How do you organize your music?

Discussion about anything that might be of interest to MediaMonkey users.

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How do you organize your music?

Post by smartmart »

Hi again guys,
I was up all night trying to edit some song names etc. Then it dawned on me that maybe I have organized my music files in a tedious manner.
First of all some history of my organizing..
When I first got MM I didnt know about the tag editing stuff (still dont). So on my ext hdd I had a folder called (surprisingly) MP3'S. Now, what I did was put all my mp3's in this folder and edit the file names there!
eg 02_presley_elvis_12_blue_suede_shoes and edited it to-
Elvis Presley - Blue Suede Shoes.mp3
This worked fine until the folder wouldnt accept anymore files (I dont know why).
So I thought I would have a folder for each letter of the alphabet A-Z. Then put all the artists in the appropriate folder eg Elvis Presley in folder P, this took weeks to sort them all. This has worked great for a while now but, I have so many more mp3's that are not yet checked or names edited etc that it's really tedious checking them one by one and putting them in their appropriate folder ready for rescanning into MM. I have made my life difficult with this scenario.
The folder with the unchecked files in has about another 6500 mp3's. Being the lazy person I am, I just scanned that folder without sorting them into MM and started editing with MM. Again, this is simple and how I started, but the folder will soon become full. What or how do you organize your music files??? any suggestions??? Do you use a number of folders?? How many files can you get in one folder??
Thanks Martin.
smartmart normaly, with the exception of computing...
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Post by Spazz »

Here's my scheme, I just use mediamonkey's auto organize, my folders look like this.

For all my FLAC rippped from CD's
The external drive, backup.

H:\<album artist>\<year> - <album>\<track#> - <title>

From that I transcode to MP3 to the same directory structure on my laptop's hard drive, works like a charm.
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Post by Tankred »


I used MP3Tag to mass tag and rename all my files. Now I have them organized in Folders on a partition called 'music'. The first folder level is #, A, B, C and so on. The second contains the artists name and in this folder I have even more folders that are named after the artist's albums. The album folders contain the music files (in my case only mp3), named as follows:

%artist% - %tracknumber% - %title%

Additionally, I have the album cover in any album folder, named like this:

%album% - Cover.jpg

The cover is always 300x300 pixels.

I also tagged all mp3 files with unicode ID3 tags v1 and v2 and stored the cover in the tag of each file. Each file tag contains the following information:

- Artist
- Album
- Trackname
- Tracknumber
- Genre
- Year

In addition to this, the files of the genre 'classical' and 'opera' contain information about the artists in the comment field. Files with the genre 'vocal' also have information in the comment field, in this case the speaker's name.

I also standardized the encoding of my files. Files with the genre 'vocal' are encoded with 128 kbps with Lame, all other files are encoded with the preset 'alt standard'.

With MP3Tag I've managed to edit all my files, now I have a perfect music archive and MediaMonkey is the perfect way to access it. :)
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This is interesting

Post by smartmart »

This could be a really interesting read. I like the way you two have organized yours.
I hope more people share their ways of how they organize too. It could potentially help others and give some great ideas for smarter ways to organize their music files.
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Post by Teknojnky »

I use the following mask for my final organization.

Code: Select all

J:\Music\$if(<Album Artist>,$if(<Album Artist>=<Artist>,<Artist@1>,$if(<Album Artist>=various,_Various\$if(<Year>,<Year> - )<Album>,$if(<Album Artist>=soundtrack,_Soundtrack\$if(<Year>,)<Album>,$if(<Album Artist>=Techno,_Techno\$if(<Year>,<Year> - )<Album>,<Album Artist@1>\<Album Artist>)))),<Artist@1>)\$if(<Album Artist>,$if(<Album Artist>=<Artist>,<Artist>\,),<Artist>\)\$if(<Album Artist>,$if(<Album Artist>=<Artist>,<Artist>,<Album Artist>),<Artist>)$if(<Album>,$if(<Year>, - <Year>) - <Album>$if(<Track#>, - <Track#>,),)$if(<Album Artist>,$if(<Album Artist>=<Artist>, - <Title>, - <Artist> - <Title>), - <Title>)

some random example paths/filenames from the above mask
J:\Music\_Techno\2006 - Floorfillers- Club Classics\Techno - 2006 - Floorfillers- Club Classics - 202 - Olive - You're Not Alone.mp3
J:\Music\_Soundtrack\The Matrix Reloaded\Soundtrack - 2003 - The Matrix Reloaded - 203 - Rob Dougan - Chateau.mp3
J:\Music\_Various\2006 - Planet 70's\Various - 2006 - Planet 70's - 203 - Stealers Wheel - Stuck in the Middle.mp3
J:\Music\T\Twisted Sister\Twisted Sister - 1985 - Come Out and Play - 02 - Leader of the Pack.mp3
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Post by gege »

OK, I will explain not only the final appearance of my library but the process of getting my music organized:

- I'm already using MM3 with my main Library. So I use the Filters feature* to keep the organized files apart from the new (downloaded or ripped) ones. All new music goes to "X:\Quarantine\", which is a monitored folder. I set up a filter called "Music in Quarantine" whose criteria is "Path contains X:\Quarantine\". This way, after putting a new album in "X:\Quarantine\", I switch to "Music in Quarantine" filter in MM and the files are ready for me to edit them.
* I used to use two different libraries to get this functionality, but fortunately MM3 filters have made this much easier.

