Page 1 of 6 123456 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 136

Thread: Sorting your collection, long and fraught with opinionation.

  1. #1
    Outraged bystander markwoll's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    1,616

    Sorting your collection, long and fraught with opinionation.

    After several years of hauling boxes of cd's back from festivals, abusing my wallet at Wayside, and trying to support bands by buying their merch I am faced with a minor Herculean task.
    I had let everything just pile up.
    When new music enters the house, the first order of business is to rip the cd onto a NAS for my squeezebox system.
    It then usually drives around with me in the car for a while.
    Then it would just get set down as more cd's have entered the house and need 'attention'.
    It is time for Sorting and Storing and fitting the new in with the old.
    I have shelf space for about 1300 single jewel cases so I can potentially store a few more due to paper slip cases and digi-pacs. Minus a few due to double cd's and box sets.
    My burden is much lighter than others as my collection numbers fewer than 2000 cd's ( at least for a while )
    The collection is predominantly physical. I resist downloads, but if that is the only way, then download I must.
    I want to organize things in a semi coherent fashion, the alphabet is your friend.
    I though about grouping by genre, or common band membership. Stinky can of worms.
    First letter of the Artists last name, first letter of the Band ( dropping the The )
    That was easy.
    What about bands/artists that use numbers or punctuation marks for the first character of the band name?
    How about compilations, samplers, tributes, re-mixes, ( the dreaded Various ) , Classical?

    Some discs will be denied shelf space and will be relegated to storage boxes ( I have room for 300 or so )
    Hard choices for those. Out of sight, out of mind. Space is at a bit of a premium, and the collection will continue to grow.

    So after that gust of wind, how do you handle the 'outliers' in your collection? Understanding that for some folks the outliers are the meat of the collection.
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
    -- Aristotle
    Nostalgia, you know, ain't what it used to be. Furthermore, they tells me, it never was.
    "The future will be better tomorrow." Dan Quayle

  2. #2
    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    southern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,298
    For me, I have five main sections: Prog, Italian prog (kept separate because I have a lot and it's easier to find the one-offs when they have their own shelf), jazz/fusion, a miscellaneous shelf (Classic rock, hard rock/metal, others) and a separate shelf for Genesis and all members' solo output. In total, somewhere between 2500-3000 CDs.

    The Prog shelf is the biggest, and is done A-Z. Simple. The Italian shelf starts with PFM, Le Orme and Banco, continues on with the other 70s classics, then into the later/modern Italian stuff. Genesis shelf is simply by chronological release date. Jazz shelf is Miles first, then all the biggies (Weather Report, RTF, Mahavishnu, Brand X, Passport), then the solo careers, then assorted titles. Classic rock/metal is in no real order, it's the least important stuff to me. Beatles, Bowie, Zeppelin, Maiden, Metallica, Dio, etc.
    Two boys have been found rubbing linseed oil into the school cormorant.

  3. #3
    Moderator Poisoned Youth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Nothern Virginia, USA
    Posts
    1,622
    You have to do what works for you and so you can find it when you need it. There is no right way.

    Mine is somewhat convoluted but it works for me:

    Genre: 4 separations - Prog, jazz, indie/classic rock, classical

    Prog is categorized alphabetically by country/region - then alphabetically, sorted by year of release. For groups like Yes with lots of solo output, I'll include the solo work with the main group.

    Jazz is mostly alphabetically and year of release. However, I have a few major labels like ECM separated.

    Indie/rock is alphabetical and year of release.

    Classical is alphabetical (but don't have all that much to sort).
    WANTED: Sig-worthy quote.

  4. #4
    I have been storing all my CD's in 300 CD carriages( - the ones that let you play one song at a time at random). Trouble is, now two of those have gone on the fritz, and I do need to replace them every decade or so. I just try to keep a loose handle on where certain things are, but I have everything on hard disks (backed up to the cloud) and also on my cell phone, which is sadly, where I listen the most, on ear buds or external speaker.

