collapse

* Member Info

 
 
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

* Like Us on Facebook

Oh, baby, I'm behind the eight ball now. A dollar bill is my friend, ain't no human friends nohow. - Bill Gaither, I'm Behind the Eight Ball Now

Author Topic: Sorting a Music Collection  (Read 2414 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline misterjones

  • Member
  • Posts: 232
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

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 10538
    • johnmillerguitar.com
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

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 2615
  • Howdy!
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

  • Member
  • Posts: 232
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

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 2615
  • Howdy!
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

  • Tech Support
  • Member
  • Posts: 6929
  • I like chicken pie
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

  • Member
  • Posts: 1359
  • Step on it!
    • Blueshome
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

  • Member
  • Posts: 232
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

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 2615
  • Howdy!
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

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 10538
    • johnmillerguitar.com
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

  • Member
  • Posts: 1616
  • Aloha
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

  • Member
  • Posts: 328
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

  • Member
  • Posts: 521
  • Got the Blues, can't be satisfied
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

  • Member
  • Posts: 1616
  • Aloha
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

  • Member
  • Posts: 2606
  • "The Voice of Almiqui"
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.)

Offline FrontPage

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 550
  • Not dead yet!
Re: Sorting a Music Collection
« Reply #15 on: September 24, 2011, 08:32:18 PM »
Has anyone had a positive experience with software that has been designed to serve as a quick indexer and database for recorded music? I have been curious about one called Music Collector, and I seem to recall both Rivers and Slack were using software designed for this purpose. My needs are simple - keep track of what I've got, avoid duplication, find things quickly (ha!), and (hopefully never) satisfy the curiosity of an obnoxious insurance adjuster. I'm currently relying on hi-res photos taken one shelf at a time, and use TreeSize to capture music directories from my lossless and MP3 libraries. The best thing I've got at present is a Squeezebox server - once I have music ripped to disk, it's easy to find, and I never have to put it away when I'm finished listening.
Cheers,
FrontPage

Offline Richard

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 2406
  • Drove this for 25 years!
    • weekendblues
Re: Sorting a Music Collection
« Reply #16 on: September 30, 2011, 01:26:44 PM »
What's iTunes  :-X
(That's enough of that. Ed)

Offline FrontPage

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 550
  • Not dead yet!
Re: Sorting a Music Collection
« Reply #17 on: October 02, 2011, 07:22:56 PM »
What's iTunes  :-X
Software that mostly makes me nervous when it's not aggravating me.
Cheers,
FrontPage

Offline dj

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 2615
  • Howdy!
Re: Sorting a Music Collection
« Reply #18 on: October 03, 2011, 04:04:52 AM »
Quote
Has anyone had a positive experience with software that has been designed to serve as a quick indexer and database for recorded music?

After the last two posts, I'm almost afraid to say it, but yes, I use such software, and the software I use is iTunes.

iTunes is not without it's problems.  Foremost among them is that it was never designed for a really large collection.  The library descriptor is just an xml file.  If your library gets really big, the file gets really big, and performance slows a lot as the OS is constantly paging parts of the file into and out of memory.  (Yes, I know, getting a 64 bit machine with a lot of memory will help this - it's on its way). 

The big problem with iTunes is the same problem with any database software: no matter how well it's designed, it's only as good as the information in the database.  What you get if you just rip a CD and accept the information from Gracenote is garbage.  CD information is in so many formats that it's all but useless.  If you want the database functions to work well, you have to spend time to rationalize the data whenever you rip a CD (i.e make sure the album titles of multi-volume sets are consistent, change the artist names when Gracenote just gives you "Various Artists", correct the Year field so it always reflects what you want, and add the appropriate info to Grouping, Genre, Composer, Comments, etc).  If you take the time to do all this, iTunes gives you a pretty darned good database, with some decent tools to search and order based on the various data fields.

If I could change one thing about iTunes to make it more useful, it would be to allow multiple entries in the Artist field, so that for example, I could enter Roosevelt Sykes and Dobby Bragg.  I realize that one can just put all the names in one field and do a search with "contains", but this just seems so darned inelegant.     

