Starting Fresh... (Organization Tips for Library and Audio Files)
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  1. #1
    Tech Wizard
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    Default Starting Fresh... (Organization Tips for Library and Audio Files)

    What's up guys... been into dj'ing for almost 2 years ago and just upgraded my gear and am now looking for some tips on how to "upgrade" the organization of my audio files, library, and traktor pro 2.

    Came from Virtual DJ 7 and a Hercules RMX and recently picked up a Kontrol S4 with Traktor Pro 2. While I'm loving it so far, I really want to take this "transition" time to figure out the best way to organize my audio files and music library. I plan on picking up a macbook pro soon, and would like tips on the best way to keep my music files organized. Currently I download my music, run it through mixed in key, and then import it into Itunes where I have smart playlists - Files added in the last 1/3/6 months segregated by the bpm determined by mixed in key (A 125-132 bpm playlist, and 66-124bpm playlist (values above 132 halved.) When I use my music in traktor, I just use it through the iTunes file structure and don't import it to Traktor.

    Couple questions:

    - Whats the best way to organize your music for traktor Pro 2.
    - Do you recommend using iTunes and smart playlists?
    - What third party apps are used as good supplements for iTunes?
    - What sort of process do you go through when you download new music?
    - How do you rate you music? (using the 1-5 star scale)
    - What sort of smart playlists do you create?
    - More so regarding rating your music - I'm always using my iPod (classic) when I'm out and at the gym... so any tips on syncing rating my songs would be appreciated too.

    Thanks guys!
    trick

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  3. #3
    Tech Wizard
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    Thanks dual citizen; I checked these out. If anyone else has their own suggestions, they're definitely welcome!

  4. #4
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    - Whats the best way to organize your music for traktor Pro 2.

    - Using tight playlists & itunes.

    - Do you recommend using iTunes and smart playlists?

    - I use iTunes & Smart playlists for everything I do with djing.

    - What third party apps are used as good supplements for iTunes?

    - Mixed in Key is my companion for iTunes

    - What sort of process do you go through when you download new music?

    -Whenever I download a new song I will do the following: First run it through MIK, then place it in respectable playlists, next i'll open up Traktor and load the song up and beatgrid it as well as drop some cue points. Now with all this being done no matter when I play out the song i know it's harmonically ready, cued, and gridded for success!

    - How do you rate you music? (using the 1-5 star scale)

    -I use a rating system but I use one based on 3+ stars. I use to have 1 star for opening songs and 5 star for heat of the moment bangers. Now I use 3+ stars to display songs that I would normally play when the night is hot and the floor is full. I use my 3 star system now with the following references. 3 stars -this tune is good and keeps the crowd going. 4 stars - This song is awesome, I love dancing to this dj. 5 stars - OMG this dj just dropped that tune! I'm now going wild dancing and raging

    - What sort of smart playlists do you create?

    -when it comes to my playlist I start with 2 folders: Dj & others. In the Dj folder I have 4 more folders: uptempo, down tempo, tools, Save me. the uptempo and down tempo folders contain all my genres, i keep them simple (dnb, dubstep, dance, rock, pop, etc.) Now the best thing about this is the down tempo folder consists of tunes that I would play earlier in the night or closing. The uptempo being songs i would play at prime time of the night. Now whenever I dj I'll go to the uptempo or down tempo folders depending on time of the night, setting, etc. and i'm able to jump across genres easily knowing that the songs in the folders are all either up tempo or down. Now going back to my 3rd folder which is tools, I keep this folder full of playlists including acapellas, transition ups, transition downs, acapella outs, acapella ins, loops, samples, etc. The 4th folder "Save me" is my current top 20-30 songs that I know are straight up floorfillers, the cream of my crop, the holy grail of playlists, etc. This folder is mostly made for the times when i realize i have 15 seconds left of the current song and need another real quick and now realized I only have 5 seconds left and I can jump to this folder and know any of the songs are likely to be a hit to my crowds. My other main folder "other" is used to include tunes that i normally don't play out including but not limited too: wedding music, holiday music, group dancing, etc.


    - More so regarding rating your music - I'm always using my iPod (classic) when I'm out and at the gym... so any tips on syncing rating my songs would be appreciated too.

    - I use to try this and found it to be a headache that's why i dropped the "rating system" and incorporated my style because now when i listen to music or try to discover new music the only mindset I keep is would I play this during the prime of my set (uptempo) or in the beginning/end (down tempo). This has made my life a lot easier with regards to organizing music, I feel i no longer stress as much on how my tunes are laid out, searching for a specific song, etc. Granted I will periodically go through all my playlists and move songs from uptempo to down tempo and visa versa, as well as delete songs I no longer play. This keeps my shit fresh to death.

  5. #5
    Tech Mentor dual citizen's Avatar
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    I have a few difference processes, but here's my current system and it's the one I use the most. It's for individual songs, which is what I most commonly buy.

