I’m currently trying to organise my mp3 collection for the umpteenth time. The prior attempts always tried to include every track I own, but this time I am concentrating on creating a smaller library with just the good albums and EPs I own – making sure they are consistently tagged (with album art) using a program called mp3tag.
I’m using iTunes this time, as it has the nicest user interface of all the media players I’ve tried. I’ve not used it properly before so any tips on getting the most out of it are welcomed. I don’t sync with an external device or use the shop. I also don’t let iTunes organise my files. I have a folder set up as follows
artist / year – album / artist – title
This is all simple, of course, but things get complicated once the albums are organised and I move on to individual tracks, compilations and dj mixes. I don’t want a library full of incomplete albums and singles/remixes, so I was planning a second library (apparently iTunes supports this). Sorting by genre seems the most sensible idea, but I did start that before with Windows folders and it was a real drag (literally). Until now my music has always been organised and browsed in Windows Explorer, but I’m starting to think it’s time to change.
I like this suggestion from the Serato community. It’s geared toward hip hop DJs but I think the system could be very versatile. It’s basically just self-generated ID codes inside the ID3 tags, but it allows you the freedom to assign multiple genres to one track, as well as any other information you want.
There’s also a very good read on digital music organisation here. It’s kinda long, in 5 parts, but definitely interesting. Make sure your read the comments on each article too.
I guess what it boils down to is how do you listen to your music collection, and how can you best organise it in order to get the most from it. At the moment, my listening is definitely skewed toward full albums, due to everything else being unorganised and inconsistently tagged.
How do you tag /organise / listen and how does it work for you?