View Full Version : Organizing your Music (Non i-Tunes users)

12-03-2011, 04:50 PM
I need to do it because I'm either always forgetting about stuff, or not remembering what its called which is frustrating!. I hate iTunes and windows media libraries though and I have a mortal fear of trying to categorize it all (I can see things getting as lost and forgotten in distinct categories as they are now tbh).

how does anyone do it?

12-03-2011, 06:00 PM
You'll probably find a solution here:


13-03-2011, 12:28 AM
How do you want to organise it?

I mean, do you want just tracks organised by release name and artist, or are you a DJ looking to put similar stuff together, or...? Not being facetious, but to some degree it's hard to suggest something if you don't know what you're aiming to do...

13-03-2011, 01:41 AM
well I am interested in how anyone else does it really. Although the wording of my question/where I posted is probably a little bit misleading..

not specifically for Djing purposes though just interested in what systems people use to sort their music, a bit of a dull question though to be fair.

13-03-2011, 01:44 AM
not sure why I posted in technology

13-03-2011, 07:36 AM

I just bang stuff into folders and mostly keep track of things that way. Alphabetical by first letter of artist name "A", "B", "C" etc. for dedicated artist releases, one for "various" that I sort by the compilation name, one for "mixes" by DJ then release name. And under all those folders a folder for each release Artist - Release Name.

But then I use a player called Foobar 2000 in Windows and use that heaps to find and organise stuff into playlists. You can very easily set up a bunch of playlists and when you seach you can flick between playlists and it'll display the results in that playlist... and you can then drag that stuff to a new playlist if you like. So I make sure all my Artist / Title / Date tags are pretty sweet. Foobar 2000 lets you do all that stuff too - you can highlight a bunch of files and then e.g. apply the song names etc. based on the file names or the tracklisting you just copied off the net or whatever. Although perhaps it helps to be a database nerd. :o Hm.

13-03-2011, 01:43 PM
Ah interesting thanks, by artist does make alot of sense. I just have 3 folders for the past 3 years (by date I got it not release) and massive folder called "temp - to be sorted", which never really happened clearly!

I use foobar aswell, love it, the sonogram is alot of fun. Definitely need to get more indepth with it though, playlists will probably help for not missing out on stuff and non-destructively categorizing things. Something i've always overlooked really. I just get the feeling sometimes I am throwing some great stuff into a void, can sort of devalue it a bit!

16-03-2011, 10:20 PM
I meant to say, in Foobar you can actually get it to automatically rearrange all your files into folders based on the tags. So if your tags are alright you don't have to muck around with dragging and dropping stuff out of your big year buckets.

On the other hand, if you're just interacting with the tags and playlists anyway you might not bother rearranging where the files actually sit on a drive. I only do it because I use an archaic MP3 player that uses folder structures, not tags, to browse, so I like to be able to drag and drop folders from my PC to/from my MP3 player without dicking about.

Select your tunes in Foobar, right-click and choose File Operations > Move to... On the next screen, the key box is File Name Pattern, where you choose how you want the folders structured and the files named. But it'd be a bit of a pain to explain in detail, so maybe I'll just leave it there and you can hit up google if you want to figure out the details. Or PM me or whatever.

Foobar also updates any open playlists when it does this stuff, so you don't have to rebuild them - so long as they were open when you did the move.

Finally, Foobar has a great plugin for managing iPods if you have one and want to steer clear of iTunes.

17-03-2011, 03:29 PM
genre\sub genre\artist\year - release

keep meaning to look into foobar.

if i could get an app to label my tags using the folder structure including recognising both the year and name of release that would be sweet. anyone know anything that does this?

18-03-2011, 07:54 AM
genre\sub genre\artist\year - release

keep meaning to look into foobar.

if i could get an app to label my tags using the folder structure including recognising both the year and name of release that would be sweet. anyone know anything that does this?
Yeah, foobar can, if you've got everything consistent all the way down to the file names.
Select all your tracks in foobar, alt+enter to bring up properties.
Right-click anywhere in the properties window, choose Automatically Fill Values.
In the pattern box put in this (based on what you wrote above, plus imagining the files are tracknumber - song name):
%genre%\%sub genre%\%artist%\%year% - %album%\%tracknumber% - title%

That would do it for you.

If you didn't have the file names consistent you could always make the last bit %bullshit% and then when you hit OK it's going to take you back to the properties box and tell you it's going to add a tag called "bullshit". Then you just select that row and delete it, before you hit OK a second time.

Haha, I work all day doing electronic information management, archiving, records, etc. - this may or may not cross over into my "leisure time" quite badly. Mind you, chicken & egg, eh?

18-03-2011, 08:02 AM
Just to be a bit more explicit, one of the things I love most about foobar2000 is that you can use tags / metadata to change the folder & file names and vice versa. There's this internal syntax using those % signs either side of names to describes fields or properties, including %filename% or whatever else. And if you put some random new thing like %sub genre% in % signs then it'll just make up a new custom tag and add it to your files. It's so damn flexible and open-ended. So un-Apple.

(Pointless disclaimer: I've used Macs for well over a decade)

18-03-2011, 11:37 AM
whoa, should've grabbed it a long time ago. thanks for the tips.

20-03-2011, 06:00 PM
foobar is deep, I'm going to start delving soon I think, thanks for the tips! I think my main problem is for years I would only use early version of winamp (without the media library) but never actually properly organized my folders!

20-03-2011, 08:24 PM
winamp with the library is great. beats itunes imo. i should really make a bigger effort to get on the setting up playlists ish, tho.

14-04-2011, 07:33 PM
for windows i've fallen in love with Media Monkey. it has great tagging/organizing facilities, especially for tracking down duplicate files, even if they have different file names. great playlist creation and archiving. the search box is the best thing about it; once you do a one time system scan, and then set it to update whatever folders you frequently download into, it can search across all your drives at lightning speed, and has that autocomplete the search feel to it like google now has, or windows 7 searches have... makes it easy to find long forgotten files. the one thing that bothers me about it is the lack of true gapless playback. if that really bothers you too much, it's still get for organization... treat it like a folder system interface. you can drag and drop files from it right into foobar or whatever else.