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Your Music Directory Structure, What format is your music organized in?
How do you arrange your Songs and Album folders?
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thinkum dinkum
post May 11 2008, 20:56
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Root\

- [Custom Genres] -

Artist [Year] Album\T# Artist - Title.codec
Artist [Year] Album [Original Year]\T# Artist - Title.codec
Artist - Performer [Year] Album\T# Artist - Title.codec
Various Album Artist [Year] Album\T# Artist - Title.codec
Various Publisher [Year] Album\T# Artist - Title.codec

Year tag depends on type or reissue, remaster etc.
the few main i can think of, there are several other rarely used methods

In most of the album folders there are:

00 Artist - Album.cue
00 Artist - Album.log
00 Artist - Album f.png
00 Artist - Album b.png ...
folder.jpg

smile.gif


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2tec
post May 11 2008, 21:04
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QUOTE (Nick.C @ May 11 2008, 12:12) *
I use foobar2000 - you can create custom playlists pulling individual tracks out of each album.
What about random playback? How ever do you manage album art and lyrics? Does this preserve gaps? So many questions! unsure.gif I hope it's no bother?


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Nick.C
post May 11 2008, 21:21
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QUOTE (2tec @ May 11 2008, 21:04) *
What about random playback? How ever do you manage album art and lyrics? Does this preserve gaps? So many questions! unsure.gif I hope it's no bother?
Use the Playback > Order > Random in foobar2000 for random playback;
I don't (yet) but I think it would be possible with care;
If the image is ripped with the cuesheet then gaps should be preserved for burning back to CD (I think).

This post has been edited by Nick.C: May 11 2008, 21:21


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plnelson
post May 12 2008, 18:33
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QUOTE (Roseval @ May 4 2008, 16:00) *
My only comment is that I donít understand why one is so concerned about file structure.
Any decent player uses tags to browse your collection.
Using WMP I can select a composer say Beethoven. I can sort all his works by title, genre and as I have given a couple of tags a very distinct use, by opus number and by year of composition.
Why do I need a complicated file naming convention when filtering and sorting by tags (not to mention the search box) do the job?

If I read these postings about directory/filename structures, I have the feeling that a lot of people simply donít understand where tagging is about.


Exactly right!

And to put this another way, "file structure" is a device and OS-dependent concept so it limits your portability. Tags are universal. There is not a major, music-playing device in wide use today that doesn't utilize tags - iPods/iPhones, all other portable MP3 players, car stereos, PC-based music playing sw, Sonos, Roku, Logitech / Squeezebox, my Verizon cellphone, etc.

I'm a sw engineer so maybe I'm more used to thinking in object-oriented terms, but this fixation on what amounts to containers and external organizations (CD albums and file structures) seems like "old" thinking.
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thinkum dinkum
post May 12 2008, 18:47
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QUOTE (plnelson @ May 12 2008, 19:33) *
I'm a sw engineer so maybe I'm more used to thinking in object-oriented terms, but this fixation on what amounts to containers and external organizations (CD albums and file structures) seems like "old" thinking.

but we still feel young inside tongue.gif

seriously, i'm just used to physically manipulate my music, cut paste copy here there usb backup etc etc

btw. how do you display artwork if all files are in one folder?


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plnelson
post May 12 2008, 18:51
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QUOTE (milesmonk @ May 4 2008, 18:01) *
I'm concerned not so much with the file/folder structure, as with tagging. Who should be "Artist" for a a Classical performance? Sometimes it is the performer who is the highlight (e.g., Glenn Gould/Luciano Pavarotti), and sometimes it is the piece being performed that is the star (e.g., a second-rate philharmonic performing Beethovan). Sometimes, it is the conductor who is given top billing. How do you tag it, and how do you organise/display/sort it in your player of choice?


The ID3 tagging scheme was devised by geeks who didn't know or care anything about music. It's crippled in many ways, ONE of which is that it has no built-in universal support for subtags or multiple or'ed-together values of the same tag. I put ALL of the stuff you mentioned in the "Artist" tag - ensemble, conductor, soloist(s), etc. But that still doesn't make it easy to display on my iPod for, say, all the tracks featuring Alfred Brendel or all the works featuring the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, if any are the same tracks, unless I do a manual search (and thank god for that feature on the iPod!).

Likewise "Genre" needs to accept multiple values. The same piece of music could reasonably be more than one genre - rock and Latin, Latin and jazz, jazz and classical, pop and soundtrack, etc.

And classical fans widely use "Album" for the opus because it's a tag that practically every music-playing device supports.

I advocate using tags instead of file structure for searching/cataloging/organizing because tags are self-contained, portable, and universal, and not dependent on any particular OS or platform, NOT because I think tags are very well-designed.

