Optimum file organisation?

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terrypin
Posts: 871
Joined: Mon May 10, 2004 7:48 am

Optimum file organisation?

Post by terrypin »

I've been careless with tags, filenames and file locations over the years, always putting off that major cleanup that's badly needed. Before I attack it in earnest, can I get some basic advice about the most useful way to organise my files please, so as to be able to use MM's tools properly.

It seems to me to boil down to a choice between these:

1. /Music/<Artist>/<Album> - <Title>.xxx
2. /Music/<Artist>/<Album>/<Title>.xxx
3. /Music/<Artist>/<Album>/<Artist> - <Title>.xxx

Also, should I tackle the filenames first and then the tags, or the other way round?

I should add that I have many tracks with unknown albums, unknown (or 'Various') artists, etc.

--
Terry, East Grinstead, UK
Terry, East Grinstead, UK
MM 4.1.29.1910 Gold, about 8000 tracks, i7 4.0 GHz running Win 10 Pro
Lowlander
Posts: 48769
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2003 5:53 pm
Location: MediaMonkey 5

Re: Optimum file organisation?

Post by Lowlander »

First the tags as you can have the filenames created from the tags (Auto-Organize Files). The actual organization doesn't matter too much (more tags make tag recovery from filename easier) as long as Album files are in the same folder (more important if you have external Artwork).

I'd suggest something like
/Music/<Album Artist>/<Album>/<Track#>. <Artist> - <Title>.xxx
at minimum.
Lowlander (MediaMonkey user since 2003)
dtsig
Posts: 3341
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 6:34 pm

Re: Optimum file organisation?

Post by dtsig »

It is a 'chicken or egg' thing as to whether you do the filenames or the tags. You can move the files around from the tags and you can update the tags from the filenames. The trick will be all the 'unknown' and various.
As for the structure, although I normally defer to lowlander in all things MM ... I use a structure like
/music 0-h/<aritst> - <album> - <year>/<track#> - <title>
/music i-m/<aritst> - <album> - <year>/<track#> - <title>

This way I can copy folders to a small drive I take along on trips and have the <artist> - <title> there in the folder structure to see what to listen to. Just seems a little easier for my use.

The big thing is to pick a structure and just start using it. MMW makes it very easy to change this if needed ONCE the tags are in.
Where's the db and ini stored
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Where tags are stored

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DTSig
MMFrLife
Posts: 2774
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:04 pm

Re: Optimum file organisation?

Post by MMFrLife »

It varies depending on what part of my folder structure I'm sending it to, but the basic idea is:

/<Genre>/<Album Artist>/<Album>/<Track#> <Title>
[The first couple of folders are the general genre (rock, jazz, etc) and
then a mix of sub-genre/style names that I don't necessarily use from the genre or any other tag]
Classical music includes <Composer>

Also, I don't use a folder like "Music" to lead off with (to limit path length). The drive it's on is an all things "audio" drive.
I Identify that it's music or anything else audio by just knowing that it's on my Audio drive.
So all the folders dealing with music have a number range specific to that, all spoken word stuff that's not an audio book (comedy, podcast, etc.) in a range
specific to that, audio books specific to that, etc.

I like the idea of thinking in terms of "what if I had to just find something in explorer without the aid of a program (other than the OS)".
[but I "wouldn't" recommend this approach to most]
MM user since 2003 (lifetime since 2012) "Trying to imagine life without music gives me a headache"
track properties; dir/fn mask configurations; check out ZvezdanD's scripts
MMW 4.1.18.1842b; fav scripts > RegExp Find & Replace 5.1.0; Magic Nodes 5.1.0; Advanced Duplicate Find & Fix 3.8.2;
Backup 6.0; Clear Now Playing Button 1.2
...always back it up, especially before doing anything major!!!
Win. explorer alt. for power users [free]; great file/folder renamer [used by nasa]
terrypin
Posts: 871
Joined: Mon May 10, 2004 7:48 am

Re: Optimum file organisation?

Post by terrypin »

Thanks all, much appreciate those three helpful replies. Lots to think about there. This time I need to get it right, because the current status show that I've obviously been inconsistent and/or changed my mind more than once!

