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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 117237 times) previous topic - next topic

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  • Landus
  • [*][*]
Your Music Directory Structure
Reply #175
I use the Music\Album\T# - Title.codec structure, but I also put the year in parenthesis after the album. It looks like this:

My Music\Within Temptation\The Heart of Everything (2007)\01. The Howling.mp3

I use MusicBrainz and MP3Tag to do all of my tagging and folder creating/file moving after I rip a CD.

  • plnelson
  • [*][*][*]
Your Music Directory Structure
Reply #176
I use the Music\Album\T# - Title.codec structure, but I also put the year in parenthesis after the album. It looks like this:

My Music\Within Temptation\The Heart of Everything (2007)\01. The Howling.mp3

I use MusicBrainz and MP3Tag to do all of my tagging and folder creating/file moving after I rip a CD.


Can someone please explain what this fixation so many people have with the album is all about?

I will grant you that SOMETIMES the songs on the album are related to each other in some specific artistic way -  "Sketches of Spain" (Miles Davis), say or "Tommy"(The Who).  And house or DJ mix music has to be kept together so you can gaplessly transition from one track to the other as the DJ intended.

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. 

Also, albums are SO 20th century!    They are an old-fashioned, outmoded concept, like dial telephones.  CD sales are down, online sales are up; most people just care about individual songs anyway, and your kids are going to ask you what an "album" was.

(I know I've made this rant on HA before, here, but I still don't "get" what the big deal with albums is)
  • Last Edit: 03 May, 2008, 03:50:45 PM by plnelson

  • Tene
  • [*]
Your Music Directory Structure
Reply #177
/mnt/blockdevice/mediatype/artist/artist.yyyy-mm-dd.albumname/artist.yyyy-mm-dd.albumname.##.title.ext

Rexeg friendly structure.
  • Last Edit: 03 May, 2008, 05:04:58 PM by Tene

  • Roseval
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Your Music Directory Structure
Reply #178
I’m not interested in file structures at all.
I use the contents of the tags to browse my collection.

To plnelson
In classical Music, a composition in general consist of several parts and they are related and should be played in the right sequence.
That’s the way I use the album tag, album=composition, song=parts. The album tag is an excellent way to structure your collection by composition
TheWellTemperedComputer.com

  • 2tec
  • [*][*][*][*]
Your Music Directory Structure
Reply #179
Music\Artist\Album\Artist - Album- T# - Song Title .flac
Mine's still the exact same. 
Audio\Music\Artist\Album\Artist - Album - T# - Title.flac

Personally, I still find this to be the most 'intuitive' and useful structure; although I keep my lossy (distilled) files elsewhere and I'm still fiddling with Various Artists and compilations.

As for why use an album-centric structure? For me, it's mainly due to the fact that most music IT is already structured around the album, ie. Freedb, discogs, etc.
  • Last Edit: 03 May, 2008, 08:36:06 PM by 2tec
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?  ;~)

  • plnelson
  • [*][*][*]
Your Music Directory Structure
Reply #180
I’m not interested in file structures at all.
I use the contents of the tags to browse my collection.

To plnelson
In classical Music, a composition in general consist of several parts and they are related and should be played in the right sequence.
That’s the way I use the album tag, album=composition, song=parts. The album tag is an excellent way to structure your collection by composition


Yes, that's the canonically correct way to do classical.  Album = opus.

  • milesmonk
  • [*]
Your Music Directory Structure
Reply #181

Music\Artist\Album\Artist - Album- T# - Song Title .flac
Mine's still the exact same. 
Audio\Music\Artist\Album\Artist - Album - T# - Title.flac

Personally, I still find this to be the most 'intuitive' and useful structure; although I keep my lossy (distilled) files elsewhere and I'm still fiddling with Various Artists and compilations.

As for why use an album-centric structure? For me, it's mainly due to the fact that most music IT is already structured around the album, ie. Freedb, discogs, etc.


I use almost the same structure.  All my complete albums are stored in one directory "Music", in which I use the following structure:
\%Album Artist%\%Album%\%Album Artist% - [%Album% (Disc %discnumber%) - %tracknumber%] - %Title% (%TrackArtist%).ext

"(Disc %discnumber%)", is of course used only when it is multi-disc.  And "(%Track Artist%)" only when the song has a "Feat." artist or it is a multi-artist album, in which case %Album Artist% in the file name is rendered as "VA".  A multi-artist album, which is not Various Artist has each artist delimited by ";" (which is displayed as "," in foobar2000).  So, "Simon & Garfunkel" but "Frank Sinatra, Antonio Carlos Jobim".

