Organizing Your Music Collection

If you're a music lover and you've got hundreds of CDs or thousands of downloaded tunes then keeping them organized so that you can actually find what you want when you want it can be daunting. It is possible to organize even the biggest collection but it takes dedication and commitment.


Organizing your music collection depends on the type of collection that you have. If you're dealing with CDs then your best bet is to organize by genre. Try not to get too carried away with genre, either. Although you can have sub-genres within genres (and even sub-genres within sub-genres) you want to keep it as simple as possible.

For instance, while you might want to separate mainstream country from Americana, you don't necessarily have to break it down into Cowpunk, Grungegrass, Rockabilly, Texas Country, and so on. On the other hand, if you have 20 CDs that would be considered Deathcountry and another 46 that would be considered Psychobilly, yet you only have 3 CDs that would even be considered outside of the Americana genre altogether then breaking down that genre into the different sub-genres would make more organizational sense.


You might also want to consider organizing your music by time period. For example, current pop might be separated from 80's pop and 90's pop. Modern country might be separated from classic country.

The organization itself should really depend on how much of one genre that you have. Having lots of different categories makes more sense if you possess a lot of CDs that are all across the board.

When it comes to your digital music files then you want to use the same idea, only you'll want to apply the organization to your tags. It's important to tag your songs and collections as soon as you download or copy them. Figure out which tags work best for you (heavy metal bluegrass, instrumental music, British pop, modern flamenco, etc.) and stick with those. If you're able to add more than one tag then do this but make sure that you remember the different categories that you are using. Some people use Grungegrass and heavy metal bluegrass to mean the same thing so you don't want to use both terms interchangeably, find one you like and stick to it.


Even if you download 100 songs in a day, take the time to tag all of them. In the long run, you'll appreciate the extra time you spent doing it. It's easier to tag 100 songs at once then it is to tag 5,000 songs later on.

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September 24, 20130 found this helpful

I put my CD in alpha order and print out the list.

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June 2, 20150 found this helpful

I find that just alphabetizing using the artist's first name works for me..( were on first name bases, wouldn't have them if I didn't like them) which I write on index cards as soon as I get the recording and put that into alphabetized tab card - in index metal boxes.

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November 13, 20170 found this helpful

I have many thousands of recordings in shellac, vinyl, tape, CD and digital. I have many genres of music including several not mentioned here, for example, Baroque, Mountain and Zydeco. Not to mention music from many countries around the world. I have so much music I bought 1 one terabyte and 1 two terabyte external hard drives to store my music.


If I want to listen to Wagner's Tristan Und Isolde, I use this path Taskbar (This is where shortcuts to my HDDs are> (F:) Drive> Music> Wagner> Tristan Und Isolde. That's 5 mouse clicks. I can do them all in less than 10 seconds.

When I want to hear Tristan Und Isolde, I want to hear Tristan Und Isolde. I don't care about the genre of the music. I don't care about which period of classical music it would fall into. Or whether it was written during Wagner's early period or his late period. All the suggested 'tags' wont cause me to enjoy the music any more (and certainly wont help me find the music any faster).

Genres, sub genres and sub genres within sub genres (in my opinion) are for those in the music industry who must catalog their music for the convenience of their customers.

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