Author Topic: Best way to organize 65K plus of files.  (Read 16870 times)

Russ

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I am new to music bee.  I am wondering what are some of the best organization structures for maintaining an every increasing large library of 65K plus files.  I am currently using a genre system creating multiple libraries, but run into the typical problem of where does a given artist go when he produces various genres of music or over a long career span.  I am hesitant to drop everything into one large folder, then tag from there due to size and hassle of prolong searching.  Any suggestion would be appreciated.

psychoadept

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Hi!  Welcome to the forum.

Many people, myself included, use a directory structure that starts with the first letter of the artists name.  So, for instance, Aerosmith is under MusicBee/Music/A/Aerosmith/Album/Track.  If you prefer not to use auto-organize, you can still use the send to > organized folder command to do it manually, all at once or in batches.

If you have everything in one library within MB, you can tag with multiple genres and then use filters to create sub libraries for each genre, where an artist could appear in all applicable genres.
Last Edit: October 24, 2014, 03:40:21 PM by psychoadept
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Russ

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Thanks for the reply.  When you use the "auto organize" function does it organized by "A" for Aerosmith, then make a folder for all Aerosmith albums/songs or will it just list each album/song separately by the artist?

psychoadept

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You can configure your auto-organize settings to your preferences.  See here: http://musicbee.wikia.com/wiki/Templates

This is a simplified version of my own template (the full version contains a lot of convoluted functions to catch special cases):

$Group(<Sort Album Artist>,1)\<Sort Album Artist>\<Year> - <Album>\<Disc-Track#> <Title>

I use Sort Album Artist so that the directories are sorted by the actual artist letter (i.e. B instead of T for The Beatles).
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Pingaware

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A further strategy I use is to then place an artist's releases into folders according to release type (i.e. albums, compilations, E.P.s, live albums, etc...). This gives me the slightly different formula:

$Group($Sort(<Album Artist>),1)\<Album Artist>\<Release Type>s\<Album>\<Disc-Track#> <Title>

Basic exceptions to consider are how you'll treat releases from Various Artists and what you do about soundtracks. I personally use soundtrack instead of the release type, and categorise Various Artists into soundtracks or 'Other Releases'.
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so_la_la

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I use
Album artist_Year_Album\Tracknumber_Title as in
Beatles_1963_With The Beatles\01_It Won't Be Long.mp3.

I like it this way because it gives you more of an overview about the number of albums you have and I usually think of albums in release dates rather than in titles.

Soundtracks are tagged as Album Artist = Various.
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jeanpichette

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I have quite a complex way to organise my 50k plus mp3 songs :

1. Media Type (Albums/Other/Soundtracks/Classical/Pop Music/Remixes/Jazz/Latin/Tango)  I create a folder called Albums that will be sychronised with iTunes for the iPhone and my Sonos.  In this folder, I only put whole albums and compilations of favourite artists.  All other albums, live recordings, singles, extended plays are put into the Other folder.  Soundtracks, Classical, Jazz, Latin & Tango are self explanatory.  I put in Pop Music songs that are hits which I do not want to have the album - one hit wonders.  In Remixes, these are favourite remixes (House, Trance, ...) also by year.
2. Grouping  I group artists under certain groups (ie. Peter Gabriel goes into Genesis, Annie Lennox under Eurythmics)
3. Album Artist
4. Year / Symbol / Code / Album name (if there is only one album, I combine the Artist name and the album name together - If the Album name = Artist name, I put Self-Titled)  Yes, putting the year here makes sense to have your albums in chronological order.  I put a code here to be able to easily find my folders using a search function (i use the character ¦)  I then put the first letter of the Media Type field (Album, Compilation, Single, Live, Remix, Tribute, ...) which is followed by the complete Album Name.  If the Publisher of the album exists, its first 10 characters are placed after this in parenthesis.
5. (Artist) Disc-Track# - Track Name (feat Other Artist)  If <Artist> is different from <Album Artist>, the artist name is indicated before the disc & track numbers.   If the word "feat" is present in <Artist>, the featured artist name is put after the track name