Soundtracks are tricky.  I used to have a folder in the Music root directory called !Soundtracks, but I now put then within Music\Various\Soundtrack\%Album%.  The problem is %Album% should be just the name of the movie, or if it should be the complete title as appears on the CD ("Music Inspired By...").  Also, soundtracks by a single artist pose a problem.  Should that be located in the soundtrack category, or in the artist's name?      (Currently, most such albums go in my soundtrack category, because most of them were composed for the film, and not just used in it.)

Western Classical (and Carnatic and Hindustani, to a lesser extent) create problems.  For a Glenn Gould recording, for instance, should primacy be given to Glenn Gould or to Johann Sebastian Bach?  Currently, I list it in a separate folder in the Music root directory, called !Genres.  So, the structure for that is:
\!Genres\%Composer%\%Album%\%Performer% - [%Album% - %tracknumber%] - %Title%.ext

I would like to know how others handle Western Classical.  Another area of problems: "Sets".  (E.g., the Verve sixty-album "Jazz Masters" set, in which most discs are by single artists, but some (two) are compilations.)  Currently, they're on a separate partition, so create no problem.   

Note: I came up with the above system when not all my music was properly tagged.  So, while I would have liked to use %Original Release Date% (or %Date%, if I have the original release itself), I did not. 
My aim in coming up with this system was to be able to "sort by name" and have all albums by an artist in release order and the tracks ordered by track number.  And also to have all the information pertaining to the file not only in the folder structure, but in the file name itself.  So, if I create a flat structure (put all the files in a single folder), the degradation will be graceful, and the files will still be in order. 

Comments?
  • Last Edit: 04 May, 2008, 02:38:16 PM by milesmonk

  • Roseval
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Your Music Directory Structure
Reply #182
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.
  • Last Edit: 04 May, 2008, 04:03:30 PM by Roseval
TheWellTemperedComputer.com

  • DuncanG
  • [*]
Your Music Directory Structure
Reply #183
...
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.


If your after a painless method of reorganising your entire media library's file structure and file names in one fell swoop try MediaMonkey. You can specify the file name and path using title formatting and it reads the relevant info from your id3 tags. It also moves album art. If your tags can a bit patchy you can use it to auto tags the files, although I prefer Winamp for this as you can select batches of files rather than single albums.

Your Music Directory Structure
Reply #184
It all lives on my external hard drive in a directory called "Music", organised thus...

\Music\Artist\Album

...alphabetically for artist and album.

Winamp picks up on the tags and displays them in almost exactly the same order.

In answer to Roseval regarding directory structure having no importance (apologies if I've misread that), there's nothing to be lost by showing a little discipline and making use of an OSes existing directory structures. It sure makes it easier when you're trying to find something via Windows Explorer. I follow the same disciplines for all installations and file storage. It seems pointless to avoid it and shabby practice not to do it IMO.

Cheers, Slipstreem. 

  • Roseval
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Your Music Directory Structure
Reply #185
In answer to Roseval regarding directory structure having no importance (apologies if I've misread that), there's nothing to be lost by showing a little discipline and making use of an OSes existing directory structures. It sure makes it easier when you're trying to find something via Windows Explorer. I follow the same disciplines for all installations and file storage. It seems pointless to avoid it and shabby practice not to do it IMO.

Agreed
One can conjecture up many reasons to have a well structured structure.
1 directory with 20.000 files might affect performance
Coverart as a jpg in the album directory requires an album structure
Finding a missing track using explorer,
Etc. etc.

In practice I have root/artist/album/ not because I’m structuring it this way but because I set my player to do so. Any change in a album/artist/title tag is reflected in the directory structure / filename.

I only browse the file structure to solve problems (hey, track 4 is gone) and in these cases a good structure and meaningful names are important.
However, I do have the feeling that a lot of people are trying to put as much different information as possible in the structure because they don’t use or don’t understand tagging.
TheWellTemperedComputer.com

  • milesmonk
  • [*]
Your Music Directory Structure
Reply #186
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?

  • Roseval
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Your Music Directory Structure
Reply #187
Quote
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?



I’m using WMP so I have tags for
Composer, Album, song, artist, contributing artist, conductor.
These are self explaining
Genre I use for something I don’t know how it is called in English but it contains String quartet, string quitet, sextet, etc.
Period I use it for the year of the composition
Sub genre for opus numbers.

