Author Topic: How do y'all organize your libraries?  (Read 6042 times)

iristwirl

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As far as organization of my music library went I used to use a system that'd probably be considered fairly run-of-the-mill - one level of genre tagging (although I did make use of multi-tagging), star ratings, the occasional attempt at making a playlist, and that was it. However, about a year or so ago I found myself getting to the point where in between deciding what genres/subgenres I wanted to distinguish between (and how I'd incorporate other people's descriptions of genre into that system, especially at the kind of level where I couldn't pick out exactly where something fit just by ear), and so I ended up ditching it, which has definitely worked better for me than something that had become a little confusing and underutilized for me.

However, I'm finally getting around to reorganizing both my actual file structure and doing a reinstall of MusicBee after I had some issues with it a couple of updates back, and I've decided I want to take this opportunity to look at and think about interacting with my music in the way that best suits me.

One solution I've considered to this is auto-tagging (either drawing from Discogs like I know other people do, or potentially other sources) - even if still 'flawed' (debates on genre taxonomy aside), it'd probably be more consistent and useful than anything I might come up with on my own at this stage.

I've also thought about re-engaging with the idea of playlists - but instead of making myself think in terms of actual playlists, using additional tag slots to develop 'collections' (e.g. vogue edits, gym music, those sorts of things).

I deal with fatigue that comes and goes as part of some long-term health issues, so the enthusiasm I have for how much energy I actually wanna invest in my library can vary from time to time accordingly.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on any of this, and/or organization methods you've found that might be worth trying out.

The Incredible Boom Boom

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Regarding directory structure, I find it best to keep things simple where they can be kept such (as you'll see below.)
But, not so simple as to make things a mess (as you'll see further below.)

How you structure your folders and files will probably also depend on what type of music your library consists of... albums... singles... film scores... classical, etc. I'm not much of a singles guy, and my organization structure reflects very much so reflects this.

I use three main structure types:
Album Artist - Album
Code
// this is pseudo-code - don't employ unless you clean it up and view the results
Drive Letter :\ $Left($Sort(<Sort Artist>),1) \ <Sort Artist> \ <Sort Album> \ <Album Artist> - $If(<Original Year>=<Year (yyyy)>,(<Year (yyyy)>),(<Original Year>) (<Year (yyyy)>)) - <Album> [RELEASECOUNTRY · PUBLISHER CATALOGNUMBER · SOURCE MEDIUM]
...which gives results like...
Code
M:\J\John Coltrane\Box Set\Impluse! Records\John Coltrane - (1997) The Complete 1961 Village Vanguard Recordings [US · impulse! IMPD 4232 · CD]

M:\P\Philip Bailey\Studio\Philip Bailey - (1983) (2010) Continuation [NL · PTG Records PTG 34084 · CD]

This structure is self-explanatory and fairly easy to implement.

Compilation Type \ Album Name
Code
// this is pseudo-code - don't employ unless you clean it up and view the results
Drive Letter :\ Compilation \ <Genre Category> \ $If(<Original Year>=<Year (yyyy)>,(<Year (yyyy)>),(<Original Year>) (<Year (yyyy)>)) <Album> [RELEASECOUNTRY · PUBLISHER CATALOGNUMBER · SOURCE MEDIUM]
...which gives results like...
Code
M:\Compilation\Hip-Hop\(2012) Kanye West Presents Good Music Cruel Summer [US · G.O.O.D. Music · Digital Media]

M:\Film Score\1980s\(1982) (1997) Poltergeist [US · Rhino Movie Music R 2 72725 · CD]

M:\Soundtrack\Disney\1980s\(1989) (1997) The Little Mermaid [US · Walt Disney Records 60946-7 · CD]

Classical and Opera
Only those with hardcore OCD should check out this part.
Code
// this is pseudo-code - don't employ unless you clean it up and view the results
Drive Letter :\ Classical \  PERIOD \ SUBPERIOD \ <Sort Composer> (LIFESPAN) \ <STYLE> \ <Album Artist> - $If(<Original Year>=<Year (yyyy)>,(<Year (yyyy)>),(<Original Year>) (<Year (yyyy)>)) - <Album> $If($IsMatch(<ENSEMBLE>,"(orchestra|choir):"),(<ENSEMBLE>),) [RELEASECOUNTRY · PUBLISHER CATALOGNUMBER · SOURCE MEDIUM]
...which gives results like...
Code
M:\Classical\Classical era\Middle\Bologne, Joseph (1745-1799)\Concerto\Rachel Barton Pine (violin) - (1997) Violin Concertos by Black Composers of the 18th and 19th Centuries (Encore Chamber Orchestra) [US · Cedille CDR 90000 035 · CD]

M:\Classical\Twentieth Century\Shostakovich, Dmitri (1906-1975)\Ballet\José Serebrier - (2006) Shostakovich The Golden Age (Royal Scottish National Orchestra) [GB · Naxos 8.570217-18 · CD]

The trick here is I don't do any of this in MusicBee; I use MP3TAG to format tags after acquiring them from MusicBrainz Picard. I would highly recommend anyone wanting to start seriously laying out their music folder structure to start using Picard to initially tag your files. As a side note, I have no problem with Discogs or the information one can obtain from that source, but the only automatic Discogs tagger I'm aware of is a plugin that comes with the command line interface tagger beets, which isn't everyone's cup of tea.