And FWIW I almost never use the tags from any of the online databases - I hand edit all my own tags for accuracy, completeness, and consistency. It's more work but you only have to do it once.
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plnelson
post May 12 2008, 19:03
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QUOTE (thinkum dinkum @ May 12 2008, 13:47) *
QUOTE (plnelson @ May 12 2008, 19:33) *
I'm a sw engineer so maybe I'm more used to thinking in object-oriented terms, but this fixation on what amounts to containers and external organizations (CD albums and file structures) seems like "old" thinking.

but we still feel young inside tongue.gif

seriously, i'm just used to physically manipulate my music, cut paste copy here there usb backup etc etc

btw. how do you display artwork if all files are in one folder?


You embed it in the file itself. Some people think this wastes too much space, but really, if your music file is 6 MB (a 3 minute pop song at 256kbps) then what's a 300x300 album art JPEG? 40kB, maybe? Even a much higher-rez image would be such a small potion of the music file that it would only increase the file size by a trivial percent.
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thinkum dinkum
post May 12 2008, 20:32
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ok, that's cool
but these days of cheap drive space, i rip my cds to flac, and scan to 300dpi png, with cue&log
maybe cues are not necessary, cause i rarely burn anything, doing it out of habit i guess

sort of a backup and music database at the same time smile.gif


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gasmann
post May 12 2008, 21:37
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I used to have the 3 Level: Music\Artist\Album\T# - Title.codec schema, and for some times I tried a different 3 Level approach: Music\Genre\Album\T# - Title.codec but hell it is not worth the effort for me.
Hence I switched to 2 Level: Music\Artist - Album\T# - Title.codec and it works fine for me.


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k.eight.a
post May 12 2008, 23:30
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Most of the time I use structure as:

2 Level: Music\Artist - Year - Album\T# - Title.ext

SomeTimes also:

3 Level: Music\Artist\Year - Album\T# - Title.ext

wink.gif


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plnelson
post May 13 2008, 02:00
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QUOTE (thinkum dinkum @ May 12 2008, 15:32) *
ok, that's cool
but these days of cheap drive space, i rip my cds to flac, and scan to 300dpi png, with cue&log
maybe cues are not necessary, cause i rarely burn anything, doing it out of habit i guess

sort of a backup and music database at the same time smile.gif


OK, but how big is a 3 minute pop song in FLAC? Bigger, I assume, than a 256 kbps MP3 or AAC. And how big is a 300 DPI scan of CD album art? In a high-quality JPEG it will only be a few hundred K, (I haven't tried PNG but I assume it would also be pretty small) so as a percentage of the music the cover art is still small. (I don't use FLAC but I assume it will take embedded images). And, of course a 3 minute pop song is the worst-case scenario. If your music tracks are longer then embedding the image in the file extracts an even smaller penalty.

This post has been edited by plnelson: May 13 2008, 14:31
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milesmonk
post May 17 2008, 19:05
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I'm still particular about file names and folder structure — but a bit less particular about folder structure now. The reason for this shift is the discovery that one can transfer files by dragging and dropping straight from foobar2000 (my music player of choice). The idea to try this out struck me when I saw a friend doing so using iTunes media player. Tracking down the location of a file, and transferring whole albums is now easier.

Parenthetically, I'm still particular because things like album art, artist art, etc., are stored in the album/artist folder alongside the music files. Thus, a neat organisation along those lines is a must for me. If a way to delink those is possible without too much hassle, I would jump on board.

Note: while my preferred option for album art used to be embedded art, I've come around to merely placing the art in the music (album) folder these days. If there is an easy way to resize the album art to less than 100KB, and then embed the files properly as front cover, back cover, etc., could someone please inform me? Currently I use foobar2000 and mp3tag. (Handling of multiple covers is not yet perfect in mp3tag... Though it apparently works in Tag/Rename and MediaMonkey.) Thanks in advance for the help, if any is forthcoming.

QUOTE (milesmonk @ May 5 2008, 03:31) *
QUOTE (Roseval @ May 5 2008, 01:30) *

My only comment is that I don’t understand why one is so concerned about file structure.
Any decent player uses tags to browse your collection.
Using WMP I can select a composer say Beethoven. I can sort all his works by title, genre and as I have given a couple of tags a very distinct use, by opus number and by year of composition.
Why do I need a complicated file naming convention when filtering and sorting by tags (not to mention the search box) do the job?

If I read these postings about directory/filename structures, I have the feeling that a lot of people simply don’t understand where tagging is about.


I agree completely. The behaviour that I (and some others in this thread) exhibit is most definitely anal-retentive. But it's not only about file-structure. The way I see it, file-structure is only a reflection of metadata. (After all, renaming files in accordance with the scheme I've outlined above is only a click away in foobar2000/mp3tag/[your mp3 renamer of choice].) Changing file-structure isn't all that difficult. But coming up with a consistent and intelligent metadata system is.