Here is what I have :
Tons of fun... but time consuming.
Jean from Montreal


$IsNull(<Media Type>,Albums,$If($Or(<Media Type>="Album",<Media Type>="Compilation"),Albums,$If(<Media Type>="Live",Albums,$If(<Media Type>="Remix",Albums,Other))))\$IsNull(<Grouping>,$Group($Sort(<Album Artist>),1)" "Artists\$Sort(<Album Artist>),$Group($Sort(<Grouping>),1)" "Artists\$If(<Grouping>=<Album Artist>,$Sort(<Grouping>),$Sort(<Grouping>)\$Sort(<Album Artist>)))$If(<Library>=1," ",\)$If(<Media Type>="Various Songs","Various Songs",$IsNull(<Year>,," "<Year>¦)$IsNull(<Media Type>,A,$Left(<Media Type>,1))" "$If(<Artist>=<Album>,Self-Titled,<Album>)$IsNull(<Publisher>,," ("$Left(<Publisher>,10)")")\$IsNull(<Disc-Track#>,,<Disc-Track#>-))$if(<Album Artist>=<Artist>,<Title>,$if($Contains(<Artist>," (feat "),<Title>" (feat "$Split(<Artist>," (feat",2),<Artist>-<Title>))
Last Edit: October 30, 2014, 03:18:36 PM by jeanpichette

Zak

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I am currently using a genre system creating multiple libraries, but run into the typical problem of where does a given artist go when he produces various genres of music or over a long career span.
Years ago when my collection was much smaller I used to have folders for genres too, until eventually I had the same problem you've described. I don't know how you've managed to cope with 65,000 tracks! I changed to saving artists alphabetically as psychoadept suggested and only regret not doing it sooner.

Some other ideas and lessons learnt over the years:

* I only create a folder for an artist if I have five or more tracks by that artist, otherwise tracks are named artist - title and are saved in the letter folder for the artist's name.
* I only create a folder for an album if I have five or more tracks from that album, otherwise tracks are named title and saved in the artist's folder. 
This avoids having thousands of folders with only one or two files in them, although does also mean tracks may eventually need to be moved as new tracks by an artist are acquired.

* my albums are named as: year of release - album title
  This means folders will be sorted chronologically in Explorer. I was numbering folders for a while to order them (e.g. 04 - Rubber Soul (1965)) but this is a problem if you later acquire an earlier release because then the numbering needs to be incremented. Including the year first avoids that and still displays them in order.

* Compilations are saved in a separate folder. These actually are still grouped by genre but it's usually much easier to work out which genre a compilation belongs to. This includes a folder called "mixed" for compilations which are truly multi-genre (e.g. The Best Singles of All Time). My Compilation folder also has a few other subfolders for keeping like releases together (e.g. a Ministry of Sound folder to keep their releases together).

* Soundtracks are saved in a separate folder with subfolders for film, television and video games. Folders are named as title (year) so they are listed alphabetically in Explorer. Musicals also have their own folder and are named the same way.

Having compilations and soundtracks in their own folder is also handy because you can create filters with a rule like "If path contains 'soundtrack'" to quickly view only those albums.

* Album artwork is embedded in tracks that don't have an album folder. Artwork for albums is saved in the album folder. This avoids wasting disk space by saving ten copies of the same 1 MB image file.


I don't usually use MusicBee's renaming functions but with the right exceptions and naming templates it is possible to automatically cater for most of the above.

I hope some of this is helpful.  :)
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Moshi_

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Hi, Zak!

I also have genre folders for my almost 75k files collection. And I also get troubles managing it. But it can be so damn useful. Like when I can't remember the name of the artist but I know he plays indie folk, I'll just go to the indie folk folder and I'll find him there. Or when a friend asks me to put some heavy metal on his USB stick, I'll just go to the heavy metal folder and copy some random albums from there.

Having alphabetical folders would just seem so wierd to me. Having a trance producer's neighbouring folder a 1940's big band.  I don't know. But at the same time I know my genre orientated managing has to go.

Can you post some pictures of your music library folders? Seeing it might convince me fully.

Thanks!

Zak

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Hi.

I also have genre folders ... it can be so damn useful. Like when I can't remember the name of the artist but I know he plays indie folk, I'll just go to the indie folk folder and I'll find him there.

That's a good point. I guess organising it alphabetically does require you to know each of the artists in your collection because obviously if you can't remember their name it will be hard to find them. That's not necessarily a bad thing though - even with 60,000+ tracks if someone asks me if I have anything by a particular artist or even a specific song I usually know from memory if I do.

On the other hand, when I was sorting by genre I sometimes couldn't find artists because I couldn't remember if I'd put them in pop or rock or soul or something else - and I was using very broad categories, so didn't have folders for say "pop-rock" or "blues rock". The catalyst for me changing was when I figured I'd need three different folders for Goldfrapp because every new album was a different genre to the ones before!  :-\

I found it also freed me up to tag songs with more accurate genres. Before it didn't "feel" right to have songs in my "rock" folder tagged with any other genre. Now I can tag tracks as "alternative rock", "blues rock", "pop rock", "glam rock" etc. without worrying it doesn't match the folder structure.