- Next steps: convert file format (if necessary), analyze the volume and use "Auto-Tag from Amazon" to get the tag info. Next I use the case checker script (with some small changes, to fulfill my taste) and rate the songs. Magic Nodes and Tagging Inconsistencies scripts are very useful in this phase.

- Then I use WebSearch Panels script to get and paste the lyrics in tag and search on a bunch of different sources to get the cover art (including scanning), which is saved as Folder.jpg in the current album folder (but the cover art is not assigned to the tags yet).

- Some more bits here and there, and the files are ready to go to they final location...

- To move the files I use Auto-Organize** with the following mask***:

Code: Select all

X:\Music\$If(<Grouping>,<Grouping>,<Genre>)\<Album Artist>\$If(<Year>,<Year> - ,)<Album>\$If(<Track#>,<Track#> - ,)<Artist> - <Title>
In this single step, I have a pretty folder structure like this:

Code: Select all

   |--- Rock
      |--- U2
         |--- 1991 - Achtung Baby
            |--- 01 - U2 - Zoo Station.mp3
** While moving, MM asks to move the image files as well. I just say Yes.
*** The <Grouping> field is new to MM3Beta2, but in MM2 I used to use a Custom field for this. The idea here is to have a few generic categories of music like "Rock", "Classic", "Black Music", "Ethnic", "Brazilian" and so on. This way I can have the real genres assigned to tags, without having the folder structure so crowded.

- After this step, the moved files will already show up in the "General Music" filter, which is defined as "Path contains X:\Music\". I switch to "General Music", then go to "Files to Edit > Unknown Album Art", select all files in there and launch trixmoto's Album Art Tagger. Then I use process #2 to embed album art as a link, with "<path>\Folder" mask.

- Done!

- In fact there's some more details in this process, but I wanted to keep it as simple to understand as possible. Though I'm sure you got the idea.
- During the entire porcess, the only external tools I use are:
. Paint.NET to scan/edit Album Art;
. CUE Splitter to split single file albums;
. EAC to rip audio CD's.
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Post by TwiztidSinz »

D:\Music\<Artist>\[<Year>] <Album>\<Track#> - <Title>

It's easy to find stuff I or others want to listen to..
It's easy to recover if all my tags get borked..
It's neat, clean and organized..
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Post by agge »

I havent really taken time to make up an organize idea. But one thing I have thought about is this.
I want to have both the artist and the title in the filname, because thats what really matters anyways. And this is because if I want to send a song to someone on MSN or share it in some way, its pretty handy to see what song it is. And it isn't that important (imo) to know what tracknumber a song has. And if you really want to know that, it's enough to have it in the tags. So I think i will probably end up organizing my music in this way:

"D:\Musik\<Artist>\<Album> [Year]\<Artist> - <Title>"

I'm only considering if I really need to have the album in the folder structure cuz i don't have a very large collection but a lot of single songs.

Just my 2 bananas
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Post by rovingcowboy »

this should be in off topic or help since you are asking for help.
or for user input on a subject that is done by all users and is not news.

but it does fall under the other stuff.

the folder did not accept anymore files? umm ? was it a root folder. as in c:\mp3's\

or was it in a system like

i know the root can not hold more then 250 folders in win98 not sure on winxp or other os.

but i never heard of a folder not holding only so many files?
how many did it have before it stopped allowing more in.
what os do you have.

as for doing the organizing i use mine in folders such as this.

D:\My Music\<artist>\<album>\<title>

i don't need more folders to look through so i as long as i can keep the double titles as in 2 versions of the song from deleting one of the other ones i use that folder set up if the 2 versions of the song by the same sing happen to be on one album i'll add the track number to the title or change the title on the file its self.

but i am not sure how many files you can get in a folder as i said the folders on the root in win98 were limited to 250 folders.
what they are now on the other os's i have not heard.
roving cowboy / keith hall. My skins ... =9&t=16724 for some help check on Monkey's helpful messages at ... 4008#44008 MY SYSTEMS.1.Jukebox WinXp pro sp 3 version 3.5 gigabyte mb. 281 GHz amd athlon x2 240 built by me.) 2.WinXP pro sp3, vers 2.5.5 and vers 3.5 backup storage, shuttle 32a mb,734 MHz amd athlon put together by me.) 3.Dell demension, winxp pro sp3, mm3.5 spare jukebox.) 4.WinXp pro sp3, vers 3.5, dad's computer bought from computer store. )5. Samsung Galaxy 5 Android 5) 6. amd a8-5600 apu 3.60ghz mm version 4 windows 7 pro bought from computer store.
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re os and root file

Post by smartmart »

Cheers RC,
os is xp sp2

I started my collection by just right clicking the desktop and choosing new folder. Re-named the new folder MP3's then ripped cd's and d/l music. Checked them and just dragged and dropped to the folder named MP3's.
I can't remember exactly how many files it took before it appeared to be full, but it was around 5000 to 8000 mp3's.
So I opened another folder and carried on like this.

