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Looking for a standard filename format, was: "ID3 tag standard filename syntax"
luminoso
post Aug 6 2010, 09:38
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Hi!

I've searched on Google but it seams that is no standard about this.
Any ideias?

A) About the CD number
1) codec \ Artist \ Album (CD 1)\ track - title
2) codec \ Artist \ Album (CD1)\ track - title
3) codec \ Artist \ Album (Disc 1)\ track - title
4) codec \ Artist \ Album\ CD1 \ track - title

B) About the year:
1) codec \ Artist \ Year - Album\ track - title
2) codec \ Artist \ Album (Year)\ track - title

C) About the title:
1) codec \ Artist \ Year - Album\ track - title
2) codec \ Artist \ Year - Album\ track - album - artist - title

D) About the folder structure:
1) codec \ Artist \ Year - Album\ track - title
2) Artist - Album - track - title.codec
3) Artist Album \ track - title

E) About the track number:
1) 1, 2, 3, 4..
2) 1.1, 1.2, .... 2.1, 2.1... (multiple CDs)
3) 01, 02, 03, 04

F) About the cover file:
1) folder.jpg
2) artwork \ xxx
3) cover.jpg

What are the best options? I see a lot of combinations arround the web and I don't know what is the best one.

I've been doing:

A1, B1, C1, D1, E1, F1

This post has been edited by luminoso: Aug 6 2010, 09:40
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db1989
post Aug 6 2010, 13:49
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This has nothing to do with ID3 tags.

There is no "standard" or "best" way to name your files, just whatever you prefer. (They're all for your own use, right? rolleyes.gif)

folder.jpg is the commonest of those options, but that's the only thing here that any definition of "standard" could be applied to.
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probedb
post Aug 6 2010, 13:55
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You're talking about file and directory structure naming. So whatever you want to use.

I think the title is therefore a bit misleading.
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luminoso
post Aug 6 2010, 17:27
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QUOTE (probedb @ Aug 6 2010, 05:55) *
You're talking about file and directory structure naming. So whatever you want to use.

I think the title is therefore a bit misleading.


And what about ID3 tag inside the mp3 files?

For CD numbering it should be done in the track number (1.1, 1.2, 1.3, .. 2.1, 2.1) or in Album name (Album (CD 1)) ?
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Slipstreem
post Aug 6 2010, 17:35
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I always write and edit ID3 tags via Foobar2000 and it has tag fields named 'Disc Number' and 'Total Discs', so that's where I put that information. However, I have no idea whether anything else either recognises or uses these fields. I'll leave it to the more experienced members to shed light on that one.
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db1989
post Aug 6 2010, 17:45
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QUOTE (luminoso @ Aug 6 2010, 17:27) *
And what about ID3 tag inside the mp3 files?

For CD numbering it should be done in the track number (1.1, 1.2, 1.3, .. 2.1, 2.1) or in Album name (Album (CD 1)) ?
If your chosen software/hardware supports the ID3v2 frame TPOS (which per Slipstreem's post is mapped to DISCNUMBER/TOTALDISCS in foobar2000), use that. If it doesn't but you don't need to see the info, use it. And if it doesn't but you do want to see the information, append it to your album title, in whatever way you choose.

Also see TRCK shortly below that for info on track numbers, and the rest of the document for all other frames.

Otherwise, as I've said, everything else is a matter of personal preference only.

This post has been edited by dv1989: Aug 6 2010, 18:01
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DVDdoug
post Aug 6 2010, 22:29
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No matter what scheme you choose you'll find there are exceptions that don't fit.

The good news is that your player/library can find the information from the tags and it doesn't matter how your files/folders are organized! If you change your mind and re-organize your files, the player library doesn't care! I can easily find/select all of the songs by a particular artist even though some songs are buried in a soundtrack or various artist folder. Or, I can find a Christmas song that's on a greatest hits CD, not in the Christmas folder. Or, I can find all of the songs from 1969, etc., etc.

My basic structure is:
Genre/Artist/Album/Song Title
As a general rule, the file name is just the song title. No track number or artist... the track number is in the tag.

I currently have 13 different genre folders. Probably 80% of my music is in a folder I've labeled "Rock & Popular". The files in this folder are tagged with more-specific genres like "Hard Rock", "Country", etc. (I don't have a country folder, since I don't have that much country music.) I have another top-level genre folder called "Easy Listening, Big Band & Jazz". I'm trying to minimize the number of top-level folders, but I still ended-up with 13 since I have "Mexican", "Comedy", "Halloween", etc., that I just didn't want to mix-in with my regular-everyday music.

