FAQ (Frequently Asked Question)
About MusicBee Edit
Who makes MusicBee? Edit
MusicBee is authored by one person, Steven Mayall, who does this for free in his spare time.
He is very active on the forum. At the time of this writing, about 1/4 of all forum posts are Steven's. He responds to appropriately formatted bug reports as quickly as possible, but as MusicBee gains more users, he may not be able to address every one.
How can I support MusicBee? Edit
- You can donate via PayPal to support website expenses (this link is also available from the official MusicBee website).
- You can develop plugins, skins, or Theater Modes.
- You can help with translation.
- You can write documentation on this wiki.
- You can answer questions from other users on the forum.
Are there any limitations on using MusicBee? Edit
MusicBee is freeware for personal use. Just about anything is fair game as long as you're not selling it.
Is MusicBee open source? Edit
No. There has been lengthy debate on this topic among users, but Steven is firm that he will consider making MusicBee open source only when he's no longer developing it.
Here are the debates and Steven's own words on the forum:
Installation & Setup Edit
What are the system requirements for MusicBee? Edit
- Windows Vista, 7, 8/8.1, or 10 (32 or 64 bit versions)
- .NET 4.0 or higher
- At least 512 MB of physical RAM
- At least 50 MB of available space on your hard drive
- DirectX 8.1 or above
Will MusicBee be ported to Mac/Linux/other OS? Edit
Steven has not definitively ruled it out, but it seems unlikely. Please don't make posts on the forum asking for it; there are many and they can be easily found by searching. For example, here is a great post about the obstacles to creating a Linux version.
Mac users may be interested in these posts:
Linux users may be interested in these posts:
How do I play AAC files in MusicBee? Edit
When using Windows 7 and above, an AAC decoder is included on most Windows systems. When using an older Windows version or Windows N series, you will need to install the AAC decoder created for the BASS library. Additionally on Windows 10 only (at the time of writing this) the Windows AAC decoder can cause playback to suspend near the end of some files - the BASS AAC decoder works fine with such files. You can download the add-on for your own personal use:
- download bass_aac24.zip
- unzip and copy bass_aac.dll to the folder MusicBee is installed (e.g. \Program Files\MusicBee)
- restart MusicBee
How do I rip/convert to AAC, MPC, OGG, Opus, Tak and WavPack files with MusicBee? EditAAC/MPEG
Due to licensing restrictions no AAC encoder can be distributed with MusicBee. However, you can install the following for personal use:
- download Nero AAC, available here
- copy neroAacEnc.exe to the Codec sub-folder where MusicBee is installed (e.g. \Program Files\MusicBee\Codec\)
- activate in MusicBee - go to Preferences > File Converters and tick AAC
- restart MusicBee
- download the encoder pack from the musicbee forum available here. Alternatively, you can also download the encoders directly from sites such as www.rarewares.org
- unzip the file and copy all the .exe files to the Codec sub-folder where MusicBee is installed (e.g. \Program Files\MusicBee\Codec\)
- activate in MusicBee - go to Preferences > File Converters and tick each of the encoders
- restart MusicBee
Files and Organization Edit
What's the biggest collection MusicBee can handle? Edit
One user reports a library of over 500,000 files. So far no one has complained of hitting a "limit." Chances are good it can handle your collection, too!
Why can't I find some tracks in my library? Edit
- Are they in your Inbox?
- Do you have any Filters applied that would hide them from view?
- Have they been marked as duplicates?
- Did you exclude that file type when MusicBee scanned the files? See Scan Folders for New Files.
- Do they exceeded the minimum file size setting in Library Preferences?
If you have eliminated all those possibilities and still can't find files, you can get help at the MusicBee Forum.
Why isn't MusicBee importing new files? Edit
- MusicBee will automatically import new files only if they are in a Monitored Folder.
- It's possible that they are already imported, but hidden (see previous entry).
Did MusicBee move my files? Edit
By default, MusicBee does not move files on your harddrive. If files are disappearing from their original location after being scanned by MusicBee, check Library Preferences to see if either "auto-organize music library files" or "automatically sweep and organize new files" has been turned on.
How do I move my files without breaking the links in MusicBee? Edit
The best way to move your files is to use the Send To > Folder (Move) command from MusicBee's Library Context Menu. You can simply move them, or you can enter an organization template at the same time.
If you've already moved your files, the easiest thing to do is delete the broken links and rescan. If you're concerned about retaining info like play counts and last played date, the Remap Music Folders command can help MusicBee find them again.