So, you see, at the root of things, I'm concerned not so much with the file/folder structure, as with tagging. Who should be "Artist" for a a Classical performance? Sometimes it is the performer who is the highlight (e.g., Glenn Gould/Luciano Pavarotti), and sometimes it is the piece being performed that is the star (e.g., a second-rate philharmonic performing Beethovan). Sometimes, it is the conductor who is given top billing. How do you tag it, and how do you organise/display/sort it in your player of choice?

The questions I had raised for the file structure also apply directly to tagging. Do you tag it uniformly as "OST: [Movie Name]" or "[Movie Name]" or "[Full title as provided on the CD]"? AMG has a habit of using "Soundtrack" as the Album Artist for all multi-artist soundtracks. Do you follow that, or use "Various Artists"? These are questions about tagging as well.

Sure, most people never think twice about such questions. But then, those people aren't following this discussion, are they?
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collector
post May 18 2008, 15:01
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..and some people keep their photos in bulk in shoe boxes, no matter when, where or why they were taken and by whom. It's a choice.

I prefer album before artist, because I can hear and remember who's the artist, but most of the time I don't recall which album it is.
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bwiberg
post Jan 18 2010, 09:46
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QUOTE
But the vast majority of the time the songs are just songs and the "album" is just a container - the physical polycarbonate or vinyl disk the record label decided to put them on. I'm also a photographer and it's like if I bought a bunch of photographic accessories - filters, lens caps, straps, etc, and they all came in the same box so I decided to always store them together after that because of the box they came in.

Many times the SAME song will appear on more than one album - a first release, a later "best of" compilation, and then a late-night TV "greatest hits of the 90's" collection. Other times the "same" album will have DIFFERENT versions of the "same" song - for instance, when the Moby album "Play" was first released it had one version of "South Side" and then later they CHANGED it to include the version with the Gwen Stefani vocals! Also sometimes the US and EU versions of the "same" albums will have different content.

If you feel the album is significant you can always include that information in the tag. But why make it part of the directory structure? As I said above, I keep ALL the songs by a given artist in one flat older. The songs may have been ripped from a CD, bought online, or stream-ripped, it doesn't matter. I've never had any problem with this scheme and it's very easy and simple.


Hope it's alright to revive an old thread and that plnelson is still reading... Anyway I tend to agree with your arguments. I would however like to know how you handle the situation ripping a cd containing a version of track you already have? If your file structure is Artist/Tracktitle.codec you would either overwrite the existing version or have your new entry rejected. So you must have come up with something additional to uniquely identify the track. Recording date might be a candidate, but even that is sometimes not known or ambiguous. Another approach could be to just name all tracks track000001, track000002 and so on. I would like to hear what you have chosen?

Bendt
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bwiberg
post Jan 26 2010, 10:06
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OK - settled on this file structure:

Album~CDDBid/Artist~Track.codec

Should also work for compilations. CDDBid is there to help keeping folder names unique...

/Bendt
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jeremija
post Jan 27 2010, 08:45
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%codec%\%album artist%\%date% %album%\%tracknumber% - %title%
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Goratrix
post Jan 27 2010, 11:48
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all my music is LAME 3.97 -V0

directory structure:

regular albums:
D:\MP3\Artist - Albumname CD#\01-Trackname.mp3

compilations:
D:\MP3\VA - Albumname CD#\01-Trackname.mp3

every folder is an exact rip of a physical CD and all further sorting and management is done with tags. simple and effective, no unnecessary subfolders.

I'm using the Album Artist, Band, and Itunescompilaton tags to sort out VA compilations in Itunes, works pretty good with the intelligent merging of Artist and Album Artist that Itunes does in the Artist filter.

This post has been edited by Goratrix: Jan 27 2010, 11:49
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antropoid
post Jan 27 2010, 16:03
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Well I like as follows

Music/artist/album

in the case for multidisc albums

Music/artist/album/cd1
Music/artist/album/cd2
Music/artist/album/cd...

all my music are complete albums, works like a charm in foobar

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Brian.Audio
post Feb 23 2010, 03:32
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Well, thanks to this forum, I've learned how to rip perfect FLACs with XLD and convert them to MP3s in a weekend. So before I create my music directory I was wondering whether people typically put the Artist's (First Name) first or their (Last Name) first ?
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Drexl
post Feb 23 2010, 20:05
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QUOTE (Brian.Audio @ Feb 22 2010, 20:32) *
Well, thanks to this forum, I've learned how to rip perfect FLACs with XLD and convert them to MP3s in a weekend. So before I create my music directory I was wondering whether people typically put the Artist's (First Name) first or their (Last Name) first ?


I use the first name, as that seems a bit easier to me. I'll omit "The" from the folder name, but I'll use it in the tag (i.e., folder is Beatles but tag is The Beatles). I would suggest doing that if you decide to use last names first. For instance the folder would have "Dylan, Bob" but the tag would be "Bob Dylan."