I also have music in the Soundtrack folder that's tagged "Rock", etc.
For soundtracks:
Soundtracks/Album/Track#. Song

For movie soundtracks with various artists:
Soundtracks/Album/Track#. Song Title - Artist

For my very limited classical collection:
Classical/Composer/Album (or "Work")/Title (or "Movement")

Some "exceptions" and unusual things I do...

I have almost 40 "Various Artist" CDs that could go in the Rock & Popular folder. Instead I made a separate top-level folder:
Various Artists/Album/Song Title - Artist

But, I have other Various Artist sub-folders like:
Christmas/Various Artists/Song Title - Artist

I have a small number downloaded "singles" (60-70). These don't fit well into my scheme, since I don't have the whole album and I didn't want to have a bunch of "artist" folders with just one song. These are all in one folder organized like this:
Various Artists/Dougs Downloads/Song Title - Artist (I'll do this even if I have an album by the same artist in a different folder. All of these downloads have embedded artwork (the original-release album artwork if I can find it). Everywhere else I use folder.jpg.

I may do something different as I acquire more downloads... It's almost to that point... Maybe I'll do something like: Genre/Artist/Single Downloads/Title???

For soundtracks, live albums, or wherever the sequence is especially important, I'll include the track number:
Soundtracks/Album/Track#. Song Title

For live albums I'll add the year and "live" in the Album-folder if it's not already part of the album title:
Artist/Album (Live Year)/Track#. Song Title

Otherwise I don't use the year as part of the folder/file, but I do update/correct all of the year-tags for "various artist" and "greatest hits" albums. (I use the original song release date rather than the album/CD release date, which is usually after the artist is dead! biggrin.gif )

For multiple CD albums, I'll re-number the tracks. (i.e. The numbers on the 2nd disc might be numbered 13-20.) I consider it one album, even though it doesn't happen to fit on one CD. (However, I will tag the tracks with the correct/original disc number.)

I hope that gives you some ideas... Have fun! And, you can always re-organize if you change your mind.

This post has been edited by DVDdoug: Aug 6 2010, 22:49
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Billytheonion
post Aug 6 2010, 22:40
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I have personally never understood folder structure for music, the control you have is extremely limiting compared to managing you music through iTunes.
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DVDdoug
post Aug 6 2010, 23:11
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QUOTE (Billytheonion @ Aug 6 2010, 14:40) *
I have personally never understood folder structure for music, the control you have is extremely limiting compared to managing you music through iTunes.
I don't use iTunes, but I'd be surprised if organizing or structuring your files somehow limits whatever you can do with iTunes. tongue.gif

I've got over 11,000 MP3s and I just like to keep some sort of structure, even though Winamp (which I happen to use) doesn't care where the files are or how they are organized.
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Slipstreem
post Aug 7 2010, 00:40
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I agree 100% with Doug. It adds flexibility. It certainly doesn't take any away.

Having your music organised in some kind of logical folder structure means that you don't have to run up any third-party software to be able to find something. Just open up My Computer and browse alphabetically, then drag and drop the artist, album, or track you want onto whatever device you have plugged in. Job done!

Of course, this is assuming that you're not using an iPod where, to the best of my knowledge, this has deliberately been made impossible. tongue.gif
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probedb
post Aug 7 2010, 08:33
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QUOTE (Billytheonion @ Aug 6 2010, 22:40) *
I have personally never understood folder structure for music, the control you have is extremely limiting compared to managing you music through iTunes.


I like my filenames to be meaningful so when I want to copy a file or album somewhere I can do so without the need to launch a piece of software to do so.

Without using software (other than the file system) let's see how long it take for you to find a file stored by iTunes in it's random directory structure tongue.gif
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dhromed
post Aug 7 2010, 10:10
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Doug's got it down.

My structure is the very common: \Music\Artist\Album\Artist - Album [track#] - Song.ext

I prefer to keep such full info in the filename as well, because music files often have a way of ending up somewhere alone and out of context, so it's good to be able to see what it is at a glance.

I don't adhere very strictly to that format, though. Some albums have the year prepended; some albums are not in an artist folder; etc. The library feature of one's player solves that problem in a far more flexible way that any single folder structure ever could, so there's no real incentive to be exceptionally accurate in one's folder hierarchy.

In a nutshell, the folder structure is for finding files, not music per se. Music a complex beast that doesn't constrain well to a hierarchy. That's what libraries are for.
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db1989
post Aug 7 2010, 11:52
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QUOTE (DVDdoug @ Aug 6 2010, 23:11) *
QUOTE (Billytheonion @ Aug 6 2010, 14:40) *
I have personally never understood folder structure for music, the control you have is extremely limiting compared to managing you music through iTunes.
I don't use iTunes, but I'd be surprised if organizing or structuring your files somehow limits whatever you can do with iTunes. tongue.gif

I've got over 11,000 MP3s and I just like to keep some sort of structure, even though Winamp (which I happen to use) doesn't care where the files are or how they are organized.
I was going to say: Not all programs that support a media library mandate a specific file structure (e.g. foobar2000), so the user is sometimes able (or required) to choose their own. Depending on one's preference, this might be better.

