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judicata
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How do YOU organize your lp/cd collection?

I hadn't seen this discussed, and since it seems to be a clich

JSBach
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Re: How do YOU organize your lp/cd collection?


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I'm interested in how people organize their classical and jazz. I don't have very many classical/jazz LPs, so they're just kind of sitting in some shelves. I was thinking chronological makes the most since, especially in classical where it is often described by its period. It would also be educational. Then again, composer, label, and performer all make sense too.


I use Microsoft's Excel (for Mac OS X) and file LP & CD's under composer for classical or performer for Jazz if it's the artists own 'work'. If a disk contains more than one composer/artist responsible for a work/performance I file it under the name of the one whose first letter is earliest in the alphabet with additional entries filed under each subsequent name. I have a column titled "filed under" that tells me where a disk is located physically in my collection so, if say I have an LP with JSBach, Mozart & Wolf compositions on it it will be filed under 'B' with entries under 'M' & 'W' with the annotation for each of the last two telling me,' Filed under JS BACH'. Hope that makes sense. I also have columns on the spreadsheets for Conductor, soloist, choir, orchestra, recording quality etc that enables me to locate individual performers by using Excel's search facility. So if I want to have Excel construct a list of, say, all the recordings I have with The New York Philharmonic I can do so. I can also check if a particular recording is good enough to play to visiting audiophools by referring to the 'recording quality' column. This process though requires a bit of knowledge about how to use Microsoft 'Excel' or whatever spreadsheet program you want to use. For some people that's a pain in the arse. For me it's been a fun learning curve that paid dividends in the work place.
With a collection of 12,125 LP's and 1,679 CD, s plus cassettes this process may seem very time consuming to some but believe me it's saved my sanity and satisfies the insurance company who will pay out nothing if I don't list the lot with them BEFORE a theft takes place.

tomjtx
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Re: How do YOU organize your lp/cd collection?

I rip all my Cds lossless to an external 500gb HardDrive and then back that up to another HD.
I use Itunes to rip and tag and stream through my Transporter (sounds better than my previous 7,000 DAC Transport combo)

My remote is my Itouch with the Ipeng software which runs the Transporter.

I got rid of my CDP and I will never go back.

My large LP collection has no organization other than Where TF did I put that LP, G#d Dammit

If only I had magic goblins to organize my LPs like Itunes does I would exist in a perfect state of zen bliss.

bifcake
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Re: How do YOU organize your lp/cd collection?

I organize my rock collection alphabetically and chronologically. So, if I have 10 Clapton CDs, they will be arranged chronologically, but Clapton will be placed Alphabetically among other CDs.

My Classical collection is separate and that's stored chronologically and alphabetically. Meaning that the overall collection starts with renaissance music and ends with modern works, but a within a particular period, I have it arranged alphabetically by composer.

judicata
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Re: How do YOU organize your lp/cd collection?

If I had more than about 200 classical LPs, I think I'd have to have a spreadsheet. If I had more than 1,000 records overall, I'm sure I'd have to do that too, otherwise I'd just be lost.

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Re: How do YOU organize your lp/cd collection?


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I organize my rock collection alphabetically and chronologically. So, if I have 10 Clapton CDs, they will be arranged chronologically, but Clapton will be placed Alphabetically among other CDs.

My Classical collection is separate and that's stored chronologically and alphabetically. Meaning that the overall collection starts with renaissance music and ends with modern works, but a within a particular period, I have it arranged alphabetically by composer.

I'm very similar to Alex (in this respect.) For me it's alphabetical by artist's LAST name (the fact that iTunes does it by first name has always annoyed me) and then chronologically by ORIGINAL release date for the album, including Greatest Hits.

Buddha
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Re: How do YOU organize your lp/cd collection?

For CD, alphabetically by however I like to list things....and LP's in random order.

After playing LP's for a week, I just clump what I was listening to and fit it somewhere.

For CD's, the wife and kids like to play them, so order is more called for so they don't waste time.

No further organization, though. I figure, once someone gets to Neil Young, it won't take much extra time to find American Stars and Bars within that group.

Colnmary
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Re: How do YOU organize your lp/cd collection?

I keep all my CDs in drawers in alphabetical order of artist/band/compliation names etc etc. If I have multiple items by the same band/artist, I just put the ones I listen to most often at the front of the pile of tghe artist.

simple and effective.

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Re: How do YOU organize your lp/cd collection?


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I keep all my CDs in drawers in alphabetical order of artist/band/compliation names etc etc. If I have multiple items by the same band/artist, I just put the ones I listen to most often at the front of the pile of tghe artist.

simple and effective.

I cheat, too.

Treat Her Right is in the Morphine section, and Buena Vista Social Club is in the Ry Cooder area.

Mike Ness solo discs are in with Social Distortion, but Lennon/McCartney/Harrison/Starr have their own areas.

Talking Heads are in the "T's" and Alice Cooper is in the "C's."

The only group I file in the "T's" under "the..." is The The.

For classical discs I go by composer, so Winton playing Hadyn is in the "H's."

For classical discs with performances from multiple composers, I file them according to which composer's piece I think is the most intersting.

Idiosyncratic.

quadlover
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Re: How do YOU organize your lp/cd collection?

I post to excel spreadsheet by catagory as listed on itunes and then sort alphabetically. If a box set, special pressing, limited edition, remaster, ...etc... I note on comments line and then sort alphabetically and keep a copy of the list (updated every couple of months in my fire proof box and give a copy of the list and picture of my dvd's, cd's, records, tapes to my insurance rep to keep on file for safe keeping.

I have found that noting on this list if an item is checked out or loaned to a friend to enjoy, helps me to know where it is.

I take it 1 step further to record all audio & video equipment by name, model, and serial number if available. I include all cables, ipods, headphones and cabinets. It is amazing how easy it is to keep up and my insurance rep loves it for declaration purposes. Hardest part was starting these inventories. It takes less than 15-20 minutes a month to update.

Photos are kept of each piece as well.

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Re: How do YOU organize your lp/cd collection?


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If I had more than about 200 classical LPs, I think I'd have to have a spreadsheet. If I had more than 1,000 records overall, I'm sure I'd have to do that too, otherwise I'd just be lost.

My friend Stew has over 1500 classical CDs and another 1000 LPs. He wound up buying a database application specifically geared to classical music filing and tracking. It took him about 3 months to enter all the CDs into the database, but now, he's able to find any CD, he knows what he's got and if he lends a CD to someone, he knows what's outstanding.

judicata
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Re: How do YOU organize your lp/cd collection?

That has to be handy. The problem is, while I've listened to classical music for years and probably know more about it than the average person you talk to on the street, I really don't know it as well as probably any of you guys do (those of you who listen to classical music that is). So if I have too many more classical LPs, I'll have to keep a list on my Bberry or something just so I don't buy the same thing twice.

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Re: How do YOU organize your lp/cd collection?

Alex, what's the name of the spreadsheet Stew uses? For me, I break up the classical into big categories: orchestral (I include concertos here, too), instrumental solo, chamber, opera, song/choral. Kind of like how the classical music review mags organize their reviews. For instrumental solo & song recitals, I alphabetize according to artist. For orchestral, chamber, opera, I alphabetize according to composer... confusing for some, maybe, but keeps me organized.

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Re: How do YOU organize your lp/cd collection?

Broad categories, then alphabetical. For instance All Jazz, all Rock, All Classical. Blues and Folk sort of meld with rock, etc. Between CD and vinyl I must have around 1500 albums and anything else would get way too confusing for me.

It's not a perfect system, but works well most of the time. I keep heavy rotation stuff, or things I want to give more play kind of out somewhere I can leaf through.