Offline Rivers

  • Tech Support
  • Member
  • Posts: 6929
  • I like chicken pie
Re: Sorting a Music Collection
« Reply #19 on: October 03, 2011, 05:48:04 PM »
I could have written something similar to dj's post but he said it all. I use iTunes but it's a love / hate relationship at best. I'd drop it like a ton of bricks if I could find something with a better data model behind it. It has improved a lot over time but sophisticated it ain't. The data model is iTunes big weakness if you're at all serious about cataloging music. Otherwise, it sort of does the job.

Al Young has built a data model that impressed me with its possibilities when I saw it yonks ago, and may want to chime in here.

Offline Stuart

  • Member
  • Posts: 2606
  • "The Voice of Almiqui"
Re: Sorting a Music Collection
« Reply #20 on: October 03, 2011, 10:32:56 PM »
I use iTunes, but mostly from habit--and I use an older version. As DJ  points out, the information for imported CDs comes from the Gracenote db, which works if the info is accurate and complete, but misspellings, inconsistencies and other incorrect info abound, so it can be a real chore to go through and correct the mistakes. My daughter prefers WinAmp over iTunes, but although I've looked at it, I've never done any kind of comparison.

Offline alyoung

  • Member
  • Posts: 328
Re: Sorting a Music Collection
« Reply #21 on: October 04, 2011, 04:57:29 AM »


Al Young has built a data model that impressed me with its possibilities when I saw it yonks ago, and may want to chime in here.

Hey, Mark, the things that stick in your mind eh? What I have is a relational database that enables me to find tracks and artists in my collection by using  a variety of keywords. The good news is that it works fairly well; the bad news is that it's very labor-intensive -- can't pick anything up from iTunes; it all has to be manually entered (and me a two-finger typist).

It's done on MS Access. I have about five tables, but the three main ones contain details of all the media in my collection (78s, 45s, LPs, cassettes, CDs),  the tracks (including the artist, the recording date, the original issue and the issues on which I have them) and the personnel (includes all the names, plus where the tracks were recorded and any "session notes"). So far, I've got details entered for about 40,000 tracks.

The main keys used to link the tables are the recording date, the artist name and the issue on which I have the track, but the wonders of Access enable me to assemble information by any of the criteria covered in the fields. Put it all together and I can replicate a Dixon & Godrich entry ... if only I could get the Access reports to work as I think they should. (Reports are easily the weakest aspect of Access, however if you're the only one using the database, you seldom need them.)

Wonderful ... but as I say, it's hard work -- so much so that only the gospel component of my collection is fully entered, and just keeping that up to date is time-consuming enough. (The focus on gospel is because that's where most of my disco etc  research is done.) So I've started incorporating a lite version that will keep track of tracks without going into all the detail of the full version (no personnels, no detailed original issues are the main difference).

Overall .. it works for me, but it might not be for everyone, and if I'd known how much work it was going to be when I started, I might have had second thoughts.       

Offline Rivers

  • Tech Support
  • Member
  • Posts: 6929
  • I like chicken pie
Re: Sorting a Music Collection
« Reply #22 on: October 04, 2011, 04:41:35 PM »
Interesting perspective. Since I do this sort of stuff for a living (data modelling) I should have a stab at creating the ultimate (according to me anyway) data model, which would include grabbing external data from Gracenote. Or maybe I won't get around to it, which is much more likely. iTunes is good enough for what it is (i.e. free, lets you find stuff) but it's seriously limited if you want to do research or otherwise slice and dice.

This also touches on another thread going on how do you classify your music collection. With great difficulty, if you only have one genre you can assign to something, which is clearly good enough for 99% of the iTunes user base.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2011, 04:42:54 PM by Rivers »

Offline Stuart

  • Member
  • Posts: 2606
  • "The Voice of Almiqui"
Re: Sorting a Music Collection
« Reply #23 on: October 04, 2011, 05:49:34 PM »
What we need is the equivalent of the db that libraries use, but specifically for our purposes. They purchase them from a company/developer and turn on the items that are in their holdings. Makes infinitely more sense than having each and every library start from scratch and do it themselves. When the libraries were initially going from the old card catalog system to the on-line system, the books would be bar coded one at a time, and the code matched with the on-line info, often at circulation when they were checked out. That's the way they did it at Rutgers when I was there.