    I am a database guy, and If I had to do it again , I would simply store the CD's at random, adding new disks at the end of the physical pile, assigning an incremented number, and use an excel spreadsheet to keep things organized. Since I actually access the CD's so seldomly, that would probably be the most efficient way. With a spreadsheet, you can sort by anything, - Artist, Musicians, date of release, subject, Genre, Label, Indie releases... and never have to move a single disk. Even a list of all time favorites for future situations where I choose to participate in some of the lengthy lists of bands, artists.. whatever here on PE. All I would have to do is pull up the spreadsheet and cut and paste, perhaps do some research and perhaps add a tab occasionally. All the time never actually touching or disturbing my beloved CD's and remaining cassettes and Vinyl as well.
    I got nothin'

    ...avoiding any implication that I have ever entertained a cognizant thought.

  5. #5
    Outraged bystander markwoll's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    1,616
    I get the database thing. The LMS ( squeezebox ) has a pretty fast sqlite db, and there are some applications folks have written to extract data.
    There is something I like about looking over the ( physical ) collection to see if something catches my fancy.
    The db gives me instant access to the music, but having visual cues to jog my memory is nice too.
    I can see how appending to the collection as it grows makes storage easier, you don't have to keep slack space for new discs.
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
    -- Aristotle
    Nostalgia, you know, ain't what it used to be. Furthermore, they tells me, it never was.
    "The future will be better tomorrow." Dan Quayle

  6. #6
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    5,186
    Quote Originally Posted by Poisoned Youth View Post
    You have to do what works for you and so you can find it when you need it. There is no right way.
    Yes, everyone's brain works differently. The goal is to not lose stuff in the racks.

    For me, strict alphabetical was the only method that works, since my favorite music is cross-genre.

    Punctuation marks and numbers are alphabetized as if spelled out.

    Some solo albums -- if I'm not intimately familiar with the band members' names -- are filed with the band, not under the solo artist's name. Whatever I'll remember. If I get 2-3 by that guy and he becomes a 'fixture' in my collection I'll generally move him to his own letter.

    Movie soundtracks by movie name, unless I'll remember it better by the composer.

    Classical by composer unless it's a compilation, like oboe music or music of the Middle Ages. All my pipe organ discs a under 'O.'

    "Music and Rhythm" is under "M" but "Music for Ondes Martinot" is under "O."

    Whatever works for you....

  7. #7
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    5,186
    Quote Originally Posted by Yodelgoat View Post
    With a spreadsheet, you can sort by anything, - Artist, Musicians, date of release, subject, Genre, Label, Indie releases....
    Loading the database would be a daunting task. And it's a black hole -- do you enter recording date or release date? Do you enter label name and catalog number? Do you enter all the musicians names and what instruments they played? Composers of the songs? Lengths of the songs? Lyrics?

    Where do you stop?

  8. #8
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Mesa, Arizona
    Posts
    763
    I have my CD collection ripped in FLAC format to a 2TB external drive. Then I play the FLACs through my Sony Blu-Ray player in full CD quality. I never have to fumble with CDs (or carriages) to listen, and I have the added benefit of ID3 tags to tell me which song is playing.

    It would be just as easy to stream FLACs from a NAS, using a streaming player that supports the FLAC format.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

  9. #9
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    small town in ND
    Posts
    3,276
    The CDs start off with box sets/DVDs that are too fall to fit the rack plus all my Zeppelin and Dylan, then all rock is organized alphabetically. Solo acts by last name, bands by name (minus 'the'). Then I break it down to order of release. Jazz, ambient, blues, and classical are separate with classical broken down by label. LPs are in similar order.

    My wife just sorts her shit into James Taylor first and then everything else in no particular order. This is the pathway to madness.
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

  10. #10
    I work just alphabetical. Tributes to groups, are with the group, solo-albums under the name of the musician. If a solo-artist works with different ensembles, everything is just chronological under the name of the main artist. Classical is under composer. If there are more composers on one CD it goes under various, at the end of the collection, unless everything is performed by the same artist, then I put it under the artists name. Or, if I bought something for one composer and it has an additional track by another composer, I put it under the main composer.