@dtsig: Are /music 0-h and /music i-m special top level folder names unique to you? Or is there some other MM-related significance please?

--
Terry, East Grinstead, UK
Terry, East Grinstead, UK
MM 4.1.29.1910 Gold, about 8000 tracks, i7 4.0 GHz running Win 10 Pro
dtsig
Posts: 3341
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 6:34 pm

Re: Optimum file organisation?

Post by dtsig »

No those are just my way. My music is on a 4tb drive but the music only takes up 1.25tb. Instead of having 1 big MUSIC folder i broke it down to 5 sections many years ago for ease of having across multiple drives. I have kept that structure .. just easier to go to the bits I want .. kind of a binary sort <G>.
MMW will use what ever you have as you can tell from the varied opinions. That is what make sit so great.
If i were you the first thing I would probably do is work through the tags. Get them settled. Then you can use MMW to restructure your other files anyway you want.
Where's the db and ini stored
Reporting Bugs
Where tags are stored

Not affiliated with MediaMonkey ... just a RABID user/lover
DTSig
leafinator
Posts: 86
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 10:23 am

Re: Optimum file organisation?

Post by leafinator »

Again it's a matter of personal preference but as I'm anal about organizing my music as I have so much (over 117K). I use a 4 TB drive as well. I have multiple types of files (Audiobooks, music files, old time radio files etc...) so I have a separate folder for each of them. Under the Audio Files (which is music) folder I have 0 & Symbols and A-Z. I do this as I currently have 929 artist folders. With that said, I've also had them listed out and it worked without any problems what so ever even though it's a large list. MM has been able to handle anything and everything I've thrown at it for 7 years now.

In the library itself I do the same thing to every album I buy:

1.) Rip it
2.) Look up album art via amazon.com
3.) Verify that all track names look right (sometimes Amazon has the track length at the end of the songs so I remove this)
4.) Verify that the track names don't have " - " (space, hyphen, space) as I organize all artists folders as the album artist and then the each album has a separate folder.
5.) Rename via Auto Organize in the following structure: Album Artist - Album - Track # - Title
6.) Move new ripped album to it's appropriate folder within explorer.

I also use File Monitor to automatically update the location of files after I rip them or download them as I rip/download files to a folder called "To Organize" first so I don't forget to do what I mentioned above.

I add album art for everything and save the image to the file so when I move the files to my phone (using the MM for Android app) it shows the album art there as well.

"Playing" with my music is a hobby so I've spent literally months if you add up combined time in MM to keep everything organized (I keep adding and changing things) but updating your library won't take that long due to all the cool features (especially the look up feature where you can look everything up on amazon). As you can tell, I'm a power use of MM and LOVE it. I only mention this as I'm guessing you're a new(ish) user of MM and want to assure you that you'll love all the features and it can handle anything you throw at it. In my opinion this is by far the best software that I've ever used for music.
User since 2006, Lifetime licence owner since 2007
terrypin
Posts: 871
Joined: Mon May 10, 2004 7:48 am

Re: Optimum file organisation?

Post by terrypin »

dtsig wrote:No those are just my way. My music is on a 4tb drive but the music only takes up 1.25tb. Instead of having 1 big MUSIC folder i broke it down to 5 sections many years ago for ease of having across multiple drives. I have kept that structure .. just easier to go to the bits I want .. kind of a binary sort <G>.
MMW will use what ever you have as you can tell from the varied opinions. That is what make sit so great.
If i were you the first thing I would probably do is work through the tags. Get them settled. Then you can use MMW to restructure your other files anyway you want.
Thanks dtsig, understood.

--
Terry, East Grinstead, UK
Terry, East Grinstead, UK
MM 4.1.29.1910 Gold, about 8000 tracks, i7 4.0 GHz running Win 10 Pro
terrypin
Posts: 871
Joined: Mon May 10, 2004 7:48 am

Re: Optimum file organisation?

Post by terrypin »

Many thanks leafinator, very helpful.

--
Terry, East Grinstead, UK
Terry, East Grinstead, UK
MM 4.1.29.1910 Gold, about 8000 tracks, i7 4.0 GHz running Win 10 Pro
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