I personally am some one that has ALOT of music on my computer (about 13,000 songs) and I am sure that some of you are very similar. Without proper organization of all of this music, it is easy for some of it to get lost in the shuffle. I am looking for some suggestions/new ideas to help better organize what I've got and maybe freshen some things up a bit.
I'll start this off by breaking down what I do with my library.
1. I use iTunes. I know some of you more technologically apt fellows tend to poo-poo this as a music player, but it suits my needs really well and the smart playlists are brilliant if used correctly.
2. I rate ALL of my songs. (or they will all be rated one day. I tend to collect music faster than I listen to it.) I believe I have a really good formula for how these are rated.
-5 stars - these are only a few songs that are near and dear to me for whatever reason. honestly, there are only about 40 of my 14,000 songs that get this rating.
-4 stars - any song that stands out enough to be on a playlist. I ask myself; do I ever go to this album for the purpose of listening to this song? about 1300 songs (about 10%) of my music is 4 stars. Greatest hits albums or the best albums should be comprised of mostly 4 star songs.
-3 stars – these are songs that I usually do not skip if I am listening to that album. The majority of all of my music is 3 stars (sans the rap CD’s as they are mostly crap aside from the good songs.) about 3000 (about 23%) songs are currently 3 stars.
-2 stars – These are songs that are almost always skipped when I am listening to the album. I don’t want these showing up on playlists. (about 4900 songs (about 38%)
-1 star – These are all songs that have some sort of issue. A)they are an intro or an interlude. B) The track skips. C) This song is a duplicate. (example: “Here comes my girl” is located on Tom Petty ‘Greatest hits’ and on ‘Damn the torpedoes’. The original is given the 4 star rating and the greatest hits version is given a 1 star rating. ) There is good reason for this as we’ll get to later. But long story short, if I ever need a bunch of extra room, I quickly know what to delete. (1100 songs (about 12 %)
-0 stars – need to rate. (currently about 3900 songs (about 30%)
3. I create my own genre for all music. I create the genre by album and list all genres that apply to the album.
Examples: Vampire Weekend is - indie pop rock Stevie Ray Vaughn is – Blues Rock Marvin Gaye is – Soul R&B AC/DC - Rock Bob Dylan is – Folk Rock Mumford & Sons is – Indie Folk Pop Rock Bell Biv Devoe is – Pop R&B Beatles – Pop Rock
You get the point. If you don’t get it, read on. There is a reason for this.
4. I put all my music through TuneUp updater. This puts all the correct artwork on it and updates all the years correctly.
5. Once you have it all organized, here’s where the fun comes. It’s Smart Playlist time!
Smart playlists I have currently created
New good music – year is after 2009. Rating is 4 or more stars. Lastings Radio – rating is 4 or more stars Lastings Radio (deep cuts included) – Rating is 3 or more stars
Genres Folder Classic Rock – genre contains rock. Year is before 1985. Rating is 4 or more stars. Indie – genre contains indie. Rating is 4 or more stars. Lastings Radio – Rating is 3 or more stars. Millennium pop – genre contains pop. Year is after 2000. Rating is 4 or more stars. Millennium rock – genre contains rock. Year is after 2000. Rating is 4 or more stars. Pop – Genre contains Pop. Rating is 4 or more stars. Rock – Genre Contains Rock. Rating is 4 or more stars. Hard Rock – Genre contains Hard Rock. Rating is 4 or more starts. Easy on the ears – genre does not contain rap. Genre does not contain hard rock. Genre does not contain electronica. Rating is 4 or more stars. Electronica – Genre contains Electronica. Rating is 4 or more stars.
-any artists that has more than 10 songs rated 4+ stars.
Example: Artist is Bruce Springsteen. Rating is 4 or more stars. This makes a nice little personal Boss 26 song greatest hits.
Decades Folder -each decade has it’s best of.
example: year before 2000. Year is after 1989. Rating is 4 or more stars. Creates a 287 song best of the 90’s.
Anyways… I know it’s all a bit crazy, but it’s how I get the most out of my music. Organization is the key!
If this gives you some useful ideas, awesome!
If you have some useful ideas for me, all the better!
I have tons of songs too, but I don't feel the need to categorize or rate everything. Too much painstaking work.
I just have a master playlist, arranged by artist and album in alphabetic/chronological order respectively. Every album I rip/download, I add it to a separate and most appropriate playlist for that genre/subgenre. Simple organization when you make arranging a habit. I don't do this often, however, mainly because I have very little interest in buying new music.
Man, I thought I was OCD about rating music. I don't use my digital collection as much as most people so I don't do much more than making sure everything is tagged correctly and has artwork. I use Rateyourmusic.com for rating albums and cataloging my records and CDs.
I hate that Itunes doesn't support FLAC. It's so dumb that you can't use the most popular lossless format... you can't even import them and encode them into ALAC. So I just use Foobar. I challenge everyone to use Foobar and Asio4all and see if you go back to what you are using now. I'm pretty sure Foobar is the only music program where you can use Asio4All (http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/221237/asio4all-explanation).
Everyone has different requirements for music delivery.
I use Amazon Cloud Player. About 2700 songs. I like that I can access my music from any internet device. I wouldn't recommend it for people with collections over 5000 songs or those who demand lossless.
"Steal a little and they'll throw you in jail, steal a lot and they'll make you a king." - Bob Dylan
I prefer lossless for my digital collection to listen to on my home stereo but I'm not somebody who can't listen to anything less especially on my crappy car speakers. But, I'd never buy a lossy album. It's kind of ridiculous to me that in an age of super cheap hard drive space lossy formats are still the standard. Even if you can't tell the difference, it's practically future proof as long as stereo music is the norm.
I'm very excited for iCloud which will totally change the cloud business. Amazon is pretty sweet but it doesn't even compare to what Apple is rolling out.