When I had smaller collection I'd organize by time, genre and my own weird intuitive association. Example Moody New Wave would have: Smiths, Cure, Joy Division etc.

The book and film of High Fidelity shows just how obsessive all this music categorization can get! Love it...

Record Organization

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Re: How do YOU organize your lp/cd collection?

All this talk of mixing Excel and music is grossing me out.

Good topic, though.

My CDs are organized alphabetically, by first name. Bruce Springsteen, Beck, and the Boredoms are all in "B," for instance. My LPs are a complete mess right now, organized by listening frequency or latest purchases.

bifcake
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Re: How do YOU organize your lp/cd collection?


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Alex, what's the name of the spreadsheet Stew uses?

He uses the Music Collector from CollectorZ

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Re: How do YOU organize your lp/cd collection?


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My CDs are organized alphabetically, by first name.


This is an on-going problem for me too, because I see no way to deal with compilations. And for classical music, who is the artist anyway? The conductor or the composer? If the composer, then what about CDs that have one symphony by Beethoven and another by Brahms?

As a partial solution I have separate areas for pop music and classical, and my wife has a little piece of one shelf for Xmas holiday CDs. I'm a computer programmer, but I refuse to enter all my CDs into a computer!

--Ethan

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Re: How do YOU organize your lp/cd collection?

I stack them up.

linden518
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Re: How do YOU organize your lp/cd collection?


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And for classical music, who is the artist anyway? The conductor or the composer? If the composer, then what about CDs that have one symphony by Beethoven and another by Brahms?


Ethan, the "artist" in classical album usually connotes the performer, not the composer. So sometimes it's easier to sort by performers/conductors rather than composers, since there are usually multiple composers but single or singular-entity performer(s). That's why a lot of classical record stores will sort by soloists or conductors or singers... hey, aren't you supposed to be the industry expert? Too busy being 'tied down'?

ethanwiner
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Re: How do YOU organize your lp/cd collection?


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Ethan, the "artist" in classical album usually connotes the performer, not the composer.


Understood, but I have many CDs with various artists all playing the same composer, and vice versa.


Quote:
Too busy being 'tied down'?


Yes, but please don't tell my wife.

--Ethan

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Re: How do YOU organize your lp/cd collection?

"This is an on-going problem for me too, because I see no way to deal with compilations."

I just a have section for soundtracks and compilations and then organize by title.

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Re: How do YOU organize your lp/cd collection?

If I purchased a soundtrack, compilation, or tribute album for a particular artist's contribution it is filed under that artist. If there were more than artist whose work I wanted it gets filed under my favorite of those artists.

Classical music gets filed alphabetically by composer with solo instrumentals being first, small ensambles (such as string quartets) next, and full scale orchestral works being last. It works for me because very, very few of my classical albums have works by more than one composer.

ethanwiner
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Re: How do YOU organize your lp/cd collection?


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very, very few of my classical albums have works by more than one composer.


Understood. I have a lot of cello and violin soloist recordings, and it's common for a player to feature works by several composers on one CD.

--Ethan

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Re: How do YOU organize your lp/cd collection?


Quote:

Quote:
very, very few of my classical albums have works by more than one composer.


Understood. I have a lot of cello and violin soloist recordings, and it's common for a player to feature works by several composers on one CD.

--Ethan


Ethan dear, we know programmers don't like to dirty their hands with boring spreadsheets but your problem is simple to solve in Excel, or any similar program. Simply create separate columns for Composer, Work, Conductor, Orchestra, Soloist(s), record number/company etc and using the spreadsheets search facility ( Another process beneath any programmer's exalted skills ?) you can call up a list of all entries for a particular soloist, composer, record label etc. Simple really. All you have to do now is up-grade your touch typing skills or pay someone to do the data entry for you.
Maybe to make things interesting you could write a few 'Macros' in Mr Gates Excel spaghetti code or Mr Jobs saner Unix equivalent?

