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How to best organise your music?
05-03-2021, 02:03
Post: #1
Question How to best organise your music?
Talking about folder structure here, not tagging. Has anyone found the Holy Grail? Tagging certainly alleviates some of these pains but how music is stored is still quite important (to me anyway...)

I have a fairly diverse music collection, and have struggled to find the best way to organise it, and this only gets worse as the collection grows.

My music spans different genres, mediums (CD rips, online purchases, radio shows, DJ mixes, singles, free individual songs, EPs, multiple "random" songs by the same artist), albums with multiple genres, etc.

Some of the biggest annoyances I've found are:
- having lots of singles, ie albums with one or two tracks
- radio shows, DJ mixes , etc- no album art, annoying to have each track in a single folder
- wanting to group singles by record label (this is very important for some of my music) - but also wanting to see albums from these labels - in one "view"

I can't work out the best way to structure it.

Year\Artist\Album - doesn't work as it's no use for browsing a single artist or genre
Artist\Year\Album or Artist\Album - top level is thousands of artists
Genre\Artist\Album - Genre is too subjective/can change per album/top level can't accommodate multiple genres
Year\Artist - not great for browsing per artist or genre

I'm sure the answer is a mix of good tagging and organisation - but I'm not sure what it is yet! Any insight would be welcome...
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05-03-2021, 15:25
Post: #2
RE: How to best organise your music?
What a question!
If you ask 10 different people you'll get 10 different answers, but I'll at least start the ball rolling, but know that if you ask me tomorrow it'll probably be a different answer, so be prepared to constantly evolve, as you won't get it right first time (from experience).

With the structures you propose, and your comments alongside them I think you're looking at it from the wrong perspective. The structure (from a navigation perspective) is almost irrelavent, it's your tags (and MinimServer) that are going to allow you to browse by artist/genre/decade/content type; this is why it's important that you retain as much information in the tags as possible.

All I want from a folder perspective, is to break it down firstly by content type, then by processing type e.g. with commercial CD's it's possible to verify them, scrape metadata from online sources for them, and have them share a minimum set of metadata requirements (useful for running quality checking) e.g. label, barcode e.t.c.

So it may be that you'd have something like:
Code:
Music > Commencial > CD
                   > Download
        DJ Mixes (assuming these aren't commercial CDs)
        Other
Radio Shows
Podcasts
...

Within those directories, I'd tend to have something like (this is what I have, but then I only have commecial non-classical CDs):

%ALBUMARTISTSORT%/albumartistsort.jpg
%ALBUMARTISTSORT%/%DATE% - %ALBUM%/%DISCNUMBER%.%TRACKNUMBER%.flac
%ALBUMARTISTSORT%/%DATE% - %ALBUM%/folder.jpg
%ALBUMARTISTSORT%/%DATE% - %ALBUM%/%DISCNUMBER%.cue - needed if the pressing doesn't verify against AR/CTDB without it (PREGAP/DATA)

My tagging standards are:

Code:
DESCRIPTION               MANDATORY    
Album Cover               Y    
Album Artist              Y    
Album Artist Sort         Y    
Boxset Title              N    
Album                     Y    
Release                   N    Deluxe Edition/50th Anniversary Edition
Album Type                Y    Studio/BestOf/Compilation/Live etc
Genre                     Y    
Disc Number               Y    
Disc Subtitle             N    
Content Group             N    
Track Number              Y    
Artist                    Y    
Artist Sort               Y    
Track Title               Y    
Track Subtitle            N
Track Type                N    Hidden/Bonus
Original Artist           N    
Release Date              Y    
Original Release Date     Y    
Remastered Date           N    
Replaygain Track Gain     Y    
Replaygain Track Peak     Y    
Label                     N    
Catalogue Number          N    
Barcode                   N    
Date Added                Y


The important thing would be to take a sample of each, have a play and see what works, ensuring that you retain as much metadata as possible so it's easy to change your mind in future :-)
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07-04-2021, 13:01
Post: #3
RE: How to best organise your music?
I'm probably more conventional and also just getting into this so looking to learn from others. I have a mix of SACD ripped music, and FLAC. I mention this because i seperate out my multichannel into a different library from two channel because i haven't found an easy way to have the same album shown in its different formats. However, as to directory structure i go by:

for single artist-albums
> <library>/Artist/Album/disc number - track number - song title.flac(dsf)

for various artist
> <library>/Various Artist/Album/disc number - track number (title artist) - song title.flac

By in large i've downloaded and assigned tags from discogs, but haven't really done anything with them within MinimServer.

For my classical, i will align a "peice" to album so it makes it a bit easier to just play one symphony if i want. idk, still playing and learning.
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08-04-2021, 09:13
Post: #4
RE: How to best organise your music?
(07-04-2021 13:01)seanshankus Wrote:  I mention this because i seperate out my multichannel into a different library from two channel because i haven't found an easy way to have the same album shown in its different formats.