Is this what you meant by a root folder?
If so it could explain the limit.
I did prefer the original manner of drag n drop to one folder. It saved so much time. But as I said in my previous post, A-Z is very tediuos and time consuming.
When all is done and said, mm is the fastest and most powerful app I have heard of and I love it. Just waiting for mm3 to be released and I am going for lifetime license.
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Post by rovingcowboy »

no the root folder is what i posted as .


that would be a root folder
when a tech tells you to look for a folder or file on the root.
they mean look for it at the level of
that is the directory tree root.
think sideways.
is the drive (dirt)
is the root
c:\program files\
is the root with dirt around them.
c:\program files\mp3's
is the tree trunk.
c:\program files\mp3's\Elvis Presley\
is the tree limb
c:\program files\mp3's\Elvis Presley\greatest hits\
is the tree branch
c:\program files\mp3's\Elvis Presley\greatest hits\jailhouserock.mp3
is the the leaf on the branch

hope that helps? :P

but you just answered your own mistake though.

you used the desktop folder which is not meant to be used like that for permanent folders. but is what m$ designed for shortcut control and a few programs that they use as in IE and trash can.
its not meant to be a program files folder.

but people use it that way and the m$ tech use to tell you to unzip to the desk top but they did not mean for you to keep the files there. they used for temp folder when doing over phone or on line help.

everything is meant to go in to the program files folder.
with the exception of a few things that were needed faster access to.

the root on xp i think was upped to a higher number of folders and files but i don't remember what the limit was upped too.
so i basically just keep the windows OS stuff that was there doing set up there. every thing else goes either where they wanted us to put it or in the programs folder in a folder i wanted to move it too.

the more you keep the system set up like they wanted it the faster your system works i think that is because there's less files for the computer to wade through to get to windows stuff.

it does not show up as any huge gain in speed its more like an unclogged arteries and one that is clogged up with fat.

one just makes it easier for you to work.
think of the computer as in that manor and that it has to get to the OS which is the main program to run. and needs as clean a path as possible to the OS folder. then you can see a fairly well working computer.

but block it up with junk and it will only take so much then start mucking up.

there are icons all over the desk top here. reason being my sister likes them on the screen for faster access she does not want to go in to the folder i made called desktop icons and stuffed 90% of them in there. me i like a clean desk if i have to go in to the drawer to get the notepad then i go in the drawer and get the notepad.
nice neat and clean, and i can see the image on the desktop that way too.

but thats what goes on with the desktop folder it is only for use as a shortcut container and possibly a temporary temp folder.

roving cowboy / keith hall. My skins ... =9&t=16724 for some help check on Monkey's helpful messages at ... 4008#44008 MY SYSTEMS.1.Jukebox WinXp pro sp 3 version 3.5 gigabyte mb. 281 GHz amd athlon x2 240 built by me.) 2.WinXP pro sp3, vers 2.5.5 and vers 3.5 backup storage, shuttle 32a mb,734 MHz amd athlon put together by me.) 3.Dell demension, winxp pro sp3, mm3.5 spare jukebox.) 4.WinXp pro sp3, vers 3.5, dad's computer bought from computer store. )5. Samsung Galaxy 5 Android 5) 6. amd a8-5600 apu 3.60ghz mm version 4 windows 7 pro bought from computer store.
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Post by latinmusiclover »

If it helps (I really had a hard time reading through all the rabbit trails)...

I have an external drive with almost 3000 folders on the Root. The Win98 Root files+folders limit was a feature of the FAT and the OS. Nothing in FAT32, NTFS, or XP suggests any such limit would exist.

If you decide to create a folder off the Root for your music remember that the length of that folder's name gets added to the max length of the path and filename for all file names, so make it short.

Post by Guest »

I just store all of my 7,000 songs in one big folder. Navigation is easy because I don't have to navigate subfolders and all the files are named in the "Artist Name - Song Title" format.

Is there any good reason I shouldn't be doing it that way?
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Post by declan »

If it works for you there's no reason to change. I would have thought you'd want it change it as you get more tracks.
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Post by Big_Berny »

If you only have complete albums like I do a subfolder-structure is better. Because I only her complete albums normally. Another advantage of a folderstructure is, that you also have the songinformation when you lose your tags. That happened to me once and I had to recreate my whole library again (musicbrainz didn't exist then...).
Or if a friend wants some albums or artists on his usb-harddisk it's easier to choose the songs.
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