How do you alphabetize your CDs?

Note: To all you young whippersnappers, once upon a time there was a music format known as the “compact disc” (“CD” for short) which were round plastic discs 5½" in diameter, read by a laser which could store up to 80 minutes of music at a time, nearly twice as much as the record format which preceded them. (I’ll explain records and 8-track tapes some other time…now get off my lawn!!!)

Anyway, to those who still maintain CD collections – do you group solo artists and side projects with the original bands they came from, or keep them separate? Generally, I’ll keep them separate, so “Genesis” remains separate from “Phil Collins” and “Peter Gabriel” (although Genesis and Gabriel end up close to each other, oddly enough.)

However, for the musicians who essentially are the band, I’m thinking it’s better to keep them together – The Doors/Jim Morrison, Nine Inch Nails/Trent Reznor, David Coverdale/Whitesnake, and so forth. Do any of you guys store CDs this way? Or by genre, perhaps?

Also, does the J. Geils Band file under “G”, or “J”?

Need answer fast, by the way. :wink:

I alway organize them with the most recently played CDs at one end. That way, I can see what I haven’t played in awhile and pick one of those.

Alpha, by band name or artist last name. The Band comes before Bob Dylan, etc. If a work is truly solo, it goes under their name. Paul McCartney mostly goes under M.

J Geils goes under J, as the name of the band. I spell out numbers, like 10cc under Ten.

Rinse and repeat.

Since they have all been ripped and stored in iTunes, I can sort them pretty much any way I want…

I’m weird with numbers. Originally I spelled them out, but when I changed to ordering them with numbers first (so Van Halen goes 1984, 5150, Balance, Diver Down, etc.) but didn’t bother re-alphabetizing the ones I’d already bought. Now that I have the chance to completely reorganize my collection, I’m sorting all of them with numbers first…except Foreigner’s 4, which looks weird if I don’t do it the old way.

Thanks…was tearing my hair out about that one!

So does Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers remain under “Petty, Tom” due to it being the artist “and” the band?


By ripping them to my music server.

My organizational method for physical media defaults to ‘wherever it gets set down.’

That said, the server groups them by individual artists and I like it that way… Except now you’ve got me thinkin’. It could be nice to have them grouped as well. And I’ll bet there’s a way to make it do both.

*individual artists or band names…

This is pretty much how I do it, except that all the Mothers of Invention albums are grouped up with the Frank Zappa albums. It doesn’t look odd on the shelves tho because Frank has his own section.

Artists alphabetically, and then albums chronologically.

Technically there are no “Trent Reznor” solo CDs. The only thing he has released under his personal name were soundtracks, but those are collaborations with Atticus Ross.

Classical music by the composer’s last name, and pop music by the band or artist’s first name. It’s a good system, since two-thirds to three-quarters of my music is classical of some sort.

So, to give an example from my iPod playlists (how I organize all my music), Arcangelo Correlli is followed by Debussy, followed by Dire Straits, followed by Dvorak, followed by Elgar, Fauré, and Frank Sinatra. I don’t know how I decided on this system, but it’s worked great!

I have the actual cd’s in Album Title order.

Backing that up, I have a spreadsheet with the Artist or Band Name, Album Title and an optional Name column. McCartney would go in the optional Name. Beatles, Wings would be the band names. I can sort by any column.

So, to find a Wings album, I’d pull up the spreadsheet, sort by Band Name. Then use the album title to find the actual CD. If I want to find every CD that McCartney played on, then I’d sort by the optional name. That would group the Beatles, Wings and any solo albums all together.

Most of my collection has been ripped. I rarely go to the physical CD anymore.

Sorting the physical CD’s by Album title works well because it eliminates any guess work about Bands and solo artists. I’m pretty sure that none of my album titles ever duplicate each other. Each CD has its own unique title.

:smack: I forgot to mention that I do it this way as well.

And since it’s somewhat related, when I rip CDs to mp3s, I prefer to have them in a folder of the artist’s name, and then a folder of the album name. I like the files to have the following format Artist - Album - Track # - Song Title, but iTunes doesn’t like that format and renamed all my old files as just Track # Song Title (01 Back In Black, for instance). Sometimes I miss RealJukebox and MusicMatch, but they’ve been crushed by the wheels of progress.

Way back in the day, when I had only 200 or so CDs, I experimented with sorting them by spine color. It was a total bitch to find any particular title, but damned if it didn’t look awesome.

Alpha by band or artist name. Soundtracks and radio plays have their own section. I got rid of all the jewel cases and put all the CDs, booklets, and case art in binders. Within a band, in chronological order by release. All the binders are packed away though. The few random CDs I’ve gotten in the last eight years are in a box for eventual insertion into the binders, along with a few CD cases that are cardboard. I still buy the occasional CD of my three favorite artists and new artists I encounter at festivals or concerts. There’s maybe two bands I’ll keep together with their solo albums. Alpha by first name. I ignore “the” except for the band The The.

Back when I had invested heavily in vinyl (one word: plastics!), I kept named artists organized last-name first, and everything chronological…I had around 2,000 albums, and I needed something well-organized. Now that I’m down to about 100 albums I can’t seem to surrender (despite no turntable), they’re semi-random.

CDs? All of them are ripped, so they’re in no order at all…just jammed into big cloth CD holders.

I do them alphabetically by artist’s last name, then by album title. My Tom Petty (alone) and Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers albums are comingled under ‘P.’ There’s one big exception to my rule: I have a rack that has two vertical columns, and I have two Ke$ha albums. Therefore, each column is topped by a Ke$ha album. (Technically I have three, but two of them come in the same case–Animal and Cannibal. The other one, I Am the Dance Commander + I Command You to Dance, is a remix album.)

I have all my CDs in a case in our spare bedroom, mainly for archival purposes at this point. I have all my music on my computer and phone, but I still keep the CDs around for looking at the booklets/liner notes, and for having a physical backup. Also, at some point when it becomes more feasible for me to store/listen to all my music in FLAC format, I’m going to re-rip all of them.

I don’t think I have any CDs of a side-project or solo artist that’s related to a band that I also have CDs of. I think my inclination would be to file the solo items separately under the artists’ last names, apart from the band.

I’ve been flip-flopping on how to sort bands with a person’s name in them. Does the Steve Miller Band go under S or M? Does Huey Lewis and the News go under H or L? It’s probably more correct to file it by the first letter, since that’s part of the band name, but I prefer them filed by last name, so in the above cases I use M and L. They say that the best filing system to use is the one that you’ll best remember/understand, so that’s what I’m doing.

Alphabetically by band name or artist last name. A few oddities that only I would be able to decipher. For example Small Faces and Faces are both filed under “F.” But Rod Stewart’s solo albums that he cut while with the Faces are filed under “S.” I’ll have to check, but I’m pretty sure Hindu Love Gods are filed under “H,” even though it would probably make more sense to have that album under “Z” with all the other Warren Zevon stuff.

By the third letter of the artists last name. Keeps people guessing. :wink: