Finding the BPM of Songs and Installing It In iTunes

I love knowing the beats per minute of a song. I’ve transitioned from someone who didn’t use the bpm very often (except for climbs) to one who heavily relies upon it to match the cadence objectives of my planned ride.

This is not a discussion of whether you should or shouldn’t teach to the beat—there are pros and cons to both methods of teaching, so I will save that discussion for another post.

This article is directed at those who either DO teach to the beat or those who would like to teach to the beat more often, but are confounded by not knowing what the beats per minute of a song is. If you use Mixmeister you are ahead of the game, because Mixmeister analyzes and displays the bpm of every song. But if you are not planning on purchasing Mixmeister software then it’s nice to know there are other means of discovering the bpm.


  1. I believe MixMeister is now charging $3.99 for download (3/9/15)just FYI – and I do apologize if I am incorrect here…

    Just curious if anyone is using a different source that they have found to be worthy of commenting on…??

    1. Author

      Thanks Deanne, you are right, there is now a $3.99 charge. Thanks for letting me know. I will update this article.

      I always wondered why they gave it away for free…and $3.99 is a pittance compared to the value!

      There is a free app called LiveBPM (that I discovered long after I wrote this article, and have been planning on writing another one soon). It’s pretty cool, but you still have to enter the bpm manually into your iTunes. So I use it to analyze the occasional song, but if I want a whole album or group in my library, I’ll use the Mixmeister BPM analyzer.

  2. got it ! horray!!!!!
    Fyi in my itunes the way i got to the place where you can fill out info is highlighting the song then hit get info then summary then info.

    thank you again. this is priceless info!!

  3. Author

    it depends on whether the song is an MP3, an M4a, or another file type. If they are MP3s, Mixmeister will automatically put the bpm into the metadata for the song. Unfortunately, it won’t appear in your iTunes column until you click on that song (a weird bug I wish they would fix). Once you click on that song in iTunes, as if to play it, voila! It populates the bpm column.

    Now, suppose you put songs into Mixmeister BPM Analyzer that are not MP3s. It still calculates the bpm, but doesn’t automatically put it into the metadata of the song. Here’s what you do:

    After you’ve dragged it to Mixmeister and you see a bpm, go to that song in iTunes. Highlight the song, and select COMMAND I (I for “Info”). This brings up a window with all the metadata of the song. You’ll see some tabs across the top. The first one is SUMMARY, the second INFO. Click on INFO and you’ll see the basic data of the song. On the right in the middle, you’ll see BPM. Manually input the bpm that Mixmeister gave you and click OK.

    Look back at that song in iTunes and you’ll see the bpm is now in there! You can do this for any song.

    Hope that helps!

  4. okay so i have the bpm column up but cant figure out how to add the bpm for each song?
    is there a way to manually do this for each song if it didnt auto populate?
    i know how to find the bpm but cant seem to add that info to the playlist 🙁

  5. I’m a BEATunes addict myself. Yes, it does work seamlessly with iTunes and it is very easy to use… exactly why I opt to use it. For me Mixmeister has too many features, so BEATunes was well worth the expenditure for me.

  6. Jennifer,
    You don’t know how much I appreciate this post! No more tapping for me.
    YES,because of you, and Moritz “life is good in the indoor cycling music world!”
    Thank you both 🙂

  7. I use Tube Tempo BPM app on my Android phone. Tap it out, write it on your sheet (ala Jennifer) and good to go.

  8. Fantastic other resources! I have to have the mixmeister download! Fantastic post!!!

  9. I am so happy to read this article! I have grown so tired of counting beats in a song. THANK YOU!

  10. Jennifer,
    Another interesting program and ‘bpm counter for files wav mp3 DRM protected of course can not’ work …

  11. Shari,
    when you put a song in the BPM analyzer that isn’t an MP3 or is DRM protected, it simply remains empty, that’s all. It won’t keep the others from analyzing.
    I have decided to do all of my library by alphabet and just let it run in the background while I’m working on other stuff. It’s working on the A’s right now! I’m still researching to see if there is a way to “Get Info” for all of the songs at once instead of doing each individually. I’ll let you know.

  12. i’ve been using Tempo Magic. anyone know how accurate it is? a little frustrating because the same issue with the DRM protected music won’t go through.
    thanks for BPM steps. have i downloaded but lacked the steps to follow getting the music in. now a new project for this afternoon and weekend.

  13. Thanks for this info, Jennifer and Moritz! I’m very interested in trying it. I’ve read more about the BPM analyzer and some reports say all of your music has to be in MP3 format or the analyzer won’t work. I know a lot of my music is MP4 (or AAC, iTunes’ default).

    I am considering converting all my music, but I wonder if that will mean I have to re-do all my playlists? Or if there is some other unforeseen result that will end up taking a lot of time to fix, when I’m hoping to save time by using the analyzer.

    Thanks for any info you can share. I think I’ll post this question on P-O as well and see if anyone there has experience with it. I’ll report back if I find out something useful!


  14. Thanks again Moritz, that’s a great tip. I’ve been manually creating playlists for BPM ranges – that will save me even more time!

  15. You are welcome 🙂

    An additional hint for iTunes: you may use what Apple calls “Smart Playlists” to create playlists for cadence ranges. Assume you want a playlist that shows you all tracks between 70-80 rpm. For this you create a “smart playlist” that follows these rule set:
    – match any of following rules
    – BPM is in the range 70 to 80
    – BPM is in the range 140 to 160
    – live updating
    and bang you see all tracks that wil be good for 70-80 rpm …

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