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Old 12-14-2009, 10:54 AM
ToucanSpam ToucanSpam is offline
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Default Best Music Filing Structure? Please share your management practices :)

Hi all,

I've been a long time, anti-ipod/itunes guy, so all of my songs so none of my songs where filed list this:

Artist/album/01-track title.mp3

Instead I've been filing them like this:

Genre/artist - track title [feat. artist 2].mp3


Just wondering if there's a better way to do this or if it matters since software like Media Monkey sorts all the tracks by genre anyway, assuming they are properly tagged.

Much thanks,
TS

Last edited by ToucanSpam; 01-25-2010 at 08:42 AM.
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  #2  
Old 12-14-2009, 10:58 AM
disposition disposition is offline
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I believe, MediaMonkey sorts all tracks by Genre because Genre is the first selection you have in the "Track Browser" window. If you right click the "Genre" heading, you can change it to a lot of other tags.

I personally have always done it /Artist/Album/tracks
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  #3  
Old 12-15-2009, 03:06 AM
CDMP3PlayerFan CDMP3PlayerFan is offline
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I use MediaMonkey (MM) to manage my music collection. If you are using the Gold version, you can have it autoarrange your library the way that you want, and have it name your files the way that you want.

I have MM autoarrange my tracks as follows:

First Character Of The Album Artist's Name / Album Artist / Album / Song Title
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  #4  
Old 12-15-2009, 04:52 AM
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I use folder structure rather than file name to organise my music. Here is a rundown of my system:

First in the folder structure is Artist (although Genre folders could be added to this structure easily). I use first name, last name with proper named artists, full title if a stage name or band. With bands preceeded the "the", I put the "the" second. So some examples:

Aphex Twin
Beatles, The
Fleet Foxes
Waits, Tom

Inside the artist folders are the album folders which to list in chronological order I lead with the year of release:

1967 - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
1667 - Magical Mystery Tour

Notice the extra space before "Magical Mystery Tour"? That's because alphabetically it will appear before Sgt. Pepper, while it was released after. An extra space puts it in the right order.

EDIT: Amusingly, this forum software appears to be deleting my double space for me. Well anyway, it's there

Then inside the folder are the tracks in this format

01 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
02 With A Little Help From My Friends
03 Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds

I capitalise every word for uniformity.

Then tagging is pretty self explanatory. I tag with the leading zero numbering format too. If I've used freedb to give me tag info, I check and correct discrepancies (for instance, frredb might give me an artist name variant different to the one I'm using, which would lead to mulitple entires in tag browsing). If I miss them on the first run I correct with MP3tag. All album art is 272x for optimum display on my S9.

Despite my desk at work being perhaps the messiest in Britain, I am surprisingly anal when it come to my digital music collection.
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  #5  
Old 12-15-2009, 07:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieE View Post
EDIT: Amusingly, this forum software appears to be deleting my double space for me. Well anyway, it's there
There is no double space in HTML, it always gets displayed as only one space. It's not just our vBulletin system, you won't find double spaces on any website. (You'd have to write them as   in HTML, but that won't work in forums.)

And, FWIW; I'm using ./Genre/Sub-genre/Artist - Year - Album/Track# - Title.mp3 or ./VA - Year - Album/Track# - Artist - Title.mp3

I've written some macros in Tag&Rename, the whole renaming thing happens with the click of a button.
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Old 12-15-2009, 08:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfkt View Post
There is no double space in HTML, it always gets displayed as only one space. It's not just our vBulletin system, you won't find double spaces on any website. (You'd have to write them as   in HTML, but that won't work in forums.)
Well there you have it, learn a new thing everyday.
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  #7  
Old 12-15-2009, 09:36 AM
ToucanSpam ToucanSpam is offline
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Wow, thanks for the detailed description EddieE! For me, I don't find it as useful to arrange by album. Being a DJ for several years, and now with the digitial download age, I mostly only buy single tracks. I also listen to a lot of house/trance and those artists rarely release whole albums.