  11. #11
    Member mellotron storm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Wasaga Beach
    Posts
    172
    My system is far from perfect, I still find myself looking all over for certain cds. Anyway I organize by sub-genres and alphabetical.
    I keep Jazz and Canterbury together. Krautrock, Psychedelic and Electronic together.
    Neo-Prog is seperate as is Post-Rock and RPI. I have a Metal section. I do keep the classics together as far as Symphonic and beyond goes as in King Crimson, Genesis, Yes, VDGG etc. I've got a Rio/ Avant section that includes Zeuhl. The there's this big section of all the rest which makes this system far from perfect. I just don't believe in the Crossover, Eclectic subs that PA has although it helps me have an idea of what a band in that section is about somewhat. And I do seperate a band's discography if some of their music is Psychedelic and the rest something else for example like Porcupine Tree.
    "The wind is slowly tearing her apart"
    Sad Rain
    Anekdoten

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    106
    Quote Originally Posted by markwoll View Post
    How about compilations, samplers, tributes, re-mixes, ( the dreaded Various ) , Classical?
    About classical:

    Although I don’t access my music collection much, here’s an aspect (or idea) about classical worth pointing out, one that you might find helpful regardless of how frequently a music collection is to be actually accessed, since this idea is fairly generic. For classical CDs, if you do go with alphabetical-by-composer as the primary logic (used by many incl me, rather than say alphabetical-by-performer), obviously it is a logic that really only works for CDs-with-only-one-composer, and accordingly you might decide to separate from that group the CDs-with-2-or-3-composers bunch because this bunch is really in high numbers out there, much like the “CDs-with-only-one-composer” is. Or to put it this way, it is quite possible that the classical you already have (and/or will have in the future) will actually happen to fall mainly into those two categories (by nature of the classical CDs that are out there), and so at some point you might find it worthwhile to make them separate categories, along with “compilation-classical-CDs” as a third category (which could be defined as the case where a CD has *more than* 2-or-3 composers). Otherwise (that is, if you try to merge those two first groups into a single group by forcing alphabetical-sorting on the second group via going with a CD’s first-listed composer), the second composer’s stuff on that 2-composer CD might pretty much become unnoticeable to you (and vanish from consideration).

    This particular 3-categories idea can actually be used both in the small-collection and big-collection cases. But perhaps differently, as follows. In the small-collection case, the 3 categories can be the only categories and you’re all done. In the big-collection case, you can define any category you want (for example, might decide to separate symphonies from concertos, before resorting to alphabetical sorting, just so that not everything has to be stored in the same physical area) and then would be able to use the 3 categories as subcategories.

    Example: So, say you want to find John Doe’s 2nd Symphony occurrence(s) *anywhere within your collection* (and especially if you’re not using a database on the side to help you). Then, apart from looking for that Symphony in your “one-composer CDs” category (very easily and quickly, alphabetically), you’d need to look for that Symphony within CDs that have multiple composers, and for that very task (that is, for that particular secondary-search task), you’d now be facing a much smaller list of CDs to deal with (than if you had instead merged one-composer and multi-composer CDs into one single category) -- that's pretty much how this idea would help.

  13. #13
    Member Vic2012's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    La Florida
    Posts
    3,451
    I just added 3 more CDs to my collection. I've never counted my CDs or made a database or anything. I'd estimate I have about a thousand CDs. I just have 'em in boxes. I've sorted them in alphabetical order but I've given up keeping them in order. 1000 CDs is manageable.

