beaTunes: Organizing Music by Beats Per Minute

by Erica Sadun

For some time, I've been looking for a beats-per-minute analyzer for my iTunes library. So I was delighted to stumble across TagTraum's beaTunes. By analyzing songs beats per minute, you can organize them for your workouts or for any other coordinated playback (like DJ'ing at a party). Unfortunately, beaTunes doesn't deliver on the promise. It's very, very, very slow. It took approximately 90 seconds to analyze a 22-second track. I put it out of my misery long before it had analyzed more than a few tracks. Also, it will not analyze FairPlay tracks which includes most purchases from the iTunes Music Store. Can anyone else recommend a good (quick and reliable) OS X BPM utility?


2006-06-14 11:16:33
if you want to tap along with the song to find the tempo yourself you could use something like delay finder widget. it won't be exact but very close

Will Macdonald
2006-06-14 11:32:55
Have a look at A selection of hour long mixes at a range of specified beats.
Erica Sadun
2006-06-14 11:55:51
Thanks Will! The Podrunner podcasts are very very cool.
Nick Lo
2006-06-14 14:42:50
iTunes-BPM is another that requires you to tap along with the song, but it does set the BPM in iTunes once you've got the tempo.
Erica Sadun
2006-06-14 16:29:52
Thanks Nick & Nony, but I'd rather have it done automatically. I ended up running a couple of dozen iTunes through beaTunes. It took hours to do and the results were not what I'd hoped. (I wanted to find some good, driving fast-pasted workout songs.)

I'm going back to the drawing board.

2006-06-15 01:18:40
"Ask the DJ" seems pretty good. I tried the trial version and liked it. It mixes the songs for you without having you to adjust anything at all.
Andreas Bachofen
2006-06-15 08:08:34
I see no alternative to beaTunes at the moment if you use iTunes. "Ask the DJ" was never able to write the BPM to the iTunes BPM Tag with me, but it was certainly much faster than beaTunes at analyzing.
Chris Patterson
2006-06-19 14:35:24
I bought "Ask the DJ" and was just as disappointed with it as Erica was with beaTunes, for the same reasons: slow analysis (even s-l-o-w-e-r with protected AAC tracks), no FairPlay support (unless you had the foresight to NOT update QuickTime beyond version 6.5.1). In addition, the process of updating the bpm information in the ID3 tags is cumbersome (why oh why did they not do it automatically???).
2006-06-20 13:54:13
Wow. DJ's have been trying to figure this out forever. I guess thats why I still sit there with a crate of records and tap it out. I am using itunes-bpm, and a bpm timer on my palm also.....
When a vinyl dj works though, we are using a smaller collection. The most I have ever brought to a gig is 5 crates, I usually bring 2 crates and a bag. Thats only a few hundred records.
These days, people have 50000+ songs in itunes. I personally have over 75000, but I don't dj with them so it doesn't matter what bpm it is really.
Andreas Bachofen
2006-06-20 22:49:33
There is an update to beaTunes which should be about twice as fast now. You can get it here:
2006-07-27 13:46:03
A free, automatic BPM analyzer would be most welcome. There are plenty for the Windoze platform....but I am DJ'ing from my Mac :(


Hendrik Schreiber
2006-08-02 13:05:22
Since the early beta version of beaTunes that you tested, we have released version 1.0 and today version 1.0.1. We are certain, that when using the current version of beaTunes, you will come to different conclusions. The performance of the analysis itself and communication with iTunes have been much improved. You will get the fastest results when analyzing BPM only (without silence or color detection) with the analysis precision slider set to 'fast'. We would appreciate it, if you took a second look.
2006-09-01 20:00:33 has automatic bpm detection in their latest version 3.0 beta 4.
Eric Hwang
2006-10-23 11:31:49
Potion Factory has released a beta version of a new application called Tangerine which does automatic BPM calculations and generates playlists based on these. Check it out:


Case Larsen
2007-08-10 18:54:58
I'm testing out beaTunes 1.2.1 on my dual core iMac (2GHz) and it take about 8-9 seconds to detect BPM of a 5 minute file.

aside from the BPM feature, it does a consistency check on the music metadata -- spelling, year information, fields mostly the same except for some blank or different ones, etc.

so i very well may license it after the trial period is over. :)

Trance Moon
2007-08-31 08:30:39
Hi. Just to let you know, I use this bpm analyzer
to organize some play lists in Trance Moon radio.
Its free and fast.

Keep it cool.

Doug Bedient
2007-11-10 08:37:20
Tangerine by Potion is the ticket.
jonathan Enriquez
2008-06-17 01:05:14
yes the one si use for its speed and simplicity would be "tangerine".