If a db was available for music with all the necessary fields, cross referencing and hyper-linking in place--in other words, the basic structure or framework--then one could import specific modules, and add additional info where necessary. Perhaps it could be like the Weeniepedia effort or the lyrics repository that we have here, where we all do our bit. We could clean up and refine the info from Gracenote and other sources, as well as poach info from Stefan's site (with his permission, of course) for the LPs. Obviously it will take a lot of work, coordination and cooperation. But it's something to think about. It might even be doable, given the will.

Offline Rivers

  • Tech Support
  • Member
  • Posts: 6929
  • I like chicken pie
Re: Sorting a Music Collection
« Reply #24 on: October 04, 2011, 06:52:45 PM »
Visionary stuff Stuart. This is the way it should go, for sure.

I imagine the extended weenie (sorry) corpus has probably oh, some highish percentage of all relevant stuff issued on CD and LP within their collective iTunes installations. We've already discussed the limitations of iTunes but you've got to start somewhere. A good start might be getting all that metadata into one place, purging out the less well-documented dupes and otherwise cleaning it up.

Then there's the maintenance thing, keeping it up to date with new releases. Re. adding external links, info and other extensions, good points. It's worth talking about even if we never come close to doing it since at the very least it tends to put the finger on what needs to evolve and what's wrong with the current situation.

Offline pete1951

  • Member
  • Posts: 47
Re: Sorting a Music Collection
« Reply #25 on: October 10, 2011, 07:00:10 AM »
Most of my collection I would call blues, but I would feel uncomfortable to file it using ethnicity (misterjones `one has to be African-American to qualify...`)
Where would BookerT and the MGs go?
Jessie Edwin Davies?
The Memphis Horns?
Italian opera my sound best song performed in Italian but you don`t have to be from Italy ,
Classic blues could be played by anyone ,(but most of my favorite singers were born in the Delta,)
I am neither African nor American but I am a Blues Guitarist
Pete T

Offline Lyle Lofgren

  • Member
  • Posts: 245
    • Lyle & Elizabeth Lofgren
Re: Sorting a Music Collection
« Reply #26 on: October 10, 2011, 09:38:07 AM »
Given the fact that you're not collecting mainstream material, the choice is either to use someone else's data base and have worthless information, or make your own, which is labor-intensive. I chose the latter, and use MS Access. I use it for CDs only (I put my reel-to-reel tapes on MS Word years ago, scanning the original typewritten tapelists and correcting them by hand).

I don't try to physically separate the CDs. I assign each one a sequential number without regard to content. I then enter that on a database table called "CD List." It contains 5 columns: CD#, Title, Who, What, and CD ID. The "Who" is the person's name associated with the CD. The "What" is either performer or editor (for anthologies), and "CD ID" is publisher and CD number (i.e., Yazoo 2047).

On a second database table called "CD Contents," I enter the title of each track. This DB also has 5 columns: CD#, Track, Song Title, Artist, and Comments.

Here's an example from items 4 & 5 of "CD List." You'll have to imagine the columns:

CD #   TITLE   WHO   WHAT   CD ID
4   STAY AWHILE   Jody Stecher & Kate Brislin   Performer   Rounder CD 0334
5   TIMES AIN'T LIKE THEY USED TO BE, VOL. 1   Richard Nevins   Editor   Yazoo 2028

Here's an example of the first 3 tracks of CD#5. I had no comments, so that column is blank.

CD #   TRACK   SONG TITLE   ARTIST
5   1.00   BLUES IN A BOTTLE   Prince Albert Hunt
5   2.00   DOLLAR BILL BLUES   Charlie Jordan
5   3.00   LOST JOHN DEAN   Bascom Lamar Lunsford

Track numbering took some thought. For multiple CDs, I use track 101 for the first track of the first CD in the box,  201 for the first track of the second CD, etc. For a medley on (say) track 6 of the first CD in a boxed set, I'd use 106.1, 106.2, etc.

It works great, because with Access, I can find either a title or an artist, and since I have the CDs filed sequentially, I can find the CD right away. The downside is that the only time I enter any data is on long winter nights when there's nothing else to do. I have indexed about 200 CDs so far (less than 1/3 of my collection). The CD Contents DB has 4800 entries. If I were going to finish this before I die of old age, I'd have to hire some unemployed English major to do it.

Lyle

Offline dj

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 2615
  • Howdy!
Re: Sorting a Music Collection
« Reply #27 on: October 10, 2011, 10:50:35 AM »
Quote
This also touches on another thread going on how do you classify your music collection. With great difficulty, if you only have one genre you can assign to something, which is clearly good enough for 99% of the iTunes user base.

You can do multiple entries in any field in iTunes and use the "contains" operator to search on it.  Thus, for one song I might have the Genre Blues CountryBlues JugBand.  (I collapsed the names together because at the time I started I didn't know that the iTunes operators would work on strings with embedded blanks - I might do that differently now).  The problem is that most people entering data see something like "Genre" and just assume that it can only be one thing, so only one thing gets entered.  And, of course, that one thing can be more or less accurate depending on who's doing the entering.  My favorite was one of Document's Bumble Bee Slim disks, for which someone had entered the genre as "Unclassifiable".

I love Stuart's idea of a dedicated country blues database (as long as I don't have to do the work!).         

Offline Rivers

  • Tech Support
  • Member
  • Posts: 6929
  • I like chicken pie
Re: Sorting a Music Collection
« Reply #28 on: October 10, 2011, 06:37:47 PM »
I'd better dig deeper into the edge functionality within iTunes, obviously. I'd kind of written it off as a serious data model but that's interesting. Was it you dj who was logging recording dates, locations, labels etc into it?

Part of what puts me off is I've had to rebuild the darn library too many times after moving disks, failed cpus, and so on. All the edge stuff has disappeared each time, as well as locally-scanned artwork. I just don't trust it any more though for sure it's more stable than it was.

Offline Stuart

  • Member
  • Posts: 2606
  • "The Voice of Almiqui"
Re: Sorting a Music Collection
« Reply #29 on: October 10, 2011, 09:15:51 PM »
Part of what puts me off is I've had to rebuild the darn library too many times after moving disks, failed cpus, and so on. All the edge stuff has disappeared each time, as well as locally-scanned artwork. I just don't trust it any more though for sure it's more stable than it was.

One of the tricks is to find out where everything is, write it all down on a piece of paper that hopefully won't get lost and back everything up. I use an older version and inadvertently gorked the iTunes Music Database file and the iTunes Music library file (which is different from iTunes Music folder) that were in the iTunes folder (which is different from the one that usually gets installed in the Program Files folder by default) in the My Music file that was located in the My Documents folder in XP Pro. What a headache! Lost all my playlists and a lot of other info specific to the way I had things set up. Perhaps iTunes has changed so that things aren't scattered all over the place, but I'd check, just to be sure. BTW, Who's on first?

Offline FrontPage

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 550
  • Not dead yet!
Re: Sorting a Music Collection
« Reply #30 on: October 10, 2011, 09:29:29 PM »
I'm still looking for something that will create the db entries by dropping each disk into the tray and letting the computer and internet (e.g. Gracenote or CDDB) do the work. I probably don't have time to scan my CDs, let alone write the software and enter the data manually! I take it no one on this thread has looked at or used Music Collector?
Cheers,
FrontPage

Offline Stuart

  • Member
  • Posts: 2606
  • "The Voice of Almiqui"
Re: Sorting a Music Collection
« Reply #31 on: October 10, 2011, 10:05:23 PM »
I haven't used Music Collector. The biggest problem with many systems is the time that it takes to enter the data. If you can import it from an external source, like Gracenote or CDDB, so much the better. But there are problems with accuracy and consistency when using their info that one can either correct or let slide--and learn to live with. Occasionally, the errors can be confusing to the point of being maddening, like the example that was discussed a while back on Ari's board. As dj says, the ideas are easy to come up with, it's doing the actual work to build the db and supply the content that takes time and effort.