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    The Right Coast
    Posts
    365
    Everyone seems to have their own idea. Whatever works for you is the right idea. I have my CD's broken into 4 sections.
    1) Rock/pop/instrumental. this section is a catch all for anything that doesn't fit the other three.
    2) Jazz including fusion
    3) classical
    4) Christmas

    All are then sorted by group (or in classicals case by composer), then by release date. Solo works are separate from their main group. Jon Anderson is under 'A', Yes under 'Y'. The only exception is the Alan Parsons Project also contains Eric Woolfson, Freudiana and Alan Parsons. If I didn't then the one Woolfson album and Freudiana get 'lost'. Compilations go to the back of their section. Very important with Classical music as their may be 10 composers on a disc.

    I had different groupings that I tried that didn't work for me. Jazz and rock used to be together and New Age/instrumental used to be another section, pop was a 3rd and then Classical and Christmas. I found the Miles Davis, Mahavishnu Orchestra ok but lesser well known jazz related were getting lost in the rock section. Out of sight is out of mind. Also if a rock group had a Christmas album, and a jazz related album and pop albums, it was crazy to split the group into different sections ( example Chicago). YMMV
    Last edited by Tangram; 01-29-2017 at 04:25 PM.

  15. #15
    I'm here for the moosic NogbadTheBad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    4,729
    I do everything alphabetical and then by year of release, there's a bunch of 'least listened to' in storage bins in the basement but it's a pretty irrelevant differentiation as most stuff gets ripped once, spends a couple of weeks in the car, then goes into storage never to be seen again. Numerical goes after Z, and compilations/various go after numberical. So it's ZZ Top, 3 Mice, 5UU's, ReR Sampler.
    Ian

    I blame Wynton, what was the question?
    There are only 10 types of people in the World, those who understand binary and those that don't.

  16. #16
    You folks are way too orderly. My living room looks like the cover of Zappa's Lost Episodes CD.

  17. #17
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    5,186
    Quote Originally Posted by mellotron storm View Post
    And I do seperate a band's discography if some of their music is Psychedelic and the rest something else for example like Porcupine Tree.
    I think this puts FAR too much weight into categorizations which are, in the best of times, fuzzy.

  18. #18
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    5,186
    Quote Originally Posted by Vic2012 View Post
    1000 CDs is manageable.
    Eight or ten times that is not

  19. #19
    I'm here for the moosic NogbadTheBad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    4,729
    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Eight or ten times that is not
    Not only would I need a new house, I'd need a new wife.
    Ian

    I blame Wynton, what was the question?
    There are only 10 types of people in the World, those who understand binary and those that don't.

  20. #20

    Sorting your collection, long and fraught with opinionation.

    I just had a massive tidy up after years of disorder. Now I am A-Z but in two locations. I have a subset of c 500 best loved and more recent in my lounge and the rest c 3,000 in my study. Having tidied up I vowed the collection was complete and I would concentrate on rediscovering old tunes. Since then (3 weeks ago) I have bought 8 cd's and the Hillage box set!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  21. #21
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Brussels
    Posts
    3,059
    Living over two (even three) different places is a pain to have properly organized shelves, and sometimes I take wine crates (part of my shelves are made from lightly modified wooden wine crates) of CDs from one place (Brussels is my place of choice) or the other (Northern Holland, where I work, or even my Ardennes hideout). I keep whatever vinyls I still have together in Brussels, though. Someday, I will have rationalize my life and lifestyle (most likely at retirement age), and I will have regroup everything in one room. That oughta be mega fun...

    More likey somewhat well above 2000 items, but over my lifetime so far, I bought around 5 times that much, but I got/get rid of plenty of stuff (sometimes after making XL-IIS or CD-r compilations) to keep only the essential (IMHO, of course)


    4 big genre separations - Prog, jazz, indie/classic rock, other

    Prog is by country/region - then artistic/friendly affinities and prog subgenre (keeping the Canterbury together). Solo albums by a member, I'll include the them next to the group. And then the albums are organized chronologically. Inside a country, I will also keep a decade timeline in mind: for Belgium, I'll keep Placebo and Cos together (70's), UZ and Present as well (+/- 80's), but I will definitely move a little further away X-Legged Sally, DAAU, Finnegan's wake and Aranis, because they're 90's and 00's bands. In terms of shelf space, I'd say prog is roughly 45 ti 50% of it.