The album is the work, so I have each composition separately.
Now Beethoven wrote his first string quartet and called it rather aptly String quartet 1.
Now Brahms wrote his first string quartet and called it rather aptly String quartet 1.
As an album don’t exist in PC audio, a lot of players use the album title to group songs together.
To avoid this, every composition is pre fixed with the name of the composer so:
Beethoven – string quartet 1 op. 1
Brahms – string quartet 1 op.3
Now if you ad the opus number there is no real need to pre fix the composer but I rather have the works grouped by composer then by type.
Beside
string quartet 1 op. 1
string quartet 1 op. 3
is not a very easy way to find a string quartet by Beethoven

You can have duplicates, say Beethoven – string quartet 1 op. 1 performed by the Alban Berg Quartet and by Hagen quartet.
Most players group these together so you get part 1 played by Alban and then part 1 played by Hagen. So I add the performer to the album to
Beethoven – string quartet 1 op. 1 – Alban Berg
Beethoven – string quartet 1 op. 1 – Hagen

1 You have a piano sonata played by Martha Argerich
2 A violin concert played by Gideon Kremer
3 A sonata for violin and piano played by both.
I want to be able to find all the works performed by Argerich, like wise by Kremer.

For artist I simply use the names so 3 becomes Kremer/Argerich
The contributing artist is the same as the album artist but in case of 3 this becomes Kremer;Argerich
In WMP using artist I see the combinations
Using contributing artist due to the ; I get all the works where the individual artist is involved.
This is also great for jazz or samplers (Artist: Various, Contributing: XYZ

To become a bit more specific: Who should be "Artist" for a a Classical performance is a question I don’t have.
Glenn Gould is simply one of the many excellent performers, no reason to treat him different.
Luciano Pavarotti, treat it as it is, pop music
A second-rate philharmonic – delete

A bit more serious, there is no reason to use the artist for any thing else as the performer. The only exception is a player not supporting the composer tag (not uncommon as players are designed with pop music in mind). In these case you might consider using the composer as the artist. In fact standard FreeDB output is Artist: Beethoven Composer: unknown.

From a psychological point of view, I understand, sometimes an artist becomes more important than the works but stick to the tags, if you do it right (and your player allows for it) you can find them all
TheWellTemperedComputer.com

  • Cidinho
  • [*]
Your Music Directory Structure
Reply #188
My Musics\Artist\(Year) Album\Track n. Title

Used to be My Musics\Artist\Title, but now I'm listening to more formal music that actually gets released...

also, I found a problem when downloading old music, like Mozart. I just don't know what year and album it is =P

  • ~*McoreD*~
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Your Music Directory Structure
Reply #189
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.


My thoughts exactly. As long as you have the most basic file system organization of your music files there is no need to worry about it more. The era of browsing music through Explorer and listening to music is over. Now a good player provides very customizable, searchable browsing abilities (foobar2000), so a logical order of your music files in AlbumArtist\Album is enough.

  • stampgevaar
  • [*][*][*]
Your Music Directory Structure
Reply #190
Music/mixed compilation/album album artist year
Music/compilation/album album artist year
Music/albums/ album artist album year
Music/tracks/genre
Music/live sets/genre
Music/vinyl/label/catalog album album artist year

I like to keep things a bit separated because tracks and live sets aren't really official releases (soulseek/website downloads stuff) and I have way to much vinyl to put them in the same folder with the rest. Also nice to know which label your listening, i think it gives a better image of a certain genre (for house music that is). Also have a lot of various artist albums that's why I prefer separate folders for those (compilation)

Your Music Directory Structure
Reply #191
Very simple, as I don't care for "albums" at all:

Artist\Artist - Title.codec

Album-directories only make sense if you like complete albums on your hd. I personally haven't come across an album were I liked each and every track.

edit: typo
  • Last Edit: 05 May, 2008, 12:10:45 PM by tom_vienna_at
Back off haters - strictly love we deal with.

  • boombaard
  • [*][*][*][*]
Your Music Directory Structure
Reply #192
hm.. and since our needs evolve, and this poll has been running a while: (;-))

%composer%/$iflonger([%conductor%],%key%,$substr(%conductor%,$add($strrchr(%conductor%, ),1),$len(%conductor%))',' $abbr($meta(ensemble,0),20)[',' $substr($meta(performer,0),$add($strrchr($meta(performer,0), ),1),$len($meta(performer,0)))],$iflonger([%ensemble%],%key%,$abbr(%ensemble%,25)[',' $substr($meta(performer,0),$add($strrchr($meta(performer,0), ),1),$len($meta(performer,0)))],$abbr($meta(performer,0),35)[, $abbr($meta(performer,1),25)][, $abbr($meta(performer,2),25)][, $abbr($meta(performer,3),20)]))/[%album%][ '('%date%')']/ (where i use %album% to contain the work information)
  • Last Edit: 05 May, 2008, 12:41:32 PM by boombaard

