How do you organize your library?
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  1. #1
    Tech Convert
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    Default How do you organize your library?

    ok, most important is, to really know your tracks.
    but sometimes i have a melody or rhythm in mind and don't remember the title of the track.
    mp3 have no connotations like cover artwork, places where they were bought etc.

    how do you organize your library? how do you find tracks instantly?

  2. #2
    Tech Guru Fatlimey's Avatar
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    Like my emails, I bundle tracks into directories by when I bought them, about 3-6 months of purchases in a directory. This temporal sorting works best for me as it matches how my brain works. I also sometimes break out archive stuff into similar genres, like I have all my ancient '88 Acid House in one directory and '92 Epic House tracks (Blue Amazon, Way Out West, Force Mass Motion, etc) in another one apart from the normal temporal groups.

    Other than that it's a case of "just knowing" - I seem able to hear a track and dredge up either a track name, a remixer or the artist out of nowhere. I then feed this half remembered fact into a search engine and see what it turns up.

    For example, when someone asks for "that track with the plucked strings and vocal stab that goes 'Reach''", my brain just turns up "Reach by Lil Mo Yang, or something on Ministry Of Sound Records". A quick search finds me Reach by Lil Mo' Ying Yang on Strictly Rhythm, but that's to housey and doesn't have the plucked strings. A few steps down the list there's Reach (Bassment Jaxx FireCracker remix), and it's on Dance Nation 2 from Ministry of Sound. That matches in time (i.e. wayback), it was out around the same time as Insomnia by Faithless (the other plucked string track everyone knows) and the label was the compilation not the track. Not perfectly remembered, but I still nailed it with a single search.

    Sorry, no tricks. That's just how the trainspotter mind works, it just comes to me along with all the interconnections.

  3. #3
    Tech Convert
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    This is something i'm also contemplating at the moment. I'm busy (like others on here) overhauling my collection, analyzing files, setting beatgrids and cuepoints. Then what I think i'll do is buy an external HD and pop them all on there. I don't think i'll ever separate songs by genre, but I think Fatlimey has a good idea in separating the most recent songs i.e. keep a folder with songs that are 1-3 months old.

  4. #4
    Tech Mentor aiden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fatlimey View Post
    Like my emails, I bundle tracks into directories by when I bought them, about 3-6 months of purchases in a directory. This temporal sorting works best for me as it matches how my brain works.
    Ya, that's the same way I "organize" my stuff. It's more laziness than anything, though. Eventually I intend to break it down into really descriptive categories; but, until then I just know my tracks and remember what batch they were bought in.

  5. #5
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    I tried breaking everything up by genre, but then there's too many categories and most of the time I never really switch between "Melodic Trance" and just "Trance"

    Right now I'm going to try a new thing - "Trance" and "Prog", the slower, more Markus Schulz-ey and Digweedy tunes will go into Prog

    I also tag mp3s with keywords - "vocal", "driving", "dark", "buildup" but it doesn't seem to help much so far, having a general feel for a track is much faster and is more reliable. After all, knowing your tracks is what DJing is about.

  6. #6
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    I use two methods at the same time.

    The first is alphabetical the second is a mixutre of genre style and date.

    For the first method I have 27 folders: 1 x for numbers ie 0-9, 26 x each letter of the alphabet. I always use the first letter of the artist (excluding The) and any artist I have more than one track from has their own folder, all single track artists just go in the root for that letter.

    The second method is mainly for compilation albums or genre specific tracks. I call this folder _Misc (space Misc) so that it appears at the top of my list.
    In here I have folders for each decade and folders for general music styles (I have a lot of different styles). So one for dance, one for D&B, then sometimes I break it up within that folder and I'll have a Ministry and Hed Kandi folders and put all the stuff from each label into it's own place.

    The trick to this is making sure that your files are tagged correctly in the first place.

    I use a brilliant little program called Tag & Rename - it's about $20 and worth every cent.

    I've used it to do over 10,000 tracks and it's the only one I've found that writes ALL possible tag variants in one go.

    When you have spent the time needed to tag your collection properly you will have a very good knowledge of what it is and where it is when it comes to manually looking for things or adding to the collection.

    When your tags are done properly, Traktor is VERY good at finding any search you do.
    even if you can only remember one part of the tag ie album name or one word from the title, it will find it if you have tagged it properly. you can even search on BPM and mix tracks you would never have thought to mix.

    Use an external drive and make sure you back it up VERY frequently (ie weekly) and don't forget to back up your collection files and stripes too if your using Traktor. It takes my fast PC jsut over 1 week working flat out to re-analyse my collection!!!

    I've been using this method for nearly 10 years now and I have over 30,000 tracks in my collection all available in an instant once I've remember one key fact about the track I want to play. (if you don't have that key fact your screwed, sorry!)

    Best Of luck

    when I first decided to go digital I thought it would take me 6 months to do my collection, I'm still doing it!!!
    Last edited by DIGITAL-KNIGHT; 04-19-2008 at 02:23 AM.

  7. #7

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    I organize tracks in separate directories by BPM in increments of 10... 150-159, 160-169, 170-179, etc. Within those directories I name tracks by key (based on the Camelot Sound wheel - 1A, 2A, 3A, etc), BPM, Artist and track... KEY - BPM - ARTIST - TRACK. Since I have my browser window sort by name and tracks start with the key they are in, I always have tracks next to each other in my browser that will harmonically mix well. From there, I can create a set that builds in tension as I rise in the major and minor scales.

  8. #8
    Mr. Golden EanGolden's Avatar
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    Great question, after 5 years I have tried so many different systems and I think I have one now that works fairly well. Everyone will need to come up with their own work flow but I have a specific system that works well and is simple to use. I can work on an explanation of that next week.

  9. #9
    Dr. Bento BentoSan's Avatar
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    I think one of the big keys is not to have your 100gig music collection all jammed into your library, sure having choice is important but there comes a point where its too much. I only will make sure i am putting songs into my libary i like, are in a genre style that i like to mix with or contain some samples i know i like to drop. I personally have a very large mp3 collection and find loading the entire thing into Traktors library 1) takes too long to load Traktor 2) I spend way too long finding tracks i cant remember the exact name of. Theres no point having tracks in there you will never use !

  10. #10
    Tech Mentor kidfromkibbly's Avatar
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    I've been wondering whether limiting my track selection would be a good thing as I'm only starting out DJing. In the same way that a vinyl DJ has to build up his collection, piece by piece, single by single, I've been thinking that it's time for me to select a set list to work from for a while and then start broadening my collection once I feel I have earned it by working the mix of my basic set list in every possible way that I can.
    17" MacBook Pro, 2.66 GHz i7, 4GB RAM; Vestax VCI-100, NI Audio Kontrol 1/ MBox Mini, M-Audio Oxygen 8, Beyerdynamic DT-150 cans; Pro Tools LE 8, Ableton Live 8, Logic Studio 9, Traktor Pro

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