QUOTE (probedb @ Aug 7 2010, 08:33) *
I like my filenames to be meaningful so when I want to copy a file or album somewhere I can do so without the need to launch a piece of software to do so.

Without using software (other than the file system) let's see how long it take for you to find a file stored by iTunes in it's random directory structure tongue.gif
You're confusing the iTunes Media/Music folder, which has fairly standard organisation (Artist\Album\nn Title), with the media folder on the iPod itself.
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Dologan
post Aug 7 2010, 12:50
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QUOTE (dhromed @ Aug 7 2010, 10:10) *
Doug's got it down.

My structure is the very common: \Music\Artist\Album\Artist - Album [track#] - Song.ext

I prefer to keep such full info in the filename as well, because music files often have a way of ending up somewhere alone and out of context, so it's good to be able to see what it is at a glance.

I don't adhere very strictly to that format, though. Some albums have the year prepended; some albums are not in an artist folder; etc. The library feature of one's player solves that problem in a far more flexible way that any single folder structure ever could, so there's no real incentive to be exceptionally accurate in one's folder hierarchy.

In a nutshell, the folder structure is for finding files, not music per se. Music a complex beast that doesn't constrain well to a hierarchy. That's what libraries are for.


My attitude as well, pretty much. I have my backups stored in an independent, usually offline location not "librarized" by my player (foobar2000), so it's important to me to keep a reasonably thorough information on the filename itself, in case I want to retrieve something specific without having to load the whole thing into the player *shudder*.

I normally use the relatively straightforward:
\AlbumArtist\Album\Artist - {Discnumber}.Tracknumber - Title.ext

I tried having a top-level "rough super-genre" folder at some point to simplify finding things and to keep the number of artist folders to a reasonable level, but eventually gave up as I realized I would have to abandon either genre consistency or artist cohesion.

Multi-disc and various artist albums can make it a bit more complicated, though:

- Auto-taggers often add a "(Disc X)" to the album name, effectively splitting it into many, which I don't usually like except for discs with distinctly separate themes, or non-standard bonuses. So usually rename them to the base name and prefix track numbers with disc numbers. I contemplated renumbering tracks, but found it awkward and pointless. Disc number alone does the trick of keeping them ordered but separate.

- Various artists albums can get tricky, because I don't like having "Various Artists" folders with wildly heterogenous stuff in them (probably not alone in this) and separating tracks is an absolute no-no, hence the "album artist" tag/directory. Sometimes there is a main artist/compilator/collection/series, so I use that for it. If there isn't, then I often set "album artist" to the album name itself or to "soundtrack", if it's one. I also am forced to change the filename format to "{Discnumber}.Tracknumber - Track Artist - Title", in order to preserve the proper order of tracks. It may save me some work to do this for everything, but I normally prefer having the artist first when I can, in case two folders happen to get merged together for any reason, as this often manages to keep the albums separate (except if the folders are by the same artist; then it sucks, but I refuse to add album name to the filename – it's just too damn long.)

Classical music gives me the most headaches, though, because I'm involved in it beyond where a simplistic composer\album structure might be remotely viable. The most satisfying solution I've come up with so far is to have two top-level folders, one for composers and one for performers, and then I decide on a case per case basis whether the composer or the performer is the focus of an album. If it's the performer, which usually involves various composers, then I put the album under their name in the performers folder. If it's the composer, or both are equal, then I classify it under the composer. If there is a particular work of which I may have more than one version, say, Bach's Art of Fugue, I have a particular folder for it, and put the relevant albums under it.
It's all quite labour-intensive, however, and I haven't really kept up with it lately...

This post has been edited by Dologan: Aug 7 2010, 13:09
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googlebot
post Aug 7 2010, 13:19
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QUOTE (probedb @ Aug 7 2010, 09:33) *
Without using software (other than the file system) let's see how long it take for you to find a file stored by iTunes in it's random directory structure tongue.gif


The "without software" constraint is somewhat arbitrary. Why should one let from using the best tool for a job? I also think that you are shooting yourself in the foot: Especially in the "how long it takes to find a file" scenario one realizes how outdated directory/filename based retrieval is compared to tag/database based approaches.

