I keep my folders organized by year/month (IE - 1211,1212, 1301) This keeps the folders somewhat managable with volume and browsing. Then, depending on the "energy" and "feel" of a track, I'll give them star ratings... 5 being peak time bangers, and 1 being an opening type of track. After that, I'll enter tags in the comment field to help when searching for sub-genres. For instance, if I pull up all my house tracks, I might want to find all my Latin House tracks. I'll tag the comment field with latin. If it's a techno track that has a really dark warehouse feel to it with a good build, I'll put "Dark/Warehouse/Build". Then I do a bit of redundancy, and I'll take my sub-genres (ie - latin house, deep house, tech-house), and throw those tracks into corresponding playlists. Then I can do more focused searches like going to my deep house playlist, and searching for comments like vocal or bouncy.
All of that is pretty much a back up though, as for gigs, I'll dig through my MP3's like I did my records years ago. I'll pull a "crate" for the night I have to play that lasts me a couple hours or so. Then if I feel like taking it a different direction, or the crowd isn't feeling the style I planned on playing, I can revert to searching through those playlists and keywords for what might work for where I need to take the music.
Hey Sobi, roughly how much time do you spend on this?
Originally Posted by sobi
It's essential to keep up with your organization on a very frequent basis ( EACH TIME you add new tracks is best).
Over time you'll save a ton of time.
All files go in similarly named folders:
Artist - Release[label][YEAR]
-monthly release favs (201X-01,201X-02 etc)
-genre/slot/mood favs (which evolves over time, 50-150 tracks per list)
-Smart Playlists (according to rating level=corresponding energy level). Rating means a keeper, unrated not so much.
I occasionally add comments(vox, long break, slow peak, etc)
Not so different than sobi's system(especially the star rating). But I don't do folder "categorizing" I find that confusing long term if you're having to go through various time periods/genres.
It's all organized in itunes, and some in Traktor, and I do some exporting on Rekordbox once or twice a month (I don't use Rekordbox gear too often, but I do keep up to date, 80-200 tracks on a usb key).
This all takes time, and sometimes you hate yourself WHY AM I DOING THIS? Vinyl is so easy....
But you get better and faster. 50 tracks are sorted tagged labelled/playlisted/beatgridded in maybe 30-60 minutes but I can go faster (I'll start making notes as I'm buying tracks so the sorting later on goes faster).
I don't buy tracks too often and will build shopping carts for a while before making a final purchase hence sometimes 50 tracks at once.
When playing I'll use a playlist as a starting/referencing point, including playlists made exclusively for a show... but I tend to bounce around and not stick to one at all. Very often, seeing a list will actually give me an idea for something else, so it's not pointless doing them.
It's only recently that I've forced myself to make some playlists and used them exclusively and not bounce around searching through my whole library. It helps focusing
This video is interesting