I use iTunes as a db of sorts. It works for my limited needs, but it could do a lot more. We're at the forefront of computing technology, but were still pre-Model A IMHO, to use an automobile analogy. And for another automotive analogy, "There's 10,000 parts in the modern automobile, but it's the loose nut behind the wheel that causes the most problems." --In the case of computers, it's often the "loose nut behind the keyboard." But I digress, as usual...

Offline dj

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 2615
  • Howdy!
Re: Sorting a Music Collection
« Reply #32 on: October 11, 2011, 03:26:04 AM »
Quote
Was it you dj who was logging recording dates, locations, labels etc into it?

Yeah, that was me.  I have had occasional problems with iTunes - I've lost the comment fields, which contain discographical info and personnel, for a few CDs (interestingly, all have been CDs on the JSP label.  Coincidence?) - but as long as I'm careful to take everything in the iTunes directory (not just the iTunes Music directory) when I move from disk to disk or machine to machine, I have never lost all my database info.

Quote
In the case of computers, it's often the "loose nut behind the keyboard."

I like that, Stewart!

Quote
I'm still looking for something that will create the db entries by dropping each disk into the tray and letting the computer and internet (e.g. Gracenote or CDDB) do the work.

Ain't gonna happen, FrontPage.  I don't know how Gracenote and CDDB get their data, but it almost always contains junk.  I just ripped Archeophone's Stomp And Swerve CD, and everything was pretty much ok except one artist's name was in Japanese!  My wife does database stuff for a large book retailer.  They get their info direct from the publisher, and even then almost every entry has to be hand-tended due to typos, spelling errors, inconsistencies, etc.


Offline Stuart

  • Member
  • Posts: 2606
  • "The Voice of Almiqui"
Re: Sorting a Music Collection
« Reply #33 on: October 11, 2011, 07:09:27 AM »
I don't know how Gracenote and CDDB get their data, but it almost always contains junk. 

Some of it, at least, is user submitted. On the version of iTunes that I use, there is an "Submit CD Track Names" option. It's hard to tell the source of specific CD info, but my guess is that a fair amount is user submitted, given the nature of the errors.

Offline FrontPage

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 550
  • Not dead yet!
Re: Sorting a Music Collection
« Reply #34 on: October 11, 2011, 10:42:30 PM »
Thanks for the feedback. I'm OCAR about data integrity, so it is a given that I will scan and correct errors, one CD at a time. My main objective is to build the database without having to rip the CDs (which takes several minutes each). My separate ripping project (ongoing over the past couple years) has two objectives - first, to get as much of my collection as possible accessible for listening via my Sqeezebox server, and second, to create a lossless backup of my collection. Like many of us here, probably at least 40% of my stuff is either difficult or impossible (i.e. out of print) to replace in the event of a loss. I keep a copy of the lossless directory at my office. So a parallel database (w/o the music) is what I'm after.
Cheers,
FrontPage

Offline tmylet

  • Member
  • Posts: 17
Re: Sorting a Music Collection
« Reply #35 on: October 12, 2011, 08:31:13 AM »
While I'm late to the party (in more than one way) this thread is exactly what I've been looking for. I may be one of the last holdouts who has tons of stuff on CD and nothing on a computer, Ipod, etc. but would like to become a little more intimate with the digital age...

A few years ago I bought a Card Catalog file cabinet, took the bottom out of every other drawer then joined that drawer with the one directly beneath it. It holds CDs very nicely. I labelled the drawers by genre, region and format:  Country Blues; Mississippi; 78 reissues...As I quickly approach overload I'm looking at starting to put it on computer and/or an MP3 device.

It's obvious that there is no perfect solution but I'd really appreciate any ideas as to how to best approach what looks like a monumental task.

Tom Mylet
Dr. Tommy

Offline Stuart

  • Member
  • Posts: 2606
  • "The Voice of Almiqui"
Re: Sorting a Music Collection
« Reply #36 on: October 12, 2011, 09:38:47 AM »
Hi Tom:

There are only 24 hours in a day and only so many days in a life. So how much time do you want to spend (time that you will never get back to do other things, such as listening and playing music, as well as other enjoyable endeavors) organizing your music/information? As you say, it is a monumental undertaking, one that, IMHO, is best approached one step at a time. Once you decide on the software program (as I mentioned, I use iTunes, but there are others), the next thing to do is to figure out how to enter the music and info. To minimize the time, energy and concentration involved, I do this in background. When the computer is on, but while I'm doing something else, I let iTunes find the CD info and import the CD. I find that I'm most comfortable with the process when I'm not conscious that it is happening. The only downside is that once in a blue moon when there are problems reading the CD in the middle of the importing process, I won't be aware of it in real time. But so what? I'm having a better time doing other things.