KBK
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Re: How do YOU organize your lp/cd collection?

the best method?

Never organize your records.

EVER.

You will listen to FAR MORE MUSIC if it is unorganized. You will have to search for what you want, and in the effort, you will listen to many records.

Perfection is for wiping your butt and legal forms - in no particular order. Leave the LP's messy.

JSBach
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Re: How do YOU organize your lp/cd collection?


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the best method?
Never organize your records.
EVER.
You will listen to FAR MORE MUSIC if it is unorganized. You will have to search for what you want, and in the effort, you will listen to many records.
Perfection is for wiping your butt and legal forms - in no particular order. Leave the LP's messy.


Nonsense, with my collection if I didn't organize them I'd be buried under all 12,125 LP's and 1,679 CD,s. Besides, my insurance company will not cover a single LP, CD or whatever unless each and every one is listed with them BEFORE I make a claim. With a few like my Beatles White Album worth silly money I don't blame them. And besides, us classical snobs like to have these musical evenings when we play something like 3 or 4 performances of the same work. I can then hand the visiting musicophiles the laptop to choose which performances they want to hear. The laptop is also handy for an old fool like me with a failing memory. If someone asks "What have you got with the Upper Mongolian String Quartet in C Minor" I only have to look it up with Excel for Mac's search engine. Additionally when I'm shopping for used LP's I take the laptop with me. That way I avoid making duplicate purchases. As recording companies have a nasty habit of releasing the same performance with different graphics this is a real risk.
I also go through fads for particular composers and particular types of music. So, if I come over all 'Brahms chamber workish' I simply grab a random handful from that section on my shelves.

More music? Although I have a huge garden & animals to look after and many other interests, I still manage on average 5 hours of uninterrupted listening each day plus background listening, seven days a week - do you KBK?

commsysman
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Re: How do YOU organize your lp/cd collection?

I use the Music Collector Software; it is great. You enter the basic disc information or barcode and it searches about 10 online databases for the disc tracks, times, artists, cover picture, etc. etc. and creates an entry in the database with the album cover and track information, as well as recording date and many other useful details. This really speeds up entering discs into the database.

Every once in a while a disc is so obscure or rare that the searches will fail, and then you can enter as much (or as little) as you want manually.

For each category in the database, you can choose which column is the primary sort, then the 2nd, and so on. You can also choose to PRINT using a different sort hierarchy or column arrangement, if you wish.

For the Classical category, single-composer discs are sorted and entered by composer name alphabetically, then by name of orchestra or ensemble.

For Classical Collections, the standard method is sort first by Instrument (Brass, Cello, Guitar, Organ, Orchestra, Piano, Violin, Vocal etc.) and then by Performer.

Personally, I have about 1700 CDs and the categories are-

Classical
Classical Collections
Bluegrass/Country
Jazz
Folk/Traditional
Misc. Pop, Vocal, and International
SACDs

ethanwiner
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Re: How do YOU organize your lp/cd collection?


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we know programmers don't like to dirty their hands with boring spreadsheets but your problem is simple to solve in Excel, or any similar program.


Deal. You come here and spend 10 hours keying in my entire CD collection, then I'll take over and keep it current as I buy new ones.

Actually, I like KBK's suggestion a lot, though it's tough to call up a specific CD when you really need to.

--Ethan

cyclebrain
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Re: How do YOU organize your lp/cd collection?

I'm torn between random and pseudo random.

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Re: How do YOU organize your lp/cd collection?

I have over 4,000 12" vinyl dance singles, arranged by genere and then chronologically after that.

Vinyl albums (another 1,500) is arranged by genere and then by artist alphabetically.

CDs are arranged by genere and then by artist - alphabetically.

Buddha
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Re: How do YOU organize your lp/cd collection?


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I'm torn between random and pseudo random.

Yes! "Where the Hell did I put that" is my most common place!

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