Why are tracks from the same album shown separately in my library? Edit
Unless you've made changes to your Sorting & Grouping Preferences, this is probably the result of having inconsistent Album or Album Artist tags. Albums with multiple artists or many featured artists especially tend to have this problem. Compilation or 'best of' albums that have different publication years for each track may also show as separate albums or will not sort correctly within an album.
First make sure that you're sorting (and grouping, in Album Covers View) by Album and/or Album Artist, not Artist. If that doesn't help, you can fix your tags manually by selecting all tracks from the album, and using the Tag Editor to apply Album and Album Artist values to all of them. Fix the year by setting all tracks to the year the compilation was published (if you want to retain the year by track, the Original Year field is helpful for this). Or you can use one of MusicBee's Auto-Tagging options to retrieve standardized tags for the album from a database like MusicBrainz. Also make sure that the disc number tag is consistent, i.e. disc number 1 of 2 etc. Even if there is only one disc in the album, if some tracks have no entry here and some have disc 1 of 1, it can split the tracks when you view the album.
What is the Inbox? Edit
The Inbox node is a feature unique to MusicBee. It is a separate section of your library designed to hold newly added files until they're "ready" for your library, whatever that may mean to you.
The most common use of the inbox is probably to make sure files are tagged to your liking before adding them to the main library. This ensures that an Auto-Organize template will organize them correctly, among other things.
Why can't I open more than 15 files from Windows Explorer? Edit
This is a limitation in Windows. However, Microsoft offers a workaround.
Can I sync my iPod / iPhone / iPad with MusicBee? Edit
Short answer: not directly.
Due to Apple's proprietary software, most iPods and iPhones are not directly supported by MusicBee. For iPhone/iPod Touch, only iOS 3.11 or below is supported.
Steven, the developer, says: "Even for the same iPod model, particular (longer) serial numbers don't work with MusicBee. Also I think if the iPod has been formatted with iTunes 11 (and maybe the last of the 10 series) it causes problems with MB."
Some forum members have successfully synced iPod Classics. Please consult the forum for help.
However, You can use the iPod & iPhone Driver plugin to sync your iPhone/iPod (requires iTunes to be installed, but plugin will launch iTunes automatically in background). Another way to sync iDevice is to use Sync Links plugin in conjunction with any of various 3d party iDevice managers (e.g. CopyTrans Manager or EaseUS MobiMover).
You can also do it by exporting your library or one or more playlists from MusicBee and importing it into iTunes. The music files themselves do not need to be copied. See How to Sync MB library/playlists to iPod/iPhone Using iTunes.
Is there a mobile version of MusicBee? Edit
No, although there is a MusicBee Remote for Android.
In theory any player should be compatible enough to play tracks synced by MusicBee (provided they support the format synced). MusicBee users have particularly reported being pleased with these players:
Disclaimer: these are strictly personal recommendations. None of these apps are associated with MusicBee, the developer, or its users in any formal way.
Update May 2019: See this forum thread for information on testing an Android app Steven developed to do syncing over wifi. It also reverse syncs playcounts and ratings from GMMP and Poweramp.
Can I search using file name and location in addition to tags? Edit
Yes! Click on the magnifying glass icon in the search box and tick +Filename. This will include the filename and full folder path.
Why are tracks not scrobbling/scrobbling multiple times to last.fm? Edit
The problem will be on last.fm's end. See this post from Steven.
Why is a track not in the Playing Tracks list being played? Edit
This can happen when "playback follows cursor" is selected in Now Playing Preferences. That setting causes whatever track is selected in the main panel to be played after the currently playing track finishes.
When I add artwork to an album, the artwork shows up on ALL my albums. Help! Edit
This usually happens when all or many of your files are in a single folder. MusicBee assumes that files will be organized as one folder per album, so it applies any artwork found in the same folder to all files in that folder.
There are a couple of solutions to this:
- Use File Organization to have MusicBee organize your files more effectively (can be manual or automatic)
- Change the artwork settings in Tags (1):
- Under 'downloaded album cover storage' make sure ONLY 'embed picture in the music file' is ticked
- Under 'set which pictures are displayed', move 'embedded' to the top and untick all other options
- Use the Rescan Artwork button on the 'set which pictures are displayed' dialog
- You may also need to tick 'confirm picture storage options when adding artwork' in General Preferences, if you previously disabled that setting