Music Library

Tangara works with music that you own, stored offline on an SD card. In contrast with streaming music services, this requires some knowledge of audio formats so that you can effectively navigate and play your music.

This page contains recommendations for how to organise your digital music collection for use with Tangara.

The easy version: just use Beets!

We use, and highly recommend, Beets for managing your music.

Beets is a cross-platform command-line tool for organising your music collection. It handles normalising your directory structure and metadata formats, filling in missing metadata, and performing bulk operations on your collection. It also has a great ecosystem of plugins that extend its capabilities.

Once you've imported your collection into Beets, you can easily transcode anything in your library that can't be played by Tangara using the convert:

  embed: no
  format: opus

FIXME: this is good enough for me, but we should probably list out formats in the no_convert selector too

FIXME: we would like to re-add no_convert: samplerate:..48000 to the above, but we need to specify an allow-list of file types, otherwise <= 48K AACs (for example) get passed through un-converted.

(Bluetooth users may want to specify 44100 instead of 48000)

You can then make a converted copy of your entire library using beet convert -d /path/to/sdcard.

Note that beet convert will not overwrite existing files. This makes it very easy to sync any newly added tracks to Tangara, by simply repeating the same conversion command.

Supported audio formats

The latest release of Tangara's firmware includes support for the following audio codecs:


Across all formats, Tangara currently isn't able to perform well with sample rates higher than 48kHz.

When using Bluetooth, Tangara resamples audio up or down to 44.1kHz. This has a small impact on both performance and quality. If you are very picky about audio quality, you may want to resample your collection ahead of time.


The exact format of track metadata (or 'tags') various across both file formats, and music retailers. In general, Tangara tries to work well with Beets' default format for each kind of tag. We figure they've thought about it a lot more than we have.

Some considerations when tagging your music for Tangara are:

  • Leading Articles: If you would like sorted lists of tracks to ignore leading articles (e.g. sorting "The Mountain Goats" under "M"), then you will need to preprocess your tracks to have tags formatted like "Mountain Goats, The".
  • Track numbers should ideally be a plain number. Formats like "01/12" or "1 of 12" are also okay; Tangara will use the first complete number it finds in the tag.
  • Disc numbers are supported, and will sort as you expect (when viewing an album, tracks from disc "2" will be sorted after tracks from disc "1").
  • Album artist is supported, and Tangara will use it instead of track artist in most collated views.