Make sure that you backup your music files to an external hard drive, because you only want to import your CDs once. When the time comes, we can point you in the direction of the software that some of us use to do this. There's a thread here on the subject somewhere.

Hope this helps.

Regards,

Stuart

edited to add: I only clean up the CD info when absolutely necessary. To paraphrase the Dodge Journey commercial (the one with Fahey playing in the background), no one makes a list of typos they want to correct before they die--I least I don't.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2011, 09:45:57 AM by Stuart »

Offline Rivers

  • Tech Support
  • Member
  • Posts: 6929
  • I like chicken pie
Re: Sorting a Music Collection
« Reply #37 on: October 12, 2011, 08:12:16 PM »
So a parallel database (w/o the music) is what I'm after.

I'm not aware of anything that would do that in any serious way. And I have to ask you Bill, why you would want to keep the metadata separate from the audio files? In other words surely at some point you're going to want to integrate your lossless music files with the info about them? At that point you meet the dreaded "integration problem".

I just did a search and found you can integrate iTunes with lossless media files, see http://gizmodo.com/5207476/how-to-manage-an-all+lossless-music-library-with-itunes

To go this route assumes you have faith in Apple getting their iTunes data model capable of reflecting some kind of serious musophile / historical weenie real world model. Maybe Apple will, maybe they won't. However, since I don't have time to roll my own data model integrated with media files and external sources of metadata, if I could rip all my CDs again I'd investigate going the Apple Lossless route.

The only reason I'd look at it (which would entail reripping all my CDs to lossless) now is due to storage prices falling throught the floor. As of a month ago I now have 7.2 terabytes of RAID-ed NAS on our network without spending too serious dough. Or to put it another way, for the price of a midprice computer fully loaded I now have 7,373 gigabytes of RAID-protected extra storage available on our home network.

This setup could swallow all my (reripped lossless) files without a burp and still have room to spare for several generations of whole network backups. For anyone interested this is the NAS box I scored empty and then loaded it myself with 5 x 2 Tb drives: http://www.synology.com/us/products/DS1511+/index.php

I give this Synology box 5 stars for anyone shopping around, both in the hardware- and management software departments. Be sure to start shopping in the Amazon links to your left ladies and gentlemen!  ;)

After getting it going, sourcing the 5 x 2 Tb Western Digital drives from a local big box store, formatting the RAID array, transferring all the audio files and pointing iTunes at it, I then belatedly started considering how one might backup the backup. Big fleas have smaller fleas, kind of thing. The cloud? Maybe in a few years. Right now I'm happy with the RAID SHR volume I elected to set up on the NAS. If one of the drives fails I can pull it out, replace it and the NAS box s/w will rebuild the storage array on the fly. I have not tested it but have researched it and am happy it will work.

If 2 of the NAS drives fail at the same time I'm screwed. Unlikely but not unheard of. Not to mention other risks like burglary and fire. It's a calculated risk on my part, but I'm better off than I was when it was all on one internal drive and I have space to burn, which does radically change your perspective.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2011, 09:35:05 PM by Rivers »

Offline Stuart

  • Member
  • Posts: 2606
  • "The Voice of Almiqui"
Re: Sorting a Music Collection
« Reply #38 on: October 13, 2011, 08:11:04 AM »
...I just ripped Archeophone's Stomp And Swerve CD...

For those not familiar with Archeophone, they have an interesting catalog--and it is currently all on sale:

http://www.archeophone.com/index.php

http://www.archeophone.com/product_info.php?products_id=38

Offline dj

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 2615
  • Howdy!
Re: Sorting a Music Collection
« Reply #39 on: October 13, 2011, 09:12:48 AM »
On sale through October 15th, so act fast!

Tags:
 


anything