Welcome to The Record Room! In the two bookcases in the corner to my left are 10,000 or so 45 RPM singles, arranged alphabetically by year. The LPs (2000 or so) start in one of these cases, alphabetically, A-M. In the two bookshelves in the corner to my right are Beatles singles on top, followed by Beatles LPs (group and solo), then LPs N-Z plus Various Artists. 78 RPM records in cardboard album jackets are on the bottom shelf, and I have another box of 78s in the closet. Where I have more than one single or album by an artist, they are arranged in order of release.
The entire walls to the right and behind me are CD shelves. The first 4 1/4 rows are Beatles. Then it becomes alphabetical and in order of release. There are 14 rows on each wall, A-L and L-Z, all filled to capacity. Various Artists go at the end. I have plastic divider cards for all the formats of media, with the year (singles) or letter of the alphabet (all others) applied as stick-on vinyl lettering. One row behind me is DVDs. I have more box sets than individual discs.
I keep track of everything in two MS Works databases, one for singles, one for albums. There are currently 11,792 entries in singles, 5191 in albums. I’ve written the databases in such a way that I don’t actually know how many singles there are, physically, because it includes a listing for each mix variation on a song, an entry for a song on a 45, but another listing for it on CD. I list everything I have on albums and compilations that was issued as a single. That’s what is taking the longest time in compiling the data. I’m nowhere near finished, and I won’t be for a very long time!
The singles database lists every pertinent fact about the record - A/B sides, running time, chart position, date of issue, label, number, original label and number, country of origin, location of the track on LP or CD, and a Comments field. I also keep track of what’s on CDs in the program Exact Audio Copy. When you insert a disc in the drive, it reads the CD text and stores all the titles in its own rudimentary database.
There are five boxes of cassettes in the next room. I haven’t used any of them, except for transferring some old recordings onto the computer for CDs, since we got our first computer in 1999. There are likely less than a dozen songs on hundreds of tapes that I haven’t got now on a CD. One of these days I will have to throw hundreds of tapes out, but I can’t bring myself to do it just yet.
There are also 300+ VHS tapes stored in more boxes. Someday, I will learn how to transfer VHS video to DVD properly and start on another monumental task of format conversion. Oh yeah, there’s also a box of 8-track tapes and a player in like-new condition, in the closet, too. It looks like I’ll be putting up more shelves, or I’ll wind up with stacks of discs on the floor…