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A new probabilistic framework for beat tracking of musical audio is presented. The method estimates the time between consecutive beat events and exploits both beat and non-beat information by explicitly modeling non-beat states. In addition to the beat times, a measure of the expected accuracy of the estimated beats is provided. The quality of the observations used for beat tracking is measured and the reliability of the beats is automatically calculated. A k -nearest neighbor regression algorithm is proposed to predict the accuracy of the beat estimates. The performance of the beat tracking system is statistically evaluated using a database of 222 musical signals of various genres. We show that modeling non-beat states leads to a significant increase in performance. In addition, a large experiment where the parameters of the model are automatically learned has been completed. Results show that simple approximations for the parameters of the model can be used. Furthermore, the performance of the system is compared with existing algorithms. Finally, a new perspective for beat tracking evaluation is presented. We show how reliability information can be successfully used to increase the mean performance of the proposed algorithm and discuss how far automatic beat tracking is from human tapping.