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Organizing music


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I'm wondering what's the best way to organize my music so I don't need to do this more than once? Does use of sub folders work with all player software? I want to use separate folders for PCM and DSD. Then have a folder for each artist with folders for each album with FLAC files in each. Or DSF files for DSD albums.

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This method has worked great for me across different software players and music servers.

 

I have four main folders off the root of my music directory:

 

CD ( 16/44.1)

High Resolution (PCM 24/96, PCM 24/192, etc)

DSD (DSD64, DSD 128)

Vinyl ( conversions to PCM 24/96 and 24/192)

 

Under each of those folders is first a folder for artist. And under each of those is any albums I may have of theirs.

 

This has worked fine for JRIVER, Minimserver, Lightning Server, Audirvana, and Pure Music.

 

Note: I no longer use several of those software packages, just Minimserver and Lightning Server these days.

 

And additionally this works fine with any control points, such as JRemote, Lightning DS, Lumin, and Linn Kinsky.

Silver Circle Audio | Roon | Devialet | Synology | Vivid Audio | Stillpoint Aperture | Auralic | DH Labs

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AS others have said , no need for some special underlying structure, as bplexico, me too have only separated main four folders:

 

- CD

- CD Downloads

- Hi-res

- Not in library

 

In each folder I have sub folders: 1,2,3... because I keep around 100 CDs per folder

 

Tags are what is important, not where the files are.

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Why? Nobody said that in this thread. I, like probably the majority here, am using an external hard drive.

 

 

Yeah I know, I'm just being neurotic. The same reason, I've put this task off for years. I keep thinking I'll need to redo it over and over. I got a 4TB external HD and now I'm wondering how I'm gonna back it up? If I'll have conflicts with USB HD and USB DAC? I also realized that the Samsung external HD is made by Seagate. Not very reliable drives.

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I organize albums as subfolders with the format (example) "Miles Davis 1959 - Kind of Blue", so that the artist discography is organized chronologacally (my collection is huge, with sometimes dozens of albums by artist).

 

One can also opt for "Davis, Miles 1959 - Kind of Blue" but I don't need that as I know all the artists first names anyway.

 

Apart from that basic format, the folder structure depends on the amount of albums to file (if a folder is too large, it will take a long time to browse with the interface of a streaming client), the need to seperate musical genres or technical criteria.

 

I don't use separate folders for DSD, hi-rez PCM, CD, because in practice I chose albums only according to what music I want to hear. However, I add the format and other release info at the end of the folder if it is better than CD or if I have multiple versions of one album, so I can see that at first sight when browsing the album folder list. For example "Miles Davis 1959 - Kind of Blue (2014 HDtracks) 24-96"

 

The only file type I keep seperate is MP3 albums, because I use those only on my smartphone for outdoor listening.

Claude

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For me, an organized, consistent tagging protocol is of primary importance for playback. For purposes of backup, archiving, and transfer to other media, an organized, consistent directory structure is of primary importance. I feel both are important.

Jim

 

Harlan Howard's definition of a great country song: "Three chords and the truth."

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Yeah I know, I'm just being neurotic. The same reason, I've put this task off for years. I keep thinking I'll need to redo it over and over. I got a 4TB external HD and now I'm wondering how I'm gonna back it up? If I'll have conflicts with USB HD and USB DAC? I also realized that the Samsung external HD is made by Seagate. Not very reliable drives.

 

backups are a must. I just regularly clone the drive to another external HD of the same size.

 

The conflict between USB dac and HD are probably rather theoretical especially with memory play.

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backups are a must. I just regularly clone the drive to another external HD of the same size.

 

The conflict between USB dac and HD are probably rather theoretical especially with memory play.

 

Do you know of a utility which will clone external hard drives? One problem I've had with sealed external hard drives is the inability to easily clone drives or copy large numbers of files. In my experience USB transfers have errors and freeze-ups. I find it easier to use a docking station/duplicator with internal drives.

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Hi labjr,

 

Let try Aconis. It allow create compressed disk image by sectors.

You can unpack the image to same or larger HDD.

It usually used for creation copy of system disk.

I suppose it will work with external drive too.