Starting to consider having sub folders by the first letter of the Artist/band name since it takes a minute to open the genre folder with all the artist inside.
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Old 12-15-2009, 09:58 AM
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No worries ToucanSpam, it makes sense for everyone to have a structure which suits their collection. That's why players with folder/file browsing are such a good thing - the user gets to decide for themselves how to browse their collection. :-)
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  #9  
Old 12-15-2009, 10:44 PM
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I'm just using artist/album/xx - trackname.mp3

it's simple, and intuitive to me. In all honesty it doesn't matter as long as it works for you
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  #10  
Old 12-18-2009, 03:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfkt View Post
And, FWIW; I'm using ./Genre/Sub-genre/Artist - Year - Album/Track# - Title.mp3 or ./VA - Year - Album/Track# - Artist - Title.mp3
This is how I arrange my music as well, superior than other methods for my needs.
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  #11  
Old 12-19-2009, 09:12 AM
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meetooman meetooman is offline
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For me what matter most is not to use problematic filenames in order to prevent transfer issues. Now you can use id tags databases to search and select files. So I will avoid any physical organization with artists names and tracks titles. I would favor a random hexadecimal naming scheme, like:

45b57.mp3
ad981c.ogg
...
Maybe the best choice would be something like the md5 or sha1 checksum of the file?

You can also associate every artist or album to a unique code.
For CDs:
e074e3bb689fb677bf1ef38d1f93ce74e3eb9be1/01-e074e3bb689fb677bf1ef38d1f93ce74e3eb9be1.flac
e074e3bb689fb677bf1ef38d1f93ce74e3eb9be1/02-e074e3bb689fb677bf1ef38d1f93ce74e3eb9be1.flac
...

Maybe too long... Even with a 8+3 scheme, you have 4.294.967.296 different names available.

Dividing the music library could only be a matter of storage. For example you put all your classical music on the same media so you don't have to put different hard-drives on listen to this genre.
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  #12  
Old 12-19-2009, 02:03 PM
CDMP3PlayerFan CDMP3PlayerFan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meetooman View Post
For me what matter most is not to use problematic filenames in order to prevent transfer issues. Now you can use id tags databases to search and select files. So I will avoid any physical organization with artists names and tracks titles. I would favor a random hexadecimal naming scheme, like:

45b57.mp3
ad981c.ogg
...
Maybe the best choice would be something like the md5 or sha1 checksum of the file?

You can also associate every artist or album to a unique code.
For CDs:
e074e3bb689fb677bf1ef38d1f93ce74e3eb9be1/01-e074e3bb689fb677bf1ef38d1f93ce74e3eb9be1.flac
e074e3bb689fb677bf1ef38d1f93ce74e3eb9be1/02-e074e3bb689fb677bf1ef38d1f93ce74e3eb9be1.flac
...

Maybe too long... Even with a 8+3 scheme, you have 4.294.967.296 different names available.

Dividing the music library could only be a matter of storage. For example you put all your classical music on the same media so you don't have to put different hard-drives on listen to this genre.
I haven't needed to create unique filenames for my songs since I divide my music library into folders by the album artist and then by the album, with the filename simply being the song's name (any change to the ID3 tag is automatically reflected in the song's name and where the song is located). The reason that I prefer to separate my music into folders is that it allows to quickly locate the specific songs that I want, and to only have to work with a manageable number of files at any one time.

I use MediaMonkey (MM) to manage my music. In the case of two songs in the same folder with the same name, MM automatically puts a number in parenthesis after the file (this number is automatically removed from the filename when the song names no longer match).

Since I like to give each song a unique name to ensure that I can distinguish them from each other, there are only three situations where it has been a problem:

- I have two (or more) songs with the same name on the same album (such as the soundtrack for the album "Oh, Brother Where Art Thou"). In that case, I put an "[A]" after the name of the first song on the album with the name, a "[B]" after the second song and so on to distinguish the songs from each other.

- I have two or more songs with the same name, but they are different songs. An example of this is the song "It's Too Late." Bobby Goldsboro and Carole King both have released a song with this name, but they are different songs. In this case, I put a "[1]" after the name of one song (the first released), and a "[2]" after the other song so I distinguish them from each other when searching for them.

- I have two different versions of the same song by the same artist, such as a live version and a studio version. In this case, I distinguish them by putting "[Live]" after the live version.

One option I tried that gave me a unique name for each file is to put a random number in parenthesis after the name of each file (MM gives you the ability to do this automatically). This is handy if you're going to put all of your songs in one folder on your player since it is extremely unlikely that you will have any duplicate filenames.

As others have mentioned, there are many ways to organize your music, both on your player and on your computer. It's a matter of individual preference, and what works for you.
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  #13  
Old 12-19-2009, 04:24 PM
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Well seems that MM has figured it all out!