Or when a friend asks me to put some heavy metal on his USB stick, I'll just go to the heavy metal folder and copy some random albums from there.

Another good point, and there's no easy workaround to that. You'd either have to copy albums a folder at a time in Explorer, or use MusicBee to copy tracks from a playlist or filter with the genre you want.


Having alphabetical folders would just seem so wierd to me. Having a trance producer's neighbouring folder a 1940's big band.  I don't know. But at the same time I know my genre orientated managing has to go.

For sure you're going to get some very different artists sitting side-by-side. I only see that being a practical problem if you're used to playing music directly from Explorer. In MusicBee there's a bajillion ways to filter and select tracks based on their genre, which I guess you'd need to rely on more.


Can you post some pictures of your music library folders? Seeing it might convince me fully.

Here's a screenshot of my "Q" folder (chosen because it's nice and short and has nothing too embarrassing in it! :) ):



As I described earlier in this thread, artists for which I have at least one album or five tracks get their own folder. Other tracks are stored on their own to avoid thousands of folders with only one or two files in them.

Here's a screenshot inside my "Queen" folder:



Again, albums for which I have five or more tracks get their own folder. Other tracks are separate.

It's worth noting too, that "Bicycle Race", for example,  I have because it's on the compilation album "The Platinum Collection". It's separate so I can tag it with the details and artwork of the album it originally appeared on. There are no tracks in the "Platinum Collection" folder, only ASX files that point to the original files. This way I don't need to waste disk space - and get duplicate track entries in MusicBee - by having two copies of the track; one from the original album and one from the compilation.


Thanks!
You're welcome. I hope this is useful, whatever you decide to do.
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Moshi_

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Great post, Zak! Just the way I imagined it in my head for myself (except for the ASX files).

Now, I wonder what do you do with artist aliases? This happens a lot in electronic music, artist has 3 other names to extend his creativity. Do you put them in one folder?

Pingaware

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Now, I wonder what do you do with artist aliases? This happens a lot in electronic music, artist has 3 other names to extend his creativity. Do you put them in one folder?

That sounds like a perfect candidate for use of artist and album artist tag. Correct name in artist tag, most widely used name in album artist tag and store all files under that name. My personal preference, but Zak may do it differently.
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Zak

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Now, I wonder what do you do with artist aliases?
Not something I've dealt with a lot but in that case I think I would create a folder for each alias.
For example, though not exactly the same scenario, I have separate folders for "Adam and The Ants" and "Adam Ant", "The Jackson 5" and "Jacksons"...
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c-Row

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$IsNull(<Media Type>,Albums,$If($Or(<Media Type>="Album",<Media Type>="Compilation"),Albums,$If(<Media Type>="Live",Albums,$If(<Media Type>="Remix",Albums,Other))))\$IsNull(<Grouping>,$Group($Sort(<Album Artist>),1)" "Artists\$Sort(<Album Artist>),$Group($Sort(<Grouping>),1)" "Artists\$If(<Grouping>=<Album Artist>,$Sort(<Grouping>),$Sort(<Grouping>)\$Sort(<Album Artist>)))$If(<Library>=1," ",\)$If(<Media Type>="Various Songs","Various Songs",$IsNull(<Year>,," "<Year>¦)$IsNull(<Media Type>,A,$Left(<Media Type>,1))" "$If(<Artist>=<Album>,Self-Titled,<Album>)$IsNull(<Publisher>,," ("$Left(<Publisher>,10)")")\$IsNull(<Disc-Track#>,,<Disc-Track#>-))$if(<Album Artist>=<Artist>,<Title>,$if($Contains(<Artist>," (feat "),<Title>" (feat "$Split(<Artist>," (feat",2),<Artist>-<Title>))

I have just started scratching the surface of MusicBee after switching from iTunes, but boy do I have a long way ahead of me...   :P

psychoadept

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Now, I wonder what do you do with artist aliases? This happens a lot in electronic music, artist has 3 other names to extend his creativity. Do you put them in one folder?

I use $First(<Artist>) in cases like this.  For example, in the case of The Wailers vs Bob Marley vs Bob Marley & The Wailers, I use the release name as the display artist but put Bob Marley as the actual artist tag.
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