[Guide] Organize music folder/file structure


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Hani

Requirements:

1. Mp3tag Download

2. Mp3 Folder Structure Maker Download Website

3. Foobar2000 (optional) Download

Step 1:

Try to delete music you don't like or don't listen to anymore. I understand that most of you have a large hard disk. However, deleting music will make this job easier as well make your library more favorable.

Step 2:

Convert any .wma files to .mp3. I personally use lame.exe with foobar2000. Place the executable in the foobar directory, filter search results in foobar to ".wma" then Select all -> right click -> convert -> MP3 lame. Finally, delete the .wma files from your music library.

Step 3:

Install the latest version of mp3tag (if you haven't already). Add the directory containing all your music files. Try removing any unnecessary metadata like comments, BPM, composer, discnumber (if you only have one of the discs). Install Mp3 Folder Structure Maker.

Step 4:

Section 4.1: Composers (Classical music)

If you own classical music, it doesn't make sense to have metadata other than "artist" and "title". So, separate all your classical music into a folder, and add the directory to mp3tag. Remove all other metadata "e.g. album, track", then make sure there is a title and artist for each song, an artist being the composer (not performer) of the piece (e.g. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart), finally change the genre of all the songs to "Classical". Select all the files in mp3tag -> Convert -> Tag to filename, use the following "%artist% - %title%".

Add this directory to MP3 Folder Structure Maker, use the following folder structure "%artist%" and keep the file structure. Choose a suitable output directory.

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Section 4.2: Singles

Look for albums that have only one song, one-hit wonders, and songs that lack "album" metadata. Place them in a folder called "Singles". Add the directory to mp3tag, remove album art (optional), and reset track number to zero. If possible, try to search for missing metadata (album, year). Select all the files in mp3tag -> Convert -> Tag to filename, use the following "%artist% - %title%". It's not required to use MP3 Folder Structure Maker.

For featuring artists, keep the main artist in the artist field. Change the title to "song name (feat. 2nd artist). The file name structure won't change.

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Section 4.3: Soundtracks

Look for albums that are soundtracks. Put them in a folder and add the directory to mp3tag. Make sure to add any missing metadata information (especially artist, album, year, track number), and change the genre of all songs to "Soundtrack". Update the album art of each soundtrack (Tag sources -> Cover Art -> Amazon.com), select a decent resolution (300x30 and above). Select all the files in mp3tag -> Convert -> Tag to filename, use the following "%album% - %artist% - $num(%track%,2) - %title%". Add directory to MP3 FSM, and use the following folder structure "%album% - %artist% [%year%]" and keep the file structure. Choose a suitable output directory.

For soundtracks with various artists, use the following folder structure "%album% - Various Artists [%year%]", and the following file structure "%album% - $num(%track%,2) - %artist% - %title%".

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Section 4.4: Albums

Look for albums that are not soundtracks. Put them in a folder and add the directory to mp3tag. Make sure to add any missing metadata information (especially artist, album, year, track number), and keep the genre of all songs (or change them to something suitable with the album). Update the album art of each soundtrack (Tag sources -> Cover Art -> Amazon.com), select a decent resolution (300x30 and above). Select all the files in mp3tag -> Convert -> Tag to filename, use the following "%artist% - %album% - $num(%track%,2) - %title%". Add directory to MP3 FSM, and use the following folder structure "%artist% - %album% [%year%]" and keep the file structure. Choose a suitable output directory.

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Section 4.5: Compilations

For albums with various artists that are not soundtracks, put them in a folder and add the directory to mp3tag. use the following folder structure "%album% [%year%]", and the following file structure "%album% - $num(%track%,2) - %artist% - %title%".

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Section 5

Get over WMP. I prefer foobar. It's highly customizable, neat, fast, and light on system resources. Organize music by folder structure.

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Conclusion:

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Congratulations! Now, whenever you get new music, follow the same procedure. Also, you don't have to follow this guide word by word, however it gives you a method on how to organize your music collection. So you can change this method to suit your needs and/or compulsions.

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-KJ

Looks like a great guide! I currently let my music player organize my mess of a Music folder but if it's as automated as it looks then I'll have to give this a try.

Thanks!

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asim0

I know a lot of classical listeners like to have composer, movement #'s and such. A lot of that stuff can be done in foobar. I like to tag in foobar then use the programs' "move/rename to" feature to place my music into my directory structure. Genre could be a decent folder too :p

Well done guide though for people looking for something nice and simple, looks like you spent some time with it?:))

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jonhapimp

my zune software does most of the organizing, great guide if it ****s out

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Dance.

