Current State of the musical organization address:

As regular readers will probably remember, I am pretty anal about how I organize my music (I didn’t organize my cds alphabetically for 20 years, but rather by sub, sub, suuuuub genre). I’ve been constantly changing how I organize my iTunes library in the new computer based age. Here is my system as it stands:

All tracks renamed with caps. Eg. “Straight out of Hell” – becomes “Straight Out Of Hell”

All album titles renamed and given a number to match their release order. Eg. 01 Led Zeppelin 1, 05 House Of The Holy etc. Furthermore, If an album is a demo before the band’s major label debut it will have the number zero. Eg. “00 Mate Feed Kill Repeat.”

All tracks edited to specific genre then sub-genre in brackets – Eg. Rock (Progressive Rock) or Metal (Thrash Metal) etc.

Every album has artwork, and its 500×500 pixels.

All data on BPM, Composer etc removed. Only things I care about are kept.

If an album doesn’t flow well, I re-arange the tracks.

Intros, outros, skits and interludes, if they aren’t good, are set to be automatically skipped.

If a song is hugely long, like Pink Floyd’s “Atom Heart Mother Suite” – I’ll break it down into smaller tracks, so I’ll have Atom Heart Mother parts 1-10 instead of one big track.

Solo albums/Spin Off albums that are so similar to the original band that you can’t tell the difference are grouped together with the band. (Heaven & Hell’s The Devil You Know is with Black Sabbath in B, instead of off on its own in H. Jasta’s solo album is with Hatebreed etc.)

All tracks given relevant comments that activate automatic playlists (eg. When a rock band plays a blues song, like Jimi Hendrix’s “Red House” or Led Zeppelin’s “I Can’t Quit You Baby” that gets given the comment “Bluesnumber” which puts them into a playlist of songs like that.)
I’ve got at least 50 types of comments. Eg. Covers. Instrumentals. Acoustic versions of heavy songs. Songs by rock bands with Orchestra in them. etc.

If its a double album, I won’t allow double entries, so I’ll painstakingly re-order each track until its one long single entry.

If I get a compilation album or samplar, I reassign all the tracks to their original artists, I don’t deal with “Various Artists,” ever, with the sole exception of “Rebuilding The Wall.”

If I only own a track or two by a band, it doesn’t come in the main alphabet, it comes later, after Z.

If a track is a bonus track it has the Astrix symbol after it. Eg. Starlight*

If a track is recorded live it has the word live written after it in square brackets, live ALWAYS has a capital “L”…. Eg. “Black Dog [Live]” and if its a live bonus that’s “Black Dog [Live]*

If I rip a song that’s title has parenthesis, if it’s been ripped with square brackets, I’ll retitle it. Eg. “[We Are] The Roadcrew” becomes “(We Are) The Roadcrew.”

If a song deliberately has a number in the title or stupid spelling, I’ll usually retitled it despite what the band wanted. Eg. “Sun 4 The World” becomes “Sun For The World.”

If I got given the album by a friend or don’t count it as “my album” for some reason, it doesn’t come in the main alphabet, it comes later, after Z.

I have a “best of” “greatest hits” and “under-apreciated tracks” playlist for almost every band, and every subgenre. Also, I have a gigantic “history of music” playlist.

I have playlists for what my library used to look like, in two-three year blocks. So that I can go back and listen to the music that I owned when I was 21, 18, 14 etc.

I have playlists

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  1. Renaming a track I can’t get behind at all. It’s not what it’s called!

    But then I’m dealing in double standards because I’ve also rearranged albums and cut songs in half. Currently, I only have two genres for music – Reg’lar (covering standard instruments-and-vocals-on-albums music) and Irreg’lar (covering television, game and film scores), with genres added in the comments sections if needed. Also, Comedy for radio comedy shows. Also, if there’s something I don’t want to listen to, such as an intro or outro, it’s deleted, OR sometimes I manually add them to the songs they precede. My library is constantly getting smaller on account of how often I delete tracks I find I always skip. I’ve also fixed a couple of CD-based screwups, so that the spooky-laughter Powerslave intro is now at the start of the song and not at the end of Back in The Village.

    I also don’t understand the use of numbers preceding album titles with iTunes’ ‘Album/Artist by Year’ function. There are a few times where that’s created a problem, like with Cradle Of Filth’s two 1996 releases not being in alphabetical/chronological agreement. But not enough to use it as an exception to define a rule.

    I used to have mine quite similar to yours though. I had comments-based playlisting enabled for tracks I hadn’t listened to yet, for albums I USED to own and albums I owned on CD/Vinyl and for sorting self-titled releases (so If I wanted to listen to the album Rage Against The Machine, I could search for Rage Against The Machine Self, etc.)

    Used to have asterisks for bonus tracks, and all live tracks had Live as their genre.

    Question – is Heaven And Hell literally listed as Black Sabbath – The Devil You Know?

    Question 2 – is it musical sacrilege only to like the first seven minutes of 2112? ‘Cause that’s all I gots yo.


  2. I commented on this earlier on my blog, so I’ll say it again: I love your system. I love the meticulousness of it. I love the determination and perfectionism.

    I’m really meticulous with my tracks too, though not so much as you. I will go as far as to scan my own CDs for the artwork, if the default artwork that comes up isn’t to my taste!


    • Ha ha that’s awesome. I never scanned any artwork before but its a good idea. I hate when I get a cd and for example the background of the cover is light blue but all I can find online is dark blue or black.


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