If you're a digital music fan, you probably have problems organizing your music file collection. For me, I used to have hundreds of MP3 files lumped in one folder in my hard drive. Can you imagine the pain I had to go through to find one specific tune to listen to?
Organizing your music files is an important skill to learn. Once your collection is nicely sorted out, you'll be able to find the songs you want quickly and easily. So set aside some time and read through the following tips I've come up with.
1. Create Subfolders
The single most important tip for organizing your music files is to create subfolders in your hard drive. Don't ever leave your MP3 files in one huge folder called C:My Music. Create subfolders like C:My MusicClassical, C:My MusicPop and C:My MusicSoundtracks.
2. Ensure your ID3 Tags Are Correct
ID3 tags are used to store important information about MP3 files. Things like the song title, artist, album are kept and will be displayed by your MP3 player. Take the time to properly edit these tags - many MP3 files you download have the ID3 tag information all wrong. A good software program for editing ID3 tags is TagScanner.
3. Invest in Good Music Management Software
There are several excellent pieces of software out there for managing music files. Two good ones come to mind. The first is MediaMonkey and the second is MusicMatch Jukebox. Both programs offer excellent music management features like an integrated music player, CD burning features and ID3 tag renaming.
4. Get Your Music Files from Legal Sources
If you've been downloading music using P2P (peer-to-peer) file sharing programs like KaZaa, you will very likely get music files which have strange names like 56_HeyjAck.mp3. My advice: Get your files from legal sources like online music services iTunes or Napster and you will avoid this problem.
5. Create Good Playlists
Most software music player (e.g. Winamp) will allow you to create playlists. For example, say you're in the mood for rock songs, you can point to your folder called C:MusicRock and create a playlist from that folder. Save the playlist after it is created. When you next feel like listening to those songs, all you need to do is load that playlist instead of trawling through your hard drive and folders.
6. Get A Huge Hard Drive
I know this sounds a little crazy - but running out of disk space can and will ruin your well-organized music collection. Make sure you have enough hard disk space to store your music files. Say you have 10,000 music files that you absolutely must retain and listen to. It is a very bad idea to store, say, 8,000 files in Hard Drive A and 2,000 files in Hard Drive B. Very messy. It's better to store them all in one hard disk. So get your hands on the biggest hard drive you can find.
I hope this article helps you to organize your music collection a little better. I know it takes effort, but once your music collection is properly catalogued, listening to your music collection will be a much more pleasant experience. So don't hesitate - get organized now!
Gary Hendricks is computer enthusiasts. He runs three websites about digital video, digital music and computers.