 

If you have trouble with USB, you can extract HDD from case and insert in docstation USB-connected to computer. If trouble not in computer's USB of course. In this case need simply use other computer. Or disconnect other USB drives, unless HDD.

 

Best regards,

Yuri

AuI ConverteR 48x44 - HD audio converter/optimizer for DAC of high resolution files

ISO, DSF, DFF (1-bit/D64/128/256/512/1024), wav, flac, aiff, alac,  safe CD ripper to PCM/DSF,

Seamless Album Conversion, AIFF, WAV, FLAC, DSF metadata editor, Mac & Windows
Offline conversion save energy and nature

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It is true that tags are the most important thing. However...

 

File organisation should really be a one time thing, because changing it can be really quite disruptive to your music library. So it does take some consideration, and it's worth getting it right, and it's worth doing it early (where possible).

 

Now I'm not one for Byzantine up front design, I think simple works best, so store the least amount of data in your file paths as you can get away with. That means just the identification metadata for a particular release, so artist, album, track number and track name. Discnumbers for multi disc releases. These are immutable and you'll not need to change them. I would suggest replacing whitespace with underscores, hyphens between the fields.

 

If you think you might need to separate by encoding system then it's probably worth doing so; the ugliness of adding that as an additional layer in your hierarchy is outweighed by not having to go back and fix it later.

 

bliss - fully automated music organizer. Read the music library management blog.

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It is true that tags are the most important thing. However...

 

File organisation should really be a one time thing, because changing it can be really quite disruptive to your music library. So it does take some consideration, and it's worth getting it right, and it's worth doing it early (where possible).

 

Now I'm not one for Byzantine up front design, I think simple works best, so store the least amount of data in your file paths as you can get away with. That means just the identification metadata for a particular release, so artist, album, track number and track name. Discnumbers for multi disc releases. These are immutable and you'll not need to change them. I would suggest replacing whitespace with underscores, hyphens between the fields.

 

If you think you might need to separate by encoding system then it's probably worth doing so; the ugliness of adding that as an additional layer in your hierarchy is outweighed by not having to go back and fix it later.

 

Sorry, but I disagree. If your tags are ok, any database, be it Jriver, ITunes, Audirvana, can just read them and file location/folder structure becomes completely irrelevant.

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Me seems, good idea move/change not files but database records.

 

If files properly tagged no problems re-scan and re-sort database.

 

Separatelly it do any audio player. But unfortunatelly each have own format of database.

 

May be here need open and free format of the database?

AuI ConverteR 48x44 - HD audio converter/optimizer for DAC of high resolution files

ISO, DSF, DFF (1-bit/D64/128/256/512/1024), wav, flac, aiff, alac,  safe CD ripper to PCM/DSF,

Seamless Album Conversion, AIFF, WAV, FLAC, DSF metadata editor, Mac & Windows
Offline conversion save energy and nature

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Me seems, good idea move/change not files but database records.

 

If files properly tagged no problems re-scan and re-sort database.

 

Separatelly it do any audio player. But unfortunatelly each have own format of database.

 

May be here need open and free format of the database?

 

The database doesn't matter as much as long as the tags in the audio files so have all the relevant information.

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Yuri, there is widely used free and open database software that should work, see for example 10 of the Best Free Linux Relational Databases - Linux Links - The Linux Portal Site .

 

Musicophile, the one caveat I'd have to your thoughts regarding folders/directories is that for me (and perhaps others?), the folder/directory structure itself reflects the organization of my music I'd like to see in the GUI.

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Me seems, good idea move/change not files but database records.

 

If files properly tagged no problems re-scan and re-sort database.

 

Separatelly it do any audio player. But unfortunatelly each have own format of database.

 

May be here need open and free format of the database?

 

The database doesn't matter as much as long as the tags in the audio files so have all the relevant information.

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Musicophile, the one caveat I'd have to your thoughts regarding folders/directories is that for me (and perhaps others?), the folder/directory structure itself reflects the organization of my music I'd like to see in the GUI.

 

Me too, and it helps with associating images and PDFs with particular albums - at least if you've never tagged them. Reorganising the file structure along the lines suggested by Dan is really easy to do automatically if you have tidy metadata, using one of the several library management systems.