BTW, the structure I use is "Artist - Album/T% - Track name.flac." Then I'll separate those into something like A-F, G-L, etc. when they get too unwieldy. I don't do a separate folder for each artist, because there are cases where I only have one album, and it seems kind of silly to create a folder that leads just to one more folder. With soundtracks I don't use "Various Artists" but rather tag each file with the individual artist and year, and compilations also get individual years.
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Meeko
post Feb 27 2010, 13:47
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I seem to be in the majority.

Music \ Artist \ Album \ # - Title.flac

Just is easy to find what you want by whom.


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a13xth0rn3
post Feb 27 2010, 16:10
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C:\Users\Alex\Music\iTunes\iTunes Media\Genre\Artist\Album\01. Filename.m4a

If it's a double disc:
C:\Users\Alex\Music\iTunes\iTunes Media\Genre\Artist\Album\Disc 01\01. Filename.m4a
C:\Users\Alex\Music\iTunes\iTunes Media\Genre\Artist\Album\Disc 02\01. Filename.m4a

If it's a vinyl rip:
C:\Users\Alex\Music\iTunes\iTunes Media\Genre\Artist\Album\A Side\01. Filename.m4a
C:\Users\Alex\Music\iTunes\iTunes Media\Genre\Artist\Album\B Side\01. Filename.m4a

If it's a compilation:
C:\Users\Alex\Music\iTunes\iTunes Media\Genre\VA\Album\01. Filename.m4a

All files are ID3 Tagged e.g.

Artist: XXX
Title: XXX
Album: XXX
Track: X
Genre: XXX
Album Art: XXX.jpeg
Compilation: 1 (For compilations only)

I delete any other tags using dbpoweramp e.g. year, comment, bpm etc because i don't find them useful.
I currently archive my music in Apple Lossless (ALAC) for iPod compatibility. I do favour FLAC but i don't wish to use rockbox.

This post has been edited by a13xth0rn3: Feb 27 2010, 16:21
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trelain
post Mar 22 2010, 04:48
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I use

file type\Artist\Year_Album\Artist_Album_Track#_Title.xxx

I use the underscore as the logical separator instead of the dash since the dash can sometimes appear in an album or song title, which screws things up. I redundantly put the Artist and Album in the actual file name also because I wanted to keep enough info in the file's name so basic tag info could be rebuilt from the file name in the event that the tags get corrupted or deleted. Also this method allows you to copy only desired files anywhere without having to rely on tags to figure out the Artist, Year, or Album. But in using this method I'm finding that when the Album and Title are both long, I have run dangerously close to exceeding the 256 char path name limit on some files once you include parent folders, e.g., "The Beatles_The Beatles (White Album) [Disc 2] [2009 Mono Remaster]_04_Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey", so I'm considering going to just

file type\Artist\Year_Album\Track#_Title.xxx

and if and when tags ever have to be rebuilt I'll at least have the folder structure to pull Artist, Album, & Year from (provided the folder structure is never messed up). But this removes the convenience of viewing Artist,Album & Year along with title & track# when copying only selected files to, say, a portable flash player, so I'm still debating what to do (which brought me here for opinions).
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TechVsLife
post Mar 22 2010, 06:35
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I have two formats depending on genre (there are only two genres):

I. For classical music, like this:
Always start with composer and year of birth and death, then

1. if works are multi-track or major/long (symphonies, masses, operas), then group by work (and use the name of the work for the "album" name, with performer if I care)
\Bach (1685-1750)\Mass in b minor\01~Kyrie Eleison.m4a
the filename is the movement number and the name of the movement.

2a. if works are single tracks (or only two/three tracks), can group by type instead:
\Chopin (1810-1849)\Nocturnes\Nocturne No. 1~Op. 37.m4a

2b. and if performer and album are important then can use album title/identifier (but #1 overrides--always break out major works as "album" though can add performer to that):
\Chopin (1810-1849)\Rubinstein~RCA Basic 100 Vol 20~C311860E\


II. For all other music (i.e. pop music), like this:
\Pop\
then if have several songs by one band/artist:
\Pop\Sherman, Bobby (1943-)\Waiting At the Bus Stop.m4a
(sorry for the example!)
filename is songtitle (optionally with year of release at the end).

else:
\Pop\1990s\Sixpence None the Richer~Kiss Me.m4a
filename is "artist~song title"

This post has been edited by TechVsLife: Mar 22 2010, 06:40
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passenger
post May 10 2010, 00:35
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I organise music like this:

D:\MUSIC\FLAC

or

D:\MUSIC\MP3

Further, it looks like D:\MUSIC\FLAC\ARTIST\ALBUM

For various artists compilation i add VA before name of compilation, example D:\MUSIC\FLAC\VA - THIS IS THE COMPILATION

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