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DanRubin

Organizing music files

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I used to use iTunes to organize my music files, which it did by album and artist. Worked well for me. But now as I am using Roon, I've been adding FLAC files and other formats that iTunes doesn't handle and I'd use as soon skip the iTunes step. But newly-added files on my hard drive are no longer organized as before. Although Roon organizes them for its UI, I still want the underlying files organized for when I need to grab, say, an album for some reason. How do people deal with this?


Mac Mini 5,1 [i5, 2.3 GHz, 8GB, Mavericks] w/ Roon -> Ethernet -> TP Link fiber conversion segment -> microRendu w/ LPS-1 -> Schiit Yggdrasil

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On 10/17/2019 at 1:46 PM, DanRubin said:

I used to use iTunes to organize my music files, which it did by album and artist. Worked well for me. But now as I am using Roon, I've been adding FLAC files and other formats that iTunes doesn't handle and I'd use as soon skip the iTunes step. But newly-added files on my hard drive are no longer organized as before. Although Roon organizes them for its UI, I still want the underlying files organized for when I need to grab, say, an album for some reason. How do people deal with this?

I have six folders for three categories and two formats.  

 

Formats are either CD or LP.  Categories are Rock, Classical, and Jazz&Folk.  Then, within JRiver (see attached image) I can then break it out based on the location, the genre, that sort of thing.

 

For example, it's easy to have a listing for all of the MoFi albums so I don't have to scroll through LPs Rock trying to find it.  

 

There really isn't any limit to the categories you can develop, once you figure out how to do it with a lot of help from the JRiver forums.

 

Of course you don't have to use JRiver, it's what I have but there are many other comparable programs.  I couldn't say if others have the same flexibility for updating metadata and then using that to create another category listing.

 

I used to use separate libraries, but this works much better.

JRiver.jpg

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Use roon search function to find the album you want. Select a track from the album. right click on "open file location" under roon. It will take you to the file in windows explorer.

 

I also use roon and i do the sorting manually though.

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Thank you for your reply. I may not have been clear in my post. The issue is not locating a specific file so much as the underlying organization of the files on my hard drive. Below is how I want it to look.  How do I do that without iTunes, that's the question.

 

 

Untitled 23.png


Mac Mini 5,1 [i5, 2.3 GHz, 8GB, Mavericks] w/ Roon -> Ethernet -> TP Link fiber conversion segment -> microRendu w/ LPS-1 -> Schiit Yggdrasil

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I see what you mean. I faced the same problem with you when i moved from MacOS to Windows for music reproduction. Did not find a solution though and i had to adopt my own style for folder organization

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Most file taggers have an auto rename function. I use tag&rename in windows and I have created a use case when I tag something from discogs. Automatically it renames the folder to year - album and the files as track - title. So with a single move I have done half of the job. After that I move the folders to my main disc under artist name.

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On 10/19/2019 at 11:58 AM, koupa said:

Most file taggers have an auto rename function. I use tag&rename in windows and I have created a use case when I tag something from discogs. Automatically it renames the folder to year - album and the files as track - title. So with a single move I have done half of the job. After that I move the folders to my main disc under artist name.


Tagging is half the battle, but you need to clearly define your scheme for file and folder organization, and then stick to it. I use a simple folder naming system: artist - album name (year). In the folder are the tracks by name - alternate takes are usually identified during the rip, but if not I add an identifier like alt1. Each format has a parent directory (e.g. FLAC, DSD) that contains all folders for those albums. This works fine except for those players that only let you source your library from one folder. A few of the open source players I recently reviewed are like this, but most let you source from multiple directories.
 

Versions of the same album name distinguished by format are so tagged and appear separately, and the rare ones that come up as dupes get a name addition from me like HR or LIVE after the album name on the folder.  For re-releases, I use the release date instead of the original date for the folder title.
 

I tag everything by the same artist consistently (i.e. artist, album artist, genre etc) so they all appear under the same form of the artist’s name or other search category. Tags also identify releases by date, and you can add tags to your heart’s content to further refine your library listings.

 

Once I check everything in Musicbrainz Picard and mp3tag (a very nice & easy tagger for any file format despite its name), I check the displays in Roon, JRMC and Foobar2000 to be sure all is well.

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I'm a simple man. I don't like various deluxe - special - extended blah blah blah albums. Only the official discography. So my job is very easy.

 

I use the following folder structure. Artist / Year - Album / Track - Title.

 

I also have various special folders like Collections, OST and Classical Music. And my most important folder is the one named 0000000000. This is my incoming folder. Everything gets in there first and is sorted by codec and samplerate. Eg FLAC44 or FLAC192 or DSD128. When I have time i do the tagging as I wrote before. And I know where I am so it's very easy to compare the folders and see only by the size what's going on.

 

For example almost 20 years ago a friend went to Cyprus for work and they had a crazy 640Kbps ADSL. Here in Greece we were still with the Dial Up. He came back with bags full of DVD's. Everybody copied that DVD's and as the HDD's became cheaper we moved the music in to them. Till now I have Greek music mostly [email protected] from him. So when I find and rip a CD in to FLAC I immediately know by comparing the sizes that I should delete the old ones and use the new.

 

I tried to use quality folders but it's a extra useless step for me. Foobar Facets and Roon Focus do the job perfect for me.

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I use Yate (2manyrobots.com  - mac only). I am just a user and I am not associated with them.

 

It is one of the most versatile tagger and renamer I have known (JRiver too but I use it just as a player/streamer on a Macbook with Linux).

 

It can be a little bit overwhelming to use the most advanced functions like Action scripting (some coding knowledge necessary) but it has a large set of defaults usable right away. 

 

It is so practicle that it is worth the effort to learn it in-depth specially when working on large batch jobs with one or more albums.

The help function is useful.

 

It can set the folder image to the main album artwork  so that it is prettier than just the default folder image.

 

Regarding the question, it also has a power renamer with some default templates but it is fully configurable with new user templates that can rename and move to folders based on most common fields album, artist, genre, etc

 

Since rename is a one-way change (no undo) I would recommend practicing on a copy or subset of the files/folders until assured of the results, or have a good backup.

 

I like to group Classical Music in a different folder than pop, and I usually group them by album artist.

On classical music files I use Yate to normalize the Titles (removing extra or uncessary spaces, commas etc, replacing movement numbers from Roman to regular numbers 1. 2. 3., prepending Composer lastnames, etc) so that it is easier to search on JRiver or DLNA player by work name.

 

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