  • Steven123
  • [*]
Your Music Directory Structure
Reply #193
hm.. and since our needs evolve, and this poll has been running a while: (;-))

%composer%/$iflonger([%conductor%],%key%,$substr(%conductor%,$add($strrchr(%conductor%, ),1),$len(%conductor%))',' $abbr($meta(ensemble,0),20)[',' $substr($meta(performer,0),$add($strrchr($meta(performer,0), ),1),$len($meta(performer,0)))],$iflonger([%ensemble%],%key%,$abbr(%ensemble%,25)[',' $substr($meta(performer,0),$add($strrchr($meta(performer,0), ),1),$len($meta(performer,0)))],$abbr($meta(performer,0),35)[, $abbr($meta(performer,1),25)][, $abbr($meta(performer,2),25)][, $abbr($meta(performer,3),20)]))/[%album%][ '('%date%')']/ (where i use %album% to contain the work information)


 

That's weird, I use this exact directory structure/naming scheme!

  • 2tec
  • [*][*][*][*]
Your Music Directory Structure
Reply #194
I personally haven't come across an album were I liked each and every track.
Owww. Not even Dark Side Of The Moon?  What about albums like Jeff Wayne's "War Of The Worlds" or "Best Of ..." albums?
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?  ;~)

Your Music Directory Structure
Reply #195
MUSIC / Artist - (album number) - Album / %N - %T

i put the album number there to keep the albums in the chronological release order.

example:

Metallica - (1) - Kill Em all
Metallica - (2) - Master of Puppets
Metallica - (3) - And justice for all

ect


browsing by tag is fine but for archieve purposes its much easier to have one folder per album.
  • Last Edit: 11 May, 2008, 09:36:27 AM by james.miller

Your Music Directory Structure
Reply #196
I personally haven't come across an album were I liked each and every track.
Owww. Not even Dark Side Of The Moon?  What about albums like Jeff Wayne's "War Of The Worlds" or "Best Of ..." albums?

Sorry, but I don't care for that kind of music at all. I guess it all comes down to personal preferences really.

But I used to have all my music in one folder per album... until I came to the conclusion that I am building up mountains of things. Why keep music on my hd that doesn't sound good to my ear - for the sake of completeness? No, that would be stupid.

But I am aware that other people see things differently - and having the complete album in one folder is just the perfect thing for them.
Back off haters - strictly love we deal with.

  • Nick.C
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Developer
Your Music Directory Structure
Reply #197
MUSIC / Artist - (album number) - Album / %N - %T

i put the album number there to keep the albums in the chronological release order.

example:

Metallica - (1) - Kill Em all
Metallica - (2) - Master of Puppets
Metallica - (3) - And justice for all

ect


browsing by tag is fine but for archieve purposes its much easier to have one folder per album.
Why not use the year associated with the album? e.g. Mike Oldfield - [2008] Music of the Spheres.

Recently I changed from one folder per album to one file per album, so I no longer have the problem of deep directory structures.
lossyWAV -q X -a 4 -s h -A --feedback 2 --limit 15848| FLAC -5 -e -p -b 512 -P=4096 -S-

  • 2tec
  • [*][*][*][*]
Your Music Directory Structure
Reply #198
But I used to have all my music in one folder per album... until I came to the conclusion that I am building up mountains of things. Why keep music on my hd that doesn't sound good to my ear - for the sake of completeness? No, that would be stupid.

But I am aware that other people see things differently - and having the complete album in one folder is just the perfect thing for them.

Actually, personally I also don't bother keeping songs I don't like. However, even if I have a single song, it resides in a folder named after the source of the song. In most cases, this is an album / CD / DVD. The main reason I have found I need to do this is to distinguish between the additional images and lyrics that I maintain with the song(s). Without distinct folders, I'm left either maintaining a database or a separate repository, both of which have exactly the same need for structure as my directories now reflect, so why bother?

Besides, it is possible to rename and reorganize directories and files based on tags, so it should be possible to produce a collection organized exactly as your tags are, no?

Recently I changed from one folder per album to one file per album, so I no longer have the problem of deep directory structures.

  Ok, but how do you listen to tracks in an order different than the album's?
  • Last Edit: 11 May, 2008, 01:52:41 PM by 2tec
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?  ;~)

  • Nick.C
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Developer
Your Music Directory Structure
Reply #199
Ok, but how do you listen to tracks in an order different than the album's?
I use foobar2000 - you can create custom playlists pulling individual tracks out of each album.
lossyWAV -q X -a 4 -s h -A --feedback 2 --limit 15848| FLAC -5 -e -p -b 512 -P=4096 -S-