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Poll

How do you arrange your Songs and Album folders?

  • 1 Level:  Music\Artist - Album - T# - Title.codec
    23 (2.6%)
  • 2 Level:  Music\Artist - Album\T# - Title.codec
    136 (15.7%)
  • 3 Level:  Music\Artist\Album\T# - Title.codec
    347 (40%)
  • 3 Lev. w/Year: Music\Artist\YEAR - Album\T# - Title.codec
    196 (22.6%)
  • Other (this pertains to directory structure ONLY.)
    166 (19.1%)

Total Members Voted: 1034

Topic: Your Music Directory Structure (Read 116941 times) previous topic - next topic

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  • Supacon
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Your Music Directory Structure
I'm interested in finding out what kinds of directory structures all the audio collectors around here use for archiving their collections.  I'm interested in establishing some kind of a "standard" for myself, at least, based on what is most popular with the smart people into this stuff.

This poll ONLY pertains to your directory structure, and not your filename structure. Also, the name of your music root folders is irrelevant (Whether it happens to be "C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents\My Music\" (the default place for music on a Windows system) or "/" (a unix root partition).

For myself, I generally have been using C:\Music\Artist\Album\ and then having the files themselves named so that they are numbered by track.

More recently, for artists whose albums I have more than one of, I've been naming the album directory with the Year, usually as "2005 - Album Title", but I've historically used "(2005) Album Title", and sometimes even "Album Title (2005)", but that doesn't have the advantage of the folders being sorted in order of year.

I'd like to work through my music collection and rename every directory and file consistently one of these days, because over the years I've done so many different things.

  • Eli
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Your Music Directory Structure
Reply #1
Music\Artist\Album\Artist - Album- T# - Song Title .flac

  • Hall
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Your Music Directory Structure
Reply #2
Artist\[Date] [VLS/CDA] Album\Artist - Tracknumber - Title

I added another [VLS/CDA] tag after the release year because I have loads of vinyls collection and it would be nice to sort them out.

  • moozooh
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Your Music Directory Structure
Reply #3
Main music directory:
AUDIO\Artist\Album (Year) [CODEC*]\nn Title.codec

Secondary one (just assorted tracks with no full releases):
AUDIO 2\Artist\Artist - Title.codec

* — only if lossless (then [LL]) or MPC (then [MPC]).
Infrasonic Quartet + Sennheiser HD650 + Microlab Solo 2 mk3. 

  • Seimour
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Your Music Directory Structure
Reply #4
In my case it depends of several factors:

1. If there are several albums of the same artist:
(level 1) Artist or Group name
(level 2) [Year] Name of the Album -> files have this format: Track number - Track title

2. If it's just a single disc of a single artist:
(level 1) Artist - Name of the album -> files as before

3. If it's an album with tracks of several artists:
(level 1) Name of the album -> Track number - Artist - Track title

I think this is the tidest (unless for me). But really it's the way you prefer, things aren't black or white, them can be in a grey scale  - And yes, I separate by codec too: those encoded in ogg are under the ogg folder. Same with flac...
  • Last Edit: 25 March, 2005, 07:52:22 PM by Seimour

  • Zurman
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Your Music Directory Structure
Reply #5
Music\Artist\(year) Album\nn. Title.ape

Your Music Directory Structure
Reply #6
My Music\Artist\(Year) - Album\(Tracknumber) - Title.flac
  • Last Edit: 25 March, 2005, 08:10:39 PM by unfortunateson

  • Supacon
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Your Music Directory Structure
Reply #7
Quote
Artist\[Date] [VLS/CDA] Album\Artist - Tracknumber - Title

I added another [VLS/CDA] tag after the release year because I have loads of vinyls collection and it would be nice to sort them out.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=285580"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I'm not sure what a VLS/CDA tag is... could someone explain this?


Quote
Main music directory:
AUDIO\Artist\Album (Year) [CODEC*]\nn Title.codec

Secondary one (just assorted tracks with no full releases):
AUDIO 2\Artist\Artist - Title.codec

* — only if lossless (then [LL]) or MPC (then [MPC]).
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=285586"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Personally I also add an extra tag like this to "non standard" formats.  i.e., if I have an album ripped into an ape, with a cuesheet, I'll add [cue.ape] to the Album folder.

If I have something like an ogg version, I might add [ogg_q0].  This is because I must be able to quickly identify which albums are non-standard, because I use several audio programs, and some of them don't support anything other than MP3.

And sometimes I keep alternate copies of the song (i.e. a cue.ape and an MP3 Lame_Standard) for this purpose.

