Music Management Tips

With over 10,000 songs in my iTunes Library (all legally acquired, I swear) I constantly find myself ‘discovering’ music. But, I’ve also realized there are a ton of albums I never listen to and would never want to in the future. Thus, the following are some of my methods to organizing the madness:

  • Get the tags right: First, I downloaded an automatic tagging program that correctly identified about 90% of my songs. Unfortunately some live albumns (bootlegs) weren’t found so those had to be manually mass-edited. I also found a bunch of poorly named artists. For example, blink-182 vs Blink-182 vs blink182, etc. Then there’s the pleasure of finding ‘The Ying Yang Twins’, ‘Ying Yang Twins’, ‘Ying Yang Twins Feat. __’ etc. In any case, let the software get the majority of the stuff cleaned up. There are a bunch of programs out there; some free, some not.
  • **Find the dupes: **From here I realized that I had literally hundreds of duplicates. Unfortunately iTunes has no way to easily remove them and I haven’t found any software that I can trust. So, when I feel ambitious I go through and Ctrl-Select a bunch that I know are simply duplicates. To this day I still have 1738 songs (thats over 4 days of music) that can be removed. Be careful, ‘Zak and Sara’ on ‘Rockin’ the Suburbs’ is not the same as the one on ‘Ben Folds Live’. Thus, I don’t trust the software to do this part.
  • Smart people use smart playlists: Dragging and dropping stuff into playlists is time consuming. Sure, its fun for making party mixes, but I’m usually looking for certain types of music (depening on the mood). Thus, make smart playlists like “‘Genre is ‘Rap’ or Artist is ‘Ying Yang Twins’ or Artist is … and Rating is greater than 3.” This is great becuase it’ll automatically add new music when I add it to my Library. I also have ‘My Top Rated’ (greater than 3), ‘Four Stars’, ‘Five Stars’, and my favorite: ‘New Hotness’. All 4 and 5 star songs that haven’t been listened to 6 times is in this list. I still have over 300 songs that I’ve only listened to a few times (but are freaking awesome). Smart Playlists are extremely powerful.
  • **Shuffle your library and start rating: **In order to understand how much of my music should be deleted I simply play my Library on Shuffle and rate every song that plays. It helps having a second monitor becuase I can always have iTunes focused. After some time has passed I go back to the albums containing the 1 or 2 star songs and see if there’s anything in that album worth keeping. If not, purge away!
  • Rate songs as soon as you add them: I’m in the habit of listening to every song as soon as I add it to my Library (to prevent future build-up). This way I know (based on ratings) whether or not the music should even stick around for more than a few days. Plus, rating it as soon as I add it automatically pushes it to “New Hotness”, my playlist of choice.

Is there anything out there that you guys have done that works especially well? I’m all about trying new “systems” and I definitely need to get this monster collection under control.

[tags]music, mp3, collection, itunes, organization[/tags]