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Musicophile, the one caveat I'd have to your thoughts regarding folders/directories is that for me (and perhaps others?), the folder/directory structure itself reflects the organization of my music I'd like to see in the GUI.

An organized, consistent directory structure can help future-proof a music collection. My directory structure reflects my tagging scheme.

 

Last year I bought a Honda CR-V. Its music system has the ability to play music stored on a USB stick. The rudimentary system does not support any lossless formats, so I decided to use 320 kbps MP3 files. My existing directory structure allowed me to easily create multiple genre-centric sticks.

 

I thought the Honda's playback order would follow either my tagging or my directory scheme, so I did not foresee any problems. To my surprise, the resulting playback order appeared to be random; I could not discern a pattern. After much poking around on the web, I found out the Honda software uses the file-modified date attribute of each file to determine the playback order. The solution to the my problem was to zip the entire directory structure and then unzip it. This procedure changed the date attribute of each file to reflect the order of the directory structure. So in the end, the directory structure was the sole determinate of the playback order.

Jim

 

Harlan Howard's definition of a great country song: "Three chords and the truth."

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An organized, consistent directory structure can help future-proof a music collection. My directory structure reflects my tagging scheme.

 

Last year I bought a Honda CR-V. Its music system has the ability to play music stored on a USB stick. The rudimentary system does not support any lossless formats, so I decided to use 320 kbps MP3 files. My existing directory structure allowed me to easily create multiple genre-centric sticks.

 

I thought the Honda's playback order would follow either my tagging or my directory scheme, so I did not foresee any problems. To my surprise, the resulting playback order appeared to be random; I could not discern a pattern. After much poking around on the web, I found out the Honda software uses the file-modified date attribute of each file to determine the playback order. The solution to the my problem was to zip the entire directory structure and then unzip it. This procedure changed the date attribute of each file to reflect the order of the directory structure. So in the end, the directory structure was the sole determinate of the playback order.

 

I have a similar problem with my BMWs media system internal hard disk, I still haven't figured out how to organize the files for them to be ordered correctly. In the end I gave up and connect my iPhone via USB, which works well.

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The database doesn't matter as much as long as the tags in the audio files so have all the relevant information.

 

Fully agree here. I might also add that it doesn’t seem to matter what name you give to the folder(s) that house the files. For example, I keep all my DSF downloads in a folder named “DSD Music”. Within that folder, there are separate sub-folders that contain the DSF files. Each sub-folder represents an album, and I've named all the sub-folder beginning with “DSF”, e.g., “DSF-Mahler3-TilsonThomas”. Each file is fully tagged, including embedded album art. (I’ve been using Yate with great success.) I even have a couple of sub-folders with files that I’ve tagged into separate and distinct albums (because the files were initially downloaded as a single "album" from HDTT), and apps like Audirvana Plus and JRiver) handle it all correctly, grouping and sorting everything according to the tags I've entered.

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Yuri, there is widely used free and open database software that should work, see for example 10 of the Best Free Linux Relational Databases - Linux Links - The Linux Portal Site .

 

Hi Jud,

 

Yes, systems of management of databases by link can be used for building musical databases (data structure into Firebird or MySQL).

 

In my opinion, it's more right way than create new own MySQL or Firebird :)

 

In post before I said about universal musical data structure (like iTunes library database or database of any other player software). It must be open and free for all developers. No licensee fee for using with free or commercial software.

 

It allow all manufacturers use same database for better capability of audio player software. Usually music lovers have several player software and/or music streamer and/or mobile devices (including car audio).

 

This database should contains matadata with binding to files and internet resources, including online stores, streaming services, etc.

 

The database must have as slow web-interface (API - application programming interface), and fast C/C++ API.

 

The free database must combine geterogenous distributed data in solid structue.

 

Best regards,

Yuri

AuI ConverteR 48x44 - HD audio converter/optimizer for DAC of high resolution files

ISO, DSF, DFF (1-bit/D64/128/256/512/1024), wav, flac, aiff, alac,  safe CD ripper to PCM/DSF,

Seamless Album Conversion, AIFF, WAV, FLAC, DSF metadata editor, Mac & Windows
Offline conversion save energy and nature

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