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Here's "Ninety-Nine Years and One Dark Day". The ninety-nine years is when you got a lifetime, the dark day is when you're dead. That's too bad for you. - Jesse Fuller

Author Topic: Sorting a Music Collection  (Read 2444 times)

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Offline misterjones

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Sorting a Music Collection
« on: August 18, 2011, 10:51:17 AM »
To quote Justice Potter Stewart, "I know it when I see it".

Regarding categorizing music - whether it be iTunes or CD shelf location - I sypathize with those who stress over the endeavor.  I try to fit everything into the following categories:

Rock/Pop
Jazz
Jazz Vocals
Jazz & Jazz Vocals
Blues/R&B
Country/Bluegrass
Classical
Gospel
Soundtrack
Spoken

It's easy enought to identify music that could fit in more than one category, or artists who could be spread out over two or more categories.  It's a judgment call, of course - though I can't say I always know it when I hear it - and I admittedly apply the artist's race to my choices.  For example, one must be African-American to qualify for my Blues/R&B category (e.g., The Allman Brothers Band is in the Rock/Pop category).

I try not to let it keep me up at night.  Anyone have a better suggestion (other than putting eveyone in one category, as that doesn't help with genre browsing)?

Offline Johnm

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Sorting a Music Collection
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2011, 11:44:13 AM »
My suggestion would be "Know what you have and listen to what you want to hear when you want to hear it." 
All best,
Johnm

Offline dj

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Sorting a Music Collection
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2011, 11:56:29 AM »
Quote
I try to fit everything into the following categories...

Categories can certainly be useful for sorting stuff.  One the points I brought up earlier is there's absolutely no reason that something being described can't fit into multiple categories. 

As far as iTunes goes, I practice what I preach.  To take an example, Papa Stobb Blues by Peg Leg Howell & His Gang has the following under Grouping:  Pre-war Atlanta Georgia EastCoast.  And under Genre: Blues CountryBlues StringBands Fiddle.  Anything that I think might be useful in sorting a smart playlist I stick in there.  You never know.

Incidentally, I don't have ANYTHING classified as singer/songwriter.  Not even the great Australian singer/songwriter Paul Kelly.

Offline misterjones

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Sorting a Music Collection
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2011, 02:29:46 PM »
My suggestion would be "Know what you have and listen to what you want to hear when you want to hear it."  
All best,
Johnm

By that logic, one would just unbag his groceries and load them on the shelves without any regard to grouping of food items or making sure all the labels face front.  The very idea!

The next thing you'll probably tell me is that I don't need to put my CDs in alphabetical order or keep the bills in wallet facing the same direction with the denominations in ascending order . . .

Offline dj

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Sorting a Music Collection
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2011, 02:49:55 PM »
Quote
keep the bills in wallet facing the same direction with the denominations in ascending order...

So...  You're trained as an engineer?????

(Said only half in jest.  The cafeteria lines are slow where I work because everyone is sorting the bills they get as change and turning them so they all face the same way.)
« Last Edit: August 18, 2011, 03:04:49 PM by dj »

Offline Rivers

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Sorting a Music Collection
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2011, 07:28:15 PM »
Hilarious, I thought it was just me who sorted the cash in their wallet that way.

Offline blueshome

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Sorting a Music Collection
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2011, 05:43:20 AM »
Can't we start a new thread for the anally fixated and wannabee librarians amongst us? I'm dying to know how to index my collection............ Well, perhaps not......

Offline misterjones

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Sorting a Music Collection
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2011, 08:29:47 AM »
I read a suggestion that the Library of Congress method could be used.  I think that might be how my library categorizes CDs - the Dewey Decimal System might be out-of-date by now - and I can't say I agree with their methods or find such categorization particularly helpful when I'm looking for something.

Offline dj

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Sorting a Music Collection
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2011, 08:42:06 AM »
I used to file my records alphabetically by label, and numerically by catalog number within each label.  Then I got married and my wife made me change to alphabetically by artist so she wouldn't have to learn all the labels and catalog numbers.  Sometimes you just can't figure out women.     :P

Offline Johnm

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Re: Sorting a Music Collection
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2011, 11:22:36 AM »
Hi all,
This evolved out of the Singer/Songwriter thread in the Main Forum  and really ended up being a separate topic in its own right.
All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: September 18, 2011, 01:12:26 PM by Johnm »

Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: Sorting a Music Collection
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2011, 03:27:02 AM »
Alphabetical order, irrespective of genre is my system. It's the only way I can find stuff easily and I don't have to deliberate over which category to put crossover/fusion music in.
"I ain't good looking, teeth don't shine like pearls,
So glad good looks don't take you through this world."
Barbecue Bob

Offline alyoung

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Re: Sorting a Music Collection
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2011, 05:45:52 AM »
I guess I'd be categorised as a collector; I've got a fair few records lying around.  They're in broad categories -- prewar blues, postwar blues, country, gospel and "misc". Within these, it's alphabetic by label then issue number ... except for country which is alpha by artist just to see how it goes. I'm not convinced; apart from anything else, the anthologies screw it up. I used to have a complete index-by-artist showing where every track was, but keeping it up to date kinda backslid when I started writing books on gospel music. However, as a result of that activity, my gospel category is fully indexed in an MS Office Access relational database (details available on application). But I'm only moderately obsessional ... sometimes I don't sort the bills in my wallet.

Offline Stumblin

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Re: Sorting a Music Collection
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2011, 02:38:05 PM »
Just don't let iTunes "manage" your mp3 collection. Several years in the careful compilation, less than a second in the utter destruction.

Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: Sorting a Music Collection
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2011, 02:56:37 AM »
Just don't let iTunes "manage" your mp3 collection. Several years in the careful compilation, less than a second in the utter destruction.
If you stuck to vinyl, Andy, they'd never be able to touch it!  ;)
"I ain't good looking, teeth don't shine like pearls,
So glad good looks don't take you through this world."
Barbecue Bob

Offline Stuart

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Re: Sorting a Music Collection
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2011, 07:08:08 AM »
Just don't let iTunes "manage" your mp3 collection. Several years in the careful compilation, less than a second in the utter destruction.

Letting iTunes manage your music collection is like letting Willie Nelson manage your taxes. (To paraphrase an old joke.)

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