Organising music for media players of various types can be difficult, especially when dealing with databases online.

I have always used the same, basic system for years.

I don’t really care much about underscrores, capitals, or anything too fussy. This means that there is a lot of leeway.

Each file (track) I name like this:

  • 1 – key- name of track – artist.mp3

In Mediamonkey I use the mood tags for the song key so I can group tracks by key signature, but I still need the key in the file name for my phone and mp3 players that don’t go on tags.

When I have not worked out the key, the track/ file will look like this:

  • 1 – name of track – artist.mp3.

As I said, I don’t care very much if the artist is David Bowie or Bowie or David Bowie.  Life’s too short; it is only a file name.  As long as the ID3 tags are consistent, everything is fine.

I know for sure that grouping artists by surname is rare, but I don’t care; it makes more sense to me to have surname/first name. If the artist is known by one name, I’ll use that.  For groups, I think it crazy that so many people would file “The Who” under “T” — along with all the other groups beginning with “The”.

My preference is to name albums/ folders like this:

  • artist surname, artist first name (album name, year, record label);
  • GROUP, The (album name, year, record label).

I downloaded MusicBrainz Picard tonight.  It’s opensource and free, and it is strongly recommended by the followers of the Lifehacker site who voted it into their review listing.

I am going to play around with this to see if I can tweak things to save me some bother, or maybe to help me organise things.  I seriously doubt that it will be of use with respect to keys, but it might tolerate surname/ first name and move “the”.  We shall see…!


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