    Jazz is mostly moving through the timeline for artiste as to which decade they belong better. Obviously Mingus and Trane are close together as 60's. But oddly enough, I tend to class Miles and Tyner McCoy more as a 70's jazz artiste (the majority of the albums I own re 70's) Roughly jazz is 30%, and probably the fastest growing part of my collection in the 10's.

    Indie/rock is first by genre (keeping Zep, Sab and Purple not far away from each other and again a form of timeline through the decades. (same with Police, U2 , Dire Straits & The Jam >> yeah, I know DS in that crowd is a bit weird) this is roughly 15 to 20% of my stuff

    the rest (include classical, Brel, Nougaro, ethnic etc) is more of a pot pourri, but it remains a small part of my collection (some 5 to 10%, big max)

    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Loading the database would be a daunting task. And it's a black hole -- do you enter recording date or release date? Do you enter label name and catalog number? Do you enter all the musicians names and what instruments they played? Composers of the songs? Lengths of the songs? Lyrics?

    Where do you stop?
    I'll stop at a papersheet geographical map displaying mostly what genre is where.....

    Whiiiiiiich, I will do once I will rationalize my life into one place and one room (my "study" or "bureau", I guess it will be called) which will be holding my books (important space needed as well) and video (fairly minor, and 90% musically-oriented)
    Last edited by Trane; 01-30-2017 at 05:42 AM.
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from heroin-addicts to crazy ones

  22. #22
    Howdy Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    42°09′30″N 71°08′43″W
    Posts
    2,437
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    You folks are way too orderly. My living room looks like the cover of Zappa's Lost Episodes CD.
    So there's a purple guy hanging down from the ceiling smearing his snot on your window?

  23. #23
    I organize everything by color. The only albums I can find with any certainty are The Beatles White Album and Spinal Tap's Smell the Glove.

    Just kidding. I have two groupings, Prog and Rock, which I then order alphabetically by artist (dropping the "The" or "Il"). I also have a small number of jazz, classical and other albums that I group out as well, but they don't take up much volume. Numerical artists go first, just like they'd sort on a spreadsheet - and I do maintain my collection on a spreadsheet. I don't have as large collections as some here, but if I did, I'd probably do it the same basic way.

    Bill

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Yes, everyone's brain works differently. The goal is to not lose stuff in the racks.

    For me, strict alphabetical was the only method that works, since my favorite music is cross-genre.

    Punctuation marks and numbers are alphabetized as if spelled out.
    Agreed, that’s the only way I’ll find anything. My tastes are too diverse and geared towards eclecticism to make genre distinctions. Classical stuff just gets lumped in with the regular stuff, alphabetized by composer name. It’s sub-filed by artist in chronological order of release, from oldest to newest. Various artists records get filed after the Zs, alphabetical by title. I alphabetize as in English, so Änglagård gets filed between Ange and Anima, not after Z. And this “numerals get filed before the letter A” business makes me want to punch things. 10cc belongs in the “T” section, dammit!
    Confirmed Bachelors: the dramedy hit of 1883...

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Progbear View Post
    Agreed, that’s the only way I’ll find anything. My tastes are too diverse and geared towards eclecticism to make genre distinctions. Classical stuff just gets lumped in with the regular stuff, alphabetized by composer name. It’s sub-filed by artist in chronological order of release, from oldest to newest. Various artists records get filed after the Zs, alphabetical by title. I alphabetize as in English, so Änglagård gets filed between Ange and Anima, not after Z. And this “numerals get filed before the letter A” business makes me want to punch things. 10cc belongs in the “T” section, dammit!
    More or less the same with me, though various artists are mostly chronological and on genre, and/or the series they fit in, like the SI samplers, the Prog samplers, or 'Twee meter sessies' (which contains acoustic performances of various artists)

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •