-files

    Like this, you can download a big playlist and then run the beets import routine, which requires manual intervention.

  • (possibly) enhance audio quality

    beets-ydl uses a proposed 192kbps extractor 'bestaudio' format because it is more likely that it will find separate audio files on sources. Some high quality videos might have better audio quality embedded, so it can also make sense to set a higher quality extractor:

            format: 'best',
                key: 'FFmpegExtractAudio'
                preferredcodec: 'mp3'
                preferredquality: '320'
                nopostoverwrites: True

    This can, however, end-up with unnecessarily big files that have 320kbps as a merely nominal quality. See this discussion.


Execute the env script to get into a virtualenv.

. ./env.develop


Download audio from youtube-dl sources and import into beets



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