Still my idea is to have names which have nothing to do with the content and make the best use of metadata tags.
Because if some songs have the same name and not the same artist you must then add the artist in the file name because (1), (2), (a), (b), etc suffixes won't help much.
If you use a media player or an electronic device, you still end renaming the tags of the 3 alternate takes of the same song coming from your Blue Note Jazz classic reissue to figure them out in a playlist.

So why bother handling the issue at the file name level? File names are things from the past, nowadays everything is database and metadata based, starting with the advanced file systems.
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Old 12-19-2009, 05:19 PM
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If you don't sort your music by programs, I find that this folder structure works best:

D:\Music\Artists\Artist Name\Album\Artist - Album - Track number - Track title.mp3(replace mp3 with any type of extension )

I used to use filenames such as "03 - Song Name" for example but I found that if moving it to a portable device or somewhere else with a bunch of other files, you might not know the artist or album if the information doesn't somehow show up in windows explorer, or if its on a folder in your device. "Artist - Album - 03 - Song Name" works much better because you know the most basic description of the track file.

Use any drive or subfolder but the important thing is to choose folders such as "Artist" or you can replace it with "Genre" or "Year" or even something like:

D:\Music\Genre\Artists\Artist Name\Year\Album\Artist - Album - Track number - Track title.mp3
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Old 12-31-2009, 08:39 AM
ToucanSpam ToucanSpam is offline
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Great comments everyone. I think perhaps I have less of an inclination towards the album. I respect the artist complete album as their work, but I'm still a single song guy and do not do much album buying. Seems like the album may be more obsolete these days in the digital world too so I prefer to leave the album info out of the filing and naming structure.
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Old 12-31-2009, 07:35 PM
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Most of my library is separated out by Album_Artist/Album/Track# - Title

However, I do separate out specialized genres, such as Christmas music, comedy tracks (such as Monty Python and such), mainly because I use media players on my computer that generate dynamic playlists, and it got annoying for Christmas music or audiobook tracks to suddenly start playing. This way I can keep the specialized stuff out of my regular library.
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  #17  
Old 12-31-2009, 11:01 PM
CDMP3PlayerFan CDMP3PlayerFan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenChick View Post
Most of my library is separated out by Album_Artist/Album/Track# - Title

However, I do separate out specialized genres, such as Christmas music, comedy tracks (such as Monty Python and such), mainly because I use media players on my computer that generate dynamic playlists, and it got annoying for Christmas music or audiobook tracks to suddenly start playing. This way I can keep the specialized stuff out of my regular library.
I've had a related issue. There are times when I only want to listen to music. The problem is, relying on genres doesn't work because some contain both music and non-music tracks (like comedy).

My solution was to take one of custom fields and name it "Music." For music tracks I enter "Yes" in this field and for non-music tracks I enter "No" regardless of genre. Then, I created two autoplaylists (one for my player, and another for listening on my computer) where only tracks where Music is "Yes" are included.
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Old 12-31-2009, 11:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToucanSpam View Post
Great comments everyone. I think perhaps I have less of an inclination towards the album. I respect the artist complete album as their work, but I'm still a single song guy and do not do much album buying. Seems like the album may be more obsolete these days in the digital world too so I prefer to leave the album info out of the filing and naming structure.
I have a problem with Genre folders. They separate diverse works from the same artist. I think you should try to get into albums. They can be like a full length movie, a musical journey into a coherent sound atmosphere. What I don't like with compilations is that most songs do not match the others "sonically".
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Old 01-01-2010, 10:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meetooman View Post
I have a problem with Genre folders. They separate diverse works from the same artist. I think you should try to get into albums. They can be like a full length movie, a musical journey into a coherent sound atmosphere. What I don't like with compilations is that most songs do not match the others "sonically".
I think that with most players this is a non-issue since you can access your songs in different ways based on the ID3 tags. Regardless of how my music is arranged on my player, I can still access it by song title, artist, album, genre, and release year. Added to this are playlists, which allow you to arrange the playback of your music in ways that can't be easily done with just the ID3 tags (such as with the music example I mentioned in my last post).
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Old 01-04-2010, 03:06 PM
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I should rephrase that, I sort it by a quasi gener - mood folders. So i have a folder called "Low Key" Where I put music that I like playing in the background when cleaning or what not. One called "Mainstream", mostly put junk in here that are more for parties and upbeat music, One called "Rock" all heavier rock great for working out.. etc. here's what it looks like:

Music\

Holiday
EDM (electronic dance music)
Low Key
Mainstream
Rock
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