  • PFS
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Your Music Directory Structure
Reply #8
Personally, I hate having anything but artist and song title in the filename.  I find having the year or the album or the track no makes things ugly and awkward when you try to make mixes or transfer to a DAP.  I like to think of albums as collections of songs that stand alone and are tied together through metadata. As such, I use:

Music/(Albums)/[Artist] Album/[Artist] Track.mp3

Each album folder has an m3u, and the files have the track no and date tags filled in correctly.

The (Albums) part is there because I also have directories for videogame music files, music videos, one-file mixes, tracked music, etc....

  • Supacon
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Your Music Directory Structure
Reply #9
@PFS:
I think that's the most original scheme I've seen yet.  I guess I always figured most people liked having the track number in the filename because you get used to listening to a CD, and you want to keep the files in the same order, even when your audio player doesn't support metadata handling or playlists.

For my uses DJing with digital audio, it might seem pointless to have the tracknumber and album in the filename, but you wouldn't believe how often I get people who ask me for "track 13 on such and such CD".  Another reason I'm a fan of the numbering in filenames is because originally, ID3 tags didn't contain the track numbers at all. I'm hoping that those days are long gone now, however.

The worst case scenario, I suppose, is that I'll come across files that have no tags, and just track names.  I have to look up the album on the FreeDB or something, and then use foobar's freeDB function to ensure that I got it right.

You are right, though, PFS, that if you want to make compilations and such, the track numbers can look very messy.  I guess normally I just listen to my music in the form of whole albums, but if I were going to make compilations a lot, I'd be interested in developing (or finding, perhaps) a program that you could use to take a bunch of tracks from their original source directory, and copying them over, renaming them in an appropriate fashion... this could be useful for putting them on a small, flash based DAP, for example.

  • Duble0Syx
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Your Music Directory Structure
Reply #10
Mine are layed out similar to the third option above.
X:\musicdir\artist\album\artist - album - # title.ext
I like to keep the artist/album in the filename just in case the file somehow find their way in the wrong place.  Also everything is tagged properly, so that doesn't really matter, but at this point there is too much for me to want to change it.

  • Calufraxis
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Your Music Directory Structure
Reply #11
(Music)\Artist - (Year) - Album\
or (Music)\Various Artists - (Year) - Album\

This is pretty good for me except for the all of the bands that are "The xxxx", can't wait for an os that can handle sorting on metadata like a media jukebox can.

- Cal

  • PFS
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Your Music Directory Structure
Reply #12
Quote
@PFS:
I think that's the most original scheme I've seen yet...
...
if I were going to make compilations a lot, I'd be interested in developing (or finding, perhaps) a program that you could use to take a bunch of tracks from their original source directory, and copying them over, renaming them in an appropriate fashion...
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=285618"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Cheers man.  I love the system...great for mixed albums too.  When you drop a track from a mix in a compilation, the file indicates the artist rather than the mixer. 

It works great with winamp's media library, which read all the metadata and arranges things in order. That brings me to this program you mention.  In the summer, depending on how much time I have to teach myself the non-trival bits of C++, I intend on making just such a program.  It would basically be the winamp media library divorced from the player, with a bit more in the way of customization.  Playing stuff from the program would just send it to the default player, so you can use whatever player you like.  The program would basically be a useful shell for file exploring, design for music files and wrapped around your particular directory setup, no matter which way you have it organized.

And, dragging and dropping files to another directory or a DAP would be possible- winamp doesn't allow that, which is too bad.  The renaming you speak of could happen along the way.

I'll keep you posted...sounds like fun.

  • Megaman
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Your Music Directory Structure
Reply #13
My collection goes like this:

X:\Artist\Year - Album\Track# - Title.(ogg,mp3,mp4,mpc,etc.).

I keep lossless stuff (APE) in CD-R only.

There is one foder also (X:\Various or something) for non complete albums/single tracks.

I think it´s nice to have "Year - Album" because you can follow artists evolution through time.

Everything tagged and replaygained too. For the albums I like the most I have also lyrics and images (album cover/lyrics inside tags plus all album artwork in JPG format in the same folder).

It´s weird, being a long-time HA member, I have quite a few of my favorite albums encoded in MP3 160kbps CBR even now (encoded when LAME current version was 3.88 beta or so). I still think the quality is decent for me (I can tell the difference from the original but it´s so subtle it doesn´t bother me). I can´t understand those maniacs (my respects) that re-encode all the time (like "wow, megamix is out, lets re-encode!!!" ...a week later megamix 2 is out, they re-encode 500 albums again) although it´s probably time for me to re-encode all that stuff to vorbis 1.1 -q6. I´ll probably do that whenever I get loads of time to waste, not soon for sure.

