Helium's libraries can be stored in a SQLite, Microsoft SQL Server or MySQL/MariaDB database. This wide choice accommodates different users requirements in terms of database preference and music collection size. You can switch between different databases, select the type of database to use and perform different tasks on the active database.


Database Types

SQLite databases

This is the default database type for Helium, you do not have to install any third party software to use it. It is suitable for smaller music collections.


Microsoft SQL Server Databases
To use this database type you have to install one of the following third party software:

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2014/Express
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2016/Express
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2017/Express


The Express editions of Microsoft SQL Server are free. This database is suitable for larger libraries with thousands of files and information.

For information about how to download and install Microsoft SQL Server Express, click here.


MySQL/MariaDB Databases

To use this database type you have to install one of the following third party software:

  • MySQL 5.7
  • MySQL 8.0
  • MariaDB 10.x


MySQL/MariaDB is free for personal use. This database is suitable for larger libraries with thousands of files and information.

Note: We recommend that you use the most recent MySQL/MariaDB version for the best performance.


For information about how to download and install MySQL/MariaDB click here.


General recommendations for selecting the optimal database type

For smaller libraries, with an approximate maximum of 40-50.000 tracks SQLite should work fine.

Please note that the nuber of tracks is not the only factor that affects performance, the number of artists, playing history and more can also affect the performance.

When working with SQLite, the memory consumed by the database engine is consumed in the same process as Helium's process, therefore if your library is large you can get potential memory problems.

(a maximum of 3.5 GB RAM is available for Helium's process)


For larger libraries you can choose to use either SQL Server or MySQL/MariaDB. MySQL/MariaDB can be a little quicker during browsing and updating of data, but it depends on how the external database engine is configured.

Generally it is recommended that you place the database on an SSD hard-drive, have at least 2GB of available space and at least 8GB RAM. These database engines will run in their own processes to not disturb Helium's main process.

There are a lot of external resources available of how to configure both SQL Server and MySQL/MariaDB available on the Internet.