Whether or not to incorporate MP3TAG afterwards is up to each individual. If your folder structure and tagging methods range from beginner to intermediate, Picard will accomplish all this quite easily, but I believe MP3TAG makes advanced tag editing a much easier process to accomplish over Picard.
Last Edit: July 07, 2021, 08:37:08 PM by The Incredible Boom Boom

hiccup

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Picard will accomplish all this quite easily, but I believe MP3TAG makes advanced tag editing a much easier process to accomplish over Picard.
Could you explain what are you using mp3tag for that you can't achieve with Picard?

@the OP:
Is your question regarding file and folder structure, or about tagging practices? Or both perhaps?

frankz

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FYI tagscanner can source tags from Discogs.
A smile is happiness you'll find right under your nose.

iristwirl

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Is your question regarding file and folder structure, or about tagging practices? Or both perhaps?

Mostly tagging practices and stuff accessible through Musicbee - all I really need to around folder structure is moving around the five-to-ten percent that's sitting in individual album folders within my main Library folder rather than in Album Artist - Album ones, and maybe split my Various Artists one into some more specific ones.

The Incredible Boom Boom

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Could you explain what are you using mp3tag for that you can't achieve with Picard?

I consider my experience with Picard to be in the intermediate level, so maybe there are ways to accomplish some of the below more easily, but from my significant tinkering around, I haven't come across them. Off the top of my head...
  • Loading thousands or more files into Picard is a plodding nightmare (for me, at least.)
  • Filtering files based on a specified, extremely narrow criteria.
  • Picard is a bit inflexible when it comes to manipulating tags in various formats. MP3TAG (for better or worse) allows the ability to force tags to what they're input as, regardless of format. For example, with Vorbis tags I want to retain the ID3 IPLST structure in an INVOLVEDPEOPLE list tag of producer:First Last;engineer:First Last;mixer:First Last, but with Picard, this was something I consistently had to ensure was correct. With MP3TAG, it's a set and forget. It's also easier to attach the separate <Arrranger> and <Writer> Vorbis tags to the IPLST with MP3TAG.
  • As far as I can tell, there's no variable to read the folder path of a file, just the _dirname.
  • Reading text from files into a tag! For example, I import a list of composers and their year of birth/death into LIFESPAN and then parse it down to just the YoB-YoD of the composer. I believe this (and some other things I do) can be done with the Classical Extras plugin, but I uninstalled the plugin after being unable to keep it from altering non-classical file tags.
  • Linking to external programs. I wrote some scripts that manipulate non-media files in the folder a list of tracks is held.
  • Oh yeah - Action Groups are a big thing. I think the upcoming "option profiles" feature will allow for something similar, but from the way the implementation is described seems unintuitive.
  • Oh yeah again - there's no SHIFT + ALT + 6 equivalent to perform an individual action I don't need saved for specific to a track, set of tracks or track list.
Last Edit: July 08, 2021, 01:08:43 PM by The Incredible Boom Boom

alec.tron

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re:
file structure
I adopted the approach of the record stores I used to frequent regularly, which is roughly:
/Main Genre/Type (Electronic, Hiphop, Reggae, Rock, World)
   /Continent (as/if required, i.e. US/EU/etc)
      /Label
         /cat#-artist-release

Metadata is then from foobar"s foo_discogs  tagger, plus fair bit of custom tags maintained by hand or other tools (like bpm, key, instruments, rating, etc)

c.

hiccup

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Off the top of my head...
[long list here]
Wow, you certainly have thought this all through very well.
Perhaps I could address a few items on the list if I tried, but not a lot of them.
So that wouldn't bring much, and it would drive this thread off-topic.
Still very interesting to learn how others use 3rd party software to complement MusicBee.

iristwirl

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Metadata is then from foobar"s foo_discogs  tagger, plus fair bit of custom tags maintained by hand or other tools (like bpm, key, instruments, rating, etc)

Yeah, I've talked about it with a friend off Soulseek who DJs from time to time and from there considered using something like Rekordbox for BPM/key analysis, plus considering whether I want to take a more studious ear to my collection - e.g. listening and tagging around "vibe" and rhythmic/sectional/etc aspects of a track so whether I'm listening privately or not I'm giving myself more options that just hunt-and-pecking each track or going off a bog-standard shuffle. I don't know if I've got what it takes to fully commit to doing that though - but on the other hand, being able to engage with some of my music that way is better than none of it, and I should imagine other people out there who take that approach aren't necessarily in a place where they know everything they want to off the cuff about all their music.

I should also note since I saw record store inspired organization come up - I do tend to seek out a fair few of 'unofficial' tracks/edits/sets/etc from different places and so in between that and my natural inclinations around sorting and info I'm not someone who's concerned with the ASCAP-y aspects of music info. Labels and such do have some relevance to me, but in ways that I already plan to cover through refining my approach to compilations/loosies/etc.

hayboyek

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i always used help of developers in such questions.  The app market is constantly moving and changing. So many success stories have already appeared that everyone knows about them. For example, you have heard that now I am creating applications that allow you to control equipment just sitting at home on the couch. And this is all aimprosoft service. I was shocked that there is such a thing. Now I have a couple of ideas for such applications
Last Edit: November 03, 2021, 06:32:04 PM by hayboyek

Música

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Minimally, as always: artist, album, genre. In MB, album-cover view, by last-ripped usually.

LPs are the only physical media I play, and those are randomly sorted on my stereo stand -though most-played tend toward the right, or randomly stored in two cardboard boxes -the album-sized ones.