Nice guide mate! although I let iTunes manages my music folder :)

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bryonhowley
Step 2:

Convert any .wma files to .mp3.

And why would I want to downgrade my music collection by converting them to .mp3? Not to mention the time it would take to convert over 40,000 tracks.

Get over WMP. I prefer foobar. It's highly customizable, neat, fast, and light on system resources. Organize music by folder structure.

As far as WMP I see not reason to "Get over" it. WMP12 plays all of my music and video just fine.

Nice guide other wise.

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Hani
And why would I want to downgrade my music collection by converting them to .mp3? Not to mention the time it would take to convert over 40,000 tracks.

One of the reasons could be that iPod doesn't support WMA. I only had a couple of .wma low quality files, so it didn't make a difference. In your case, it would be too much of a hassle I guess.

As far as WMP I see not reason to "Get over" it. WMP12 plays all of my music and video just fine.

I think WMP is an excellent video player, but when it comes to music, foobar is better.

Edited by Hani
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t0mbi
And why would I want to downgrade my music collection by converting them to .mp3? Not to mention the time it would take to convert over 40,000 tracks.

What i hate about WMP is it automatically rips CDs to .wma, and iTunes converts to .m4a. Why can't music programs just get along? Why not just make everything .mp3 and save all the hassle of converting? Why does every music program have to do something different to the other music programs?

Bloody hell :p

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phool

Why not just you Foobars file operations (you need to enable the 'Optional features → Tools → File operations' during installation) to do all the moving/directory creating for you?

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Lee G.

I'm going to try to organize some of music now. Thanks for the guide, Hani (Y)

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+trag3dy

Awesome guide! It's given me the motivation to finally get a start on organizing all my music. I've seen lots of "guides" about how to organize a music library but none are as in depth or as useful as this one. Thanks!! :D (Y)

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nXqd

Really useful. I'm doing it right now and found this :)

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BGM

this is good, i do pretty much exactly this with the exception that i use media monkey to embed album art..

tbh, i think the best step on that guide is the one to delete things you don't listen to any more! it really is easier said then done! :D

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ROM3000

I used to have a similar file structure to organize my music, but now just let iTunes organize it for me. Assuming your music is properly tagged, you will never have to look at the file structure again. None the less, great guide.

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EchoNoise

I use:

[ROOT]
	   [YEAR]
		   [ALPHA]
			   [ARTIST]
				   [ALBUM]
					   <TRACKS>
					   [EXTRAS]
						   [VIDEO]
						   [COVER]
						   [OTHER]

I've been using this method for about 10 years now.

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BGM

must have a good memory to remember the release year of all your music when you want to play it!?

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no characters
I use:

[ROOT]
	   [YEAR]
		   [ALPHA]
			   [ARTIST]
				   [ALBUM]
					   <TRACKS>
					   [EXTRAS]
						   [VIDEO]
						   [COVER]
						   [OTHER]

I've been using this method for about 10 years now.

I'm using a similar structure where [ALPHA] is geographical area cuz genre in here depends on where the artist came from.

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powerade01

I use

[MUSIC FOLDER]
						 [Instrumentals]
						 <Tracks>
						 [Mixtapes]
										 [Mixtape name]
										  <Tracks>
						 [Albums]
									  [Artist]
												 [Album name]
												  <Tracks>
<Single loose tracks>

I use

Artist - Track Title (remix/instrumental/etc) (any feature artists).mp3

The only thing I would change is organize (by artist) my instrumental folder.

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inStereo

What about for DJ's such as myself. Is there an option to add the song Key and BPM tags?

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Sam
What about for DJ's such as myself. Is there an option to add the song Key and BPM tags?

Unfortunately I don't believe there is a standard BPM or key tag name :(

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neudera

Great guide. Personally thought, I have always stuck with the Artist -> Album -> Track List folder layout.

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jelli

My folder structure is as follows

Music

Albums

[Artist] - [Album Name]

Compilations

[Compilation Name]

Been using it since I started my collection and I have always labelled and structured in this way so I find things quite naturally.

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  • 3 months later...
  • 1 month later...
Hani

I fixed a couple of things in the guide. I now separate albums with various artists into a new folder. Check it out when you can.

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crp

My music album structure is liek this

root > music style > Music substyle (eg. hard/soft) > sceen > year > month > day > Album.

eg.

:\= Hard =\Hardstyle\= Sceen =\2008\05 - May\[2205]\Album name

And no programs used, all handmade

I got 30k tracks in my pc. realy good to weav whit foobar if you have oraniced your music folder like this :p

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