If you love music as much as I do, there’s a chance that you’ve spent hours ripping your CDs to MP3 (or if you’re like me you’ve done the whole process several times, just to get it just right), purchasing your DRM free music from Amazon, Google Play or iTunes and organizing and cataloging and, of course (most importantly), listening to all your wonderful music.
So how do you manage and keep track of all that tunage? I’m not claiming I’m an expert, but I’ve spent years working on my system. So I thought I would share it with you.
This is the part that has gone through the most changes, but now that it is settled it’ll be staying like this for a long time. When managing thousands of files, a good folder structure is key. Especially if your ID3 tags get messed up! I use a folder structure like this:
“C:/Music/A/Alice In Chains”
“C:/Music/D/The Devil Wears Prada”
With all the different artists in my library it was necessary to break it down another level. Hence the alphabetical letters for each A – Z.
The idea that all these artists could site in a single folder would never work for my collection. It may for you, but consider using what I’ve done here if you want to have room to grow your library.
MP3 is where it’s at. I tried WMA, OGG and FLAC and by far the most flexible and good size to sound ration is MP3. I rip all my music to 320Kbps MP3. Now, of you might find that FLAC is more to your likeing because you can afford piles of hard drives. Or you’ve got a Windows mobile device and WMA works better for you. But for me (and most of the world) it’s MP3. If you dump thousands of dollars into a home stereo system consider FLAC since it’s lossless. But I find 320Kbps sounds just great. And I do hear a difference. I listen the most on my JLab Bomoba TEKST headphones, which sound amazing by the way.
I’d be lost without Media Monkey. It’s the BEST audio manager tool out there. I would say you could get away with using the free version, but you really, really should just buy it. It handles my whole library with ease. In fact, I’m listening with it right now while writing this. Media Monkey provides massive library support, robust ID3 management and lots of transcoding options.
If you want to listen to your music anywhere you’ve got internet access, there are two (pick your flavor) tools you can use. The first is Subsonic, a service you run like a server from your home. The other is Google Music which allows you to upload your music library (up to 20,000 files) for free and listen anywhere. Check them out.
What do you use? Did this help? Let me know in the comments below.