We’re pretty happy with SQLite and not urgently interested in a fancier DBMS

Every once in a while, someone suggests that beets should use a “real database.” I think this means storing music metadata in PostgreSQL or MySQL as an alternative to our current SQLite database. The idea is that a more complicated DBMS should be faster, especially for huge music libraries.

The pseudo-official position of the beets project is that supporting a new DBMS is probably not worth your time. If you’re interested in performance, please consider helping to optimize our database queries instead.

There are three reasons I’m unenthusiastic about alternative DBMSes: I’m skeptical that they will actually help performance; it’s a clear case of premature optimization; and SQLite is unbeatably convenient for desktop applications like beets.


Many people assume that Postgres or MySQL must be faster than SQLite. But performance depends on the workload, and SQLite is a great match for the beets workload.

Specifically, serious client–server DBMSes are great for web applications, where

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