MinimServer provides some special metadata tags that allow you to browse by attributes of your music library, one such tag is #AudioChannels (with values 1, 2 or 5.1).
You could add #AudioChannels to indexTags or use it with Album.displayFormat to differentiate them.

If you wanted to change the display to something more meaningful you could translate it by using tagUpdate, an example of which is here.
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10-04-2021, 09:46
Post: #5
RE: How to best organise your music?
For a music library with good tagging metadata it shouldn't be necessary to browse by folder, so from that point of view it is not important. However in order to ensure your music is tagged correctly it is important, and I would suggest you always use albumartist/album/disc within the folder structure this helps music taggers/organizers and players to identify the original album in the absense of good metadata.

Additionally depending on the make up of your music library you could break down your collection by browse genre

e.g

/classical/albumartist/album/disc
/poprock/albumartist/album/disc

Or if you have alot of Hires, you may want to split between hires and non hires

/hires/albumartist/album/disc
/nonhires/albumartist/album/disc

or you could do both

/hires/classical/albumartist/album/disc
/hires/poprock/albumartist/album/disc
/nonhires/classical/albumartist/album/disc
/nonhires/poprock/albumartist/album/disc
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10-04-2021, 11:36
Post: #6
RE: How to best organise your music?
(10-04-2021 09:46)paultaylor Wrote:  For a music library with good tagging metadata it shouldn't be necessary to browse by folder, so from that point of view it is not important. However in order to ensure your music is tagged correctly it is important, and I would suggest you always use albumartist/album/disc within the folder structure this helps music taggers/organizers and players to identify the original album in the absense of good metadata.

Additionally depending on the make up of your music library you could break down your collection by browse genre

e.g

/classical/albumartist/album/disc
/poprock/albumartist/album/disc

Or if you have alot of Hires, you may want to split between hires and non hires

/hires/albumartist/album/disc
/nonhires/albumartist/album/disc

or you could do both

/hires/classical/albumartist/album/disc
/hires/poprock/albumartist/album/disc
/nonhires/classical/albumartist/album/disc
/nonhires/poprock/albumartist/album/disc

I think for classical music, the better folder structure is classical/composer/album[conductor]. Albumartist is a slightly problematic concept when tagging classical music - does it refer to conductor, orchestra, group or soloists - or all of those? It makes even less sense in a folder structure.
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10-04-2021, 11:51 (This post was last modified: 10-04-2021 11:53 by paultaylor.)
Post: #7
RE: How to best organise your music?
(10-04-2021 11:36)RSJ Wrote:  I think for classical music, the better folder structure is classical/composer/album[conductor]. Albumartist is a slightly problematic concept when tagging classical music - does it refer to conductor, orchestra, group or soloists - or all of those? It makes even less sense in a folder structure.
AlbumArtist is not so difficult, I just consider it to mean those people credited on the front cover of the album, they are likely to be a combination of conductor, soloist, orchestra and be involved in all/the majority of the pieces (the composer should not normally be the album artist), the key thing is the album artist(s) should always be the same for all tracks on an album.

I certainly would not divide by composer, since many albums have works by different composers and so you are splitting up your albums with no hope of getting the complete album back at a later date if you want. Using MinimServers metatags it easy to use COMPOSER and GROUP to categorise the works within an album for the purposes of playing works by a particular composer without reference to the album.
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15-04-2021, 19:21
Post: #8
RE: How to best organise your music?
a slight tangent of this topic, but I'm seeing the reason to have multiple folder structures based upon disparate types of music then put them on different Minim instances. The case in point would be classical vs. contemporary music, but i'm sure there are other schemes for different content types. Most contemporary music works well with the idea that the major tags/folders are Album Artist/Album/disc-track; where as Classical you use almost a complete different structure & tags to organize (composer, performer(s), conductor, album(piece), movement). Why hold to one folder structure for both?

Instead of forcing squares pegs into round holes or vice versa, just have both round holes & square holes and organize according to multiple profiles and implement these profiles on different instances. This allows multiple folder structure scheme based upon what serves the type of content best.

The more I learn (still very noob at this) about the capabilities of MinimServer the more i'm impressed that the various ways to serve up the music.

simplified example:
<ClassicalMinimServer>/composer/Album-conductor/movement(track)
<ContemporaryMinimServer>/AlbumArtist/Album/disc-track
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21-04-2021, 07:16
Post: #9
RE: How to best organise your music?
(15-04-2021 19:21)seanshankus Wrote:  Why hold to one folder structure for both?
1. Because whatever type of music it is it is still usually purchased as an album, whether CD or diigital release.
2. Minimserver and its profiles let you flexibly serve different types of music completely independently from the folder structure.
3. Trying to come up with different folder strictures and categorise different music accordingly is more work for little gain
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