How do you organize your music?

My scroll finger is aching when I’m trying to find a music video to watch. How do organize your files efficiently?

Group/Artist > Album > Song by # as it appears on the album in my iTunes.

All my CDs are organized in alphabetical order by group, and all albums by a group/artist are arranged in chronological order.

Except for Frank Zappa. He has his own section where albums are arranged in chronological order, without regard to group/solo attribution.

Alphabetically by artist, then albums sorted either chronologically or alphabetically (depending on whether I know/bother to add the release year), then tracks in album order.

I name my files with band-album-track#-song in that order so that they’re all neatly grouped together on an alphabetical sort:

Journey - Escape - 01 - Don’t Stop Believin’.mp3
Journey - Escape - 02 - Still They Ride.mp3
Journey - Escape - 03 - Who’s Crying Now.mp3


If they’re music videos, or “single” mp3s, it’s just band-song:

Nightwish - Nemo.avi

Well in itunes there’s no need to organize since you can just type it in the search box. For my ipod I have various playlists, both by subjective themes, and by the various itunes column headers like date added, song title, etc. Main playlist I use is 4+ rating sorted by song name (so that I can easily find the song if I want to add it to an on-the-go playlist).

My physical CDs I have taken all out of their cases and put in a cd collection case along with the artwork, alphabetical by artist - except compilations are in a separate album by title, and related artists are together, such as Sting +Police, Sonia + Diaappear Fear, Indigo Girls + Amy Ray, Morrissey + The Smiths, etc.

Without sounding too geeky here is my method using Access (though Excel would also work):

  1. Each album is assigned a numerical code (e.g., 001, 002) and a label is placed on the sleeve or jacket.
  2. A record entry is made in a Access database that includes code, music type, artist, title, year, label & number, # of songs.
  3. The Access (or Excel) database can easily be sorted by any of the fields (or combinations) and then noting the album code.
  4. The album can then be found in whatever you use for storage since they are all in numerical order.

With a collection of over 2,000 CD’s and albums this has proven to be the best method that has been used and improved over 20 years.

all songs from one artist in one folder.

why in the heck would I want to click through 14 folders to find a song?

I think the question needs to be refined a bit. Whether we’re talking about physical media or mp3s is going to produce different methods. And if it’s mp3s it would depend on what software you choose; using Excel or Access could produce different methods than using ‘ready made’ software like Windows Media Player or MediaMonkey.

I use Media Center 14, and use the artist - album - track number - song method. All 'the’s are ignored (so The Beatles comes under ‘b’), and solo acts are listed under forename - surname.

The big problem I’m having is that the file names don’t have a standard format, and software like iTunes won’t work with videos (at least, not the .flv’s from Youtube.) Some put artist, title, album, others don’t. I’m trying to avoid either putting them into a folder one by one, or changing their names one by one.

My music is on my “M” drive

M -> Lossless -> S -> Stafford, Jo -> Ballad Of The Blues -> Tracks

M -> Lossless -> S -> Stafford, Jo -> Yes Indeed -> Tracks

And so forth…

The videos go in my “M” drive

M -> Music Videos -> N -> Newton-John, Olivia -> Physical -> Videos Tracks

M -> Music Videos -> N -> Newton-John, Olivia -> Totally Hot -> Videos Tracks

And so forth…

With this system, everything is exactly where you want it.

You have windows index the “M” drive and if I want a track I type it in and since it’s indexed it comes up in a second or two.

I have over a TB of music and it never takes me more than 5 seconds to find a song on a search, but I pretty much know what I have. All my music is WavPack (Lossless).

I then use dbPoweramp to convert (just right click and hit convert) to a folder marked AAC on my desktop.

Then I just dump that folder into my iPod to add any new songs. Once they are on the iPod I delete the AAC version and I still of course have the lossless version

CDs are sorted alphabetically by artist and than in chronological order.

Mp3s are sorted like this: Artist - Title (solo artist are alpha by first name). A few variations:1) pre-1964 rock: Oldies-Artist - Title, 2) soundtracks: film scores: Soundtrack-Title from Movie Name (original songs from movies are with the artist). Holiday music and classical follow the Oldies naming pattern.

Although, looking back, I really like the way Dahnlor does it.

CDs are sorted:

  1. Classical, chronologically.
  2. Musicals, alphabetically.
  3. Rock/pop/standards/everything else, alphabetically by performer or theme.
  4. My chorus’ CDs, chronologically.

All of my CDs are downloaded onto iTunes, and can be sorted any way I want.

The best 60G are also downloaded onto my iPod.