For a 100.000 track collection:

Start iTunes from SSD: < 0.8 s.
Entering few significant letters (beginning from album name, track name, artist or whatever): < 1 s
iTunes' retrieval time (from regular 5400rpm HD): < 0.2s
Overall: < 2s

It took me 23 seconds to locate the same file ("Kind of Blue - Flamenco Sketches (alternate take)") by scrolling and clicking through the backing artist/album directory structure. That's more than 10x as long! Why should anyone prefer that to a database based solution? Especially if it even keeps folders organized by tag names in the background as iTunes.
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probedb
post Aug 7 2010, 13:58
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QUOTE (dv1989 @ Aug 7 2010, 11:52) *
You're confusing the iTunes Media/Music folder, which has fairly standard organisation (Artist\Album\nn Title), with the media folder on the iPod itself.


Shows how long it is since I used an iPod with Apple firmware ohmy.gif

googlebot, I wasn't talking about simply finding the file, I meant being to copy that entire directory to another non-Apple device or somewhere else on your file system. I also never said this was better than a db solution, the poster I quoted asked what the point was of keeping your directory/file structure well ordered and named. I gave them a reason.
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luminoso
post Aug 7 2010, 18:59
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Well.. after some tests I an now doing like this:

codec \ Artist \ year - Album \ discnumber.tracknumber - title

And for ID3tags:

- No CD number on Album field
- CD number on discnumber field
- "VA" (Various Artists) on "Album Artist" instead of "Artist" field (works well on Windows media player but not in foobar)
- Discnumber id3tag works well on foobar but not in WMP (lol)
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Zarggg
post Aug 7 2010, 19:07
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Out of curiosity, why is the codec your item of greatest importance? I would consider that to be the least important, organizationally. It's more descriptive of the file itself than its contents.
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luminoso
post Aug 7 2010, 21:22
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QUOTE (Zarggg @ Aug 7 2010, 11:07) *
Out of curiosity, why is the codec your item of greatest importance? I would consider that to be the least important, organizationally. It's more descriptive of the file itself than its contents.


Because it's my objective to over the ears replace mp3 albums by flac albuns
And it's also easier when i want to transfer to my mp3 device (i need to convert)
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Soviet Commissar
post Aug 7 2010, 21:29
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I use a scheme like <root music folder>\Album Artist\Album\(Discnumber, if it exists).Tracknumber Title. It's very easy to move all of your files with foobar2000's "file operations" plugin (included in the installer). I'm sure you could use the codec as a variable in that, for example using foobar2000:

<root music folder>\%codec%\%band%\%album%\[%discnumber%.]%track% - %title%

If you have a lot of classical music or tracks with long titles, you may want to use $cut(%title%,32) and $ascii(%<field name>%) to sanitize the filenames and paths of non-ascii characters, and to keep the path length from getting too long for Windows to handle.
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Billytheonion
post Aug 7 2010, 21:39
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QUOTE (probedb @ Aug 7 2010, 08:33) *
QUOTE (Billytheonion @ Aug 6 2010, 22:40) *
I have personally never understood folder structure for music, the control you have is extremely limiting compared to managing you music through iTunes.


I like my filenames to be meaningful so when I want to copy a file or album somewhere I can do so without the need to launch a piece of software to do so.

Without using software (other than the file system) let's see how long it take for you to find a file stored by iTunes in it's random directory structure tongue.gif


That would take 2 seconds on OS X just typing in the name of the song or the artist or the composer or album name. Searching manually not much longer.
I wouldn't say iTunes has a random directory structure, Artist, Album, song Title and thats if you choose to have it that way otherwise the choice is yours.

Grouping say all the Final Fantasy Game soundtrack albums together then wanting to search by composer can't be done with any file structure. Classical music well lets not even go there how limiting a folder structure is.

iTunes gives you in my opinion the ultimate way to organise your music and you can even keep your own file structure. Best of both worlds.

PS. iTunes doesn't care how the files are structured or where they are either.

This post has been edited by Billytheonion: Aug 7 2010, 22:09
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db1989
post Aug 8 2010, 02:28
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QUOTE (luminoso @ Aug 7 2010, 18:59) *
"VA" (Various Artists) on "Album Artist" instead of "Artist" field (works well on Windows media player but not in foobar)
You must configure foobar2000 to group by ALBUM ARTIST before ARTIST, if the former is present. Try a forum Google search for "foobar2000 group compilation" or similar; there have been various topics on this issue, including a few recently.
QUOTE (Billytheonion @ Aug 7 2010, 21:39) *
I wouldn't say iTunes has a random directory structure, Artist, Album, song Title and thats if you choose to have it that way otherwise the choice is yours.
I addressed this in my previous post.

This post has been edited by dv1989: Aug 8 2010, 02:30
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