Count your beats with BPM Counter

Display the beats per minute for all your MP3s with this free tool.

DJs have always used "digital technology" to time the beats per minute (BPM) of a song; they tapped it out with their fingers on the desktop while timing the beat with a stopwatch or wristwatch or by saying, "One one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand." Was there a better way? Sure, but it cost thousands of dollars. Today, better tools are available, and they're free. One such tool is AbyssMedia's BPM Counter. It detects, counts, and displays the beats per minute of your MP3s and WAVs. It can analyze single tunes or whole collections. It avoids the mistakes common to other BPM counters, such as inaccurately decoding MP3s, which can drastically alter the count. BMP Counter is useful for studio mixing and sampling as well as DJ work.

BPM Counter's simple, clean interface is based on a tree view in its left sidebar and a gridded main view. The toolbar handles basic functions: Recording, Convert, Edit Audio, and Tempo. The Tools menu also contains a CD burner and MIDI converter. BPM Counter is easy to use, front to back, but it has a pretty good Help file, too, if you need it. We started by loading an MP3. You don't need to play an MP3 for BPM Counter to dissect its beats; the program scanned our tune as soon as we loaded it, displaying its file name and BMP (75.36, a driving beat, yet sultry) as well as Title, Artist, and Duration. Next we tried a batch of tunes. BPM Counter processed them quickly and displayed the results. But there doesn't seem to be a way to save or print the results, at least not in the freeware, which is more nuisance than inducement to upgrade, frankly.

The Audio Recorder, Audio Converter, Tempo Changer, and Audio Editor are unavailable in the freeware, and you must visit the program's site and download the paid updates to use them. That's not so bad since the tools BPM Counter's free version omits are commonly available as freeware, and its main feature, the beats-per-minute counter, is what most users need BPM Counter for in any case.

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