  • Cosmo
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Your Music Directory Structure
Reply #14
normal albums:
\ Genre \ Artist \ Year - Album \ nn - Title
multi-disc albums:
\ Genre \ Artist \ Year - Album \ 1nn - Title . . . 2nn - Title
various artists:
\ Genre \ VA \ Album (Year) \ nn - Title (Artist)
\ Soundtracks \ Album {Composer}(Year) \ nn - Title (Artist if VA)

~ my directory of classical music is still rather inconsistent. =(
  • Last Edit: 09 January, 2006, 11:13:24 PM by Cosmo

  • fl102
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Your Music Directory Structure
Reply #15
Music\Artist\[YEAR] Album [etc.., ex : ep, live, single]\T#. Title.codec

  • Gallvs
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Your Music Directory Structure
Reply #16
I use:

Code: [Select]
\L\Artist - (YEAR) Album\Tracknumber - Title.ext


where "L" is the first letter of the artist name, eg:

Code: [Select]
\Z\Zappa, Frank - (1969) Hot Rats\02 - Willie The Pimp.mpc


I have to do this because otherwise explorer takes forever to display all the folders... 

I used to sort also by genre but I realized it was more a hassle than an advantage, so I started using foobar's database more extensively.

  • Cornie
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Your Music Directory Structure
Reply #17
Studio releases: Artist\Album\[Disc #]\nn - Title.codec
  Basically, anything retail goes here....
      Artist can be Artist/Band name, 'Various Artist'/'VA' or 'Soundtrack' - depending on contents...

Live shows: Artist\Venue\Date\[Disc #/Set #]\nn - title.codec
  This would be for any LIVE recordings (bootlegs)...
      The 4th level defaults to 'Disc' unless all tracks fit one disc - in which case it splits by 'Set'

  • DreamTactix291
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Your Music Directory Structure
Reply #18
Here goes for me

Artist\Album\nn Title.codec

On my iRiver iHP-120 this is the same except with very very basic genres (such as Pop, Rock, etc) preceding the Artist directory to simply the filetree-based navigation
Nero AAC 1.5.1.0: -q0.45

  • neutral_00
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Your Music Directory Structure
Reply #19
I use...

music\codec\Artist - Album - T# - Title.codec
Death is the one thing we all face

  • razer
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Your Music Directory Structure
Reply #20
For single artists:
Artist - (Year) Album \ Artist - (Year) Album - NN - Title.codec

For compilations:
VA - Album (Year) \ VA - Album - NN - Artist - Title.codec

Sorts everything very nicely.

  • neutral_00
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Your Music Directory Structure
Reply #21
Apologies. double post. 
  • Last Edit: 26 March, 2005, 05:13:19 AM by neutral_00
Death is the one thing we all face

  • Supacon
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Your Music Directory Structure
Reply #22
I just thought of another branch that I use for my BIG collection of music... 
I recently resorted everything so that Soundtracks, CDs by a single artist, miscellenious single tracks (probably mostly downloads, like stuff from MP3.com back in the day) and Various Artist compilations are all separated into different parent directories.

Within the various artist or soundtrack folders, there is usually only one other folder for each CD.

Although it appears that many of you guys have an "Artist" called Various Artists, or such, so that "various artists" is another folder amongst all your artist names.

This is much like how EAC does it, but the problem I have with that is that you get lots of little 100-300 MB directory trees, and then the Various artists tree is many gigabytes bigger.

BTW, nobody has yet answered what  [VLS/CDA] tags are...

  • Supacon
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Your Music Directory Structure
Reply #23
Quote
This is pretty good for me except for the all of the bands that are "The xxxx", can't wait for an os that can handle sorting on metadata like a media jukebox can.

You should check out directory opus from GP Software.  It can do this, at least with MP3, ogg, and WMA, to an extent.  Plugin support is there, so one could conceivably add in their own support for other codecs.  Surely you aren't expecting something like this from microsoft, right?  (Although I do believe that Windows Explorer offers some degree of capability to do this with MP3)


Quote
For single artists:
Artist - (Year) Album \ Artist - (Year) Album - NN - Title.codec

For compilations:
VA - Album (Year) \ VA - Album - NN - Artist - Title.codec


Razer, what's the reasoning behind you putting the year in different places for single and various artists?  You find it more intuitive to sort VA discs by name, rather than year, because it is less relevant than for several releases by a single artist, I suppose?

  • razer
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Your Music Directory Structure
Reply #24
Quote
Razer, what's the reasoning behind you putting the year in different places for single and various artists?  You find it more intuitive to sort VA discs by name, rather than year, because it is less relevant than for several releases by a single artist, I suppose?

That's exactly the reason. Say I have something like "Superhits 2" and "Superhits 9" released a few years apart, and there are many other VA albums released inbetween them. That would make it difficult to browse by release year if I just wanted to find all my "Superhits" albums right away.
  • Last Edit: 26 March, 2005, 06:20:33 AM by razer