    1. Buy song off iTunes (and I'm always on the lookout for sales on iTunes cards)
    2. Right click on song and select "Show in Finder"
    3. Delete Entry from iTunes
    4. Go to Finder window and rename file to "ARTIST - SONG TITLE"
    5. Drag into a folder called "DOWNLOADS 2012" I also have folders for 2010 and 2011. I then delete the folder iTunes created for the song. (I haven't figured out how to stop iTunes from creating artist/album folders when it downloads mp4s.)
    5. Drag from "DOWNLOADS (YEAR)" folder into a playlist in iTunes with the same name. The playlist is sorted by Date Added. I also check the ID3 tag and change the genre name to be uniform with my system.
    6. Now, when I open Traktor, I have a playlist in my favorites where all the songs are in the order I downloaded them.
    7. From there I drag the song into a deck, let it analyze, and set cue points at the first drop in the song with a load marker 8 beats before that and another cue point 16 beats before the drop. I always use cue point 3 for the drop (fade in marker) and cue point 2 eight beats before the drop (load marker), so I always know where to find them without looking at the deck.
    8. Then I drag the song into one of several Traktor playlists. My Traktor playlists names include Rap, R&B, Indie Dance, 100 BPMish, Beatdown (for older disco/funk type tracks), and so on.

    Seems like a needlessly complicated process, but it pays off in the end because I know where everything is without having to think about it.

    One more thing.

    I map a button on my Launchpad to search my iTunes library. All my songs are in the iTunes library. I just put the Library in Favorite slot one in Traktor, and map a button to select that Favorite slot, select search and clear search. With one button I can search every song I own super quickly.

    I don't use star rating system or smart playlists. Everytime I try using star ratings, I change my mind over what the number of stars mean, and that breaks the entire system unless I go back and change everything, so I stopped using it. I do have one smart playlist, but it's mainly for listening to music on my iPhone. It's just all songs added to my phone, sorted by date added. That way I can remember if I added something other than a single song to my "DOWNLOADS (YEAR)" playlist.

    Hope that helps!

  6. #6
    Tech Wizard
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    Helps a lot guys thanks! Dual Citizen - Your tips on where to set cue points were very helpful, and sterilize I liked your tips on uptempo/downtempo.

    One question for you, sterilize, how do you incorporate your smart playlists into this? It seems like you're manually placing your tunes into your playlists.

    Thanks!
    trick

  7. #7
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    (I haven't figured out how to stop iTunes from creating artist/album folders when it downloads mp4s.)

    i have been trying to figure this out to ... soo bloodying annoying!!!

  8. #8
    Tech Guru keeb's Avatar
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    Post #400
    Quote Originally Posted by dj sterilize View Post
    - Whats the best way to organize your music for traktor Pro 2.

    - Using tight playlists & itunes.
    ...
    This keeps my shit fresh to death.
    +1, especially on the smart playlists and the playlist folders. Those are HUGE - I recently discovered the folders and I couldn't be happier because I was getting to the point where I wanted more playlists for genres/energy levels but my playlists were already so numerous I had to spend significant time even looking through them to begin with.

    What I do for mine, aside from what's been mentioned, is I made a smart playlist for incoming music. So after I've downloaded a bunch of tracks, I'll throw them into my music folder and drag them into my iTunes library. Since I have the smart playlist set up, anything after a certain date that I set shows up in my "incoming music" playlist. This lets me listen to all of my new tracks, delete/separate out ones I don't like/don't like for DJing, and then put the rest of the new tunes into my other organized playlists. This makes it so that a) I can make sure all of my new music gets categorized correctly and b) I don't have to categorize it immediately when I download it. Once I've sorted everything I change the date for the smart playlist to be the day I organized it, and nothing I've added before that date will show up on that playlist while everything I've added after that date will show. Occasionally (about once a month or so) I'll back up all of my music to an external, and when I do that I put the files into folders titled by playlist. That way, if iTunes shits the bed I at least have another hard copy backup of my playlists. I also, obviously, export the playlists - that I do about once a week when I remember to.

  9. #9
    Tech Wizard
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    Quote Originally Posted by keeb View Post
    Post #400


    +1, especially on the smart playlists and the playlist folders. Those are HUGE - I recently discovered the folders and I couldn't be happier because I was getting to the point where I wanted more playlists for genres/energy levels but my playlists were already so numerous I had to spend significant time even looking through them to begin with.

    What I do for mine, aside from what's been mentioned, is I made a smart playlist for incoming music. So after I've downloaded a bunch of tracks, I'll throw them into my music folder and drag them into my iTunes library. Since I have the smart playlist set up, anything after a certain date that I set shows up in my "incoming music" playlist. This lets me listen to all of my new tracks, delete/separate out ones I don't like/don't like for DJing, and then put the rest of the new tunes into my other organized playlists. This makes it so that a) I can make sure all of my new music gets categorized correctly and b) I don't have to categorize it immediately when I download it. Once I've sorted everything I change the date for the smart playlist to be the day I organized it, and nothing I've added before that date will show up on that playlist while everything I've added after that date will show. Occasionally (about once a month or so) I'll back up all of my music to an external, and when I do that I put the files into folders titled by playlist. That way, if iTunes shits the bed I at least have another hard copy backup of my playlists. I also, obviously, export the playlists - that I do about once a week when I remember to.
    This is really really good stuff. I like this method and will probably do something similar (regarding the incoming music smart playlist) along with a combination of what's been mentioned. Thanks!

    *Edit - Also guys any tips on where to place the cue points? Someone had mentioned 8 bars before the drop, 16 bars - etc. Anyone else have any tips on this? Thanks!
    Last edited by tricks; 03-12-2012 at 07:02 PM.

  10. #10
    Tech Guru Zaniac's Avatar
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    http://forum.djtechtools.com/showthread.php?t=39792

    this is something I wrote a while ago. may be of some guidance
    "Wow! I wanna be just like your friend! Thats honestly what i told my mom and dad when i was about 11 years old...i said when i grow up i wanna dj for rich people"

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