I am really organized and neat about sorting and tagging my music library (digital music files), and I have a big dilemma when tagging classical music. This topic may be "too technical" and boring for some people that are not into tagging music files or simply into the digital world. Anyway, your musical brain can help me out because in the end this is just a post to find out the best possible way of sorting my music. Let's begin:
There are almost no problems when tagging (embed information in each individual music file about the song's name, year, album, artist...) music outside the classical world, cause almost always the composer, conductor and performer is the same person (or band).
My music library goes like this: "Music/artist/album/artist - song.mp3". So if you want to find Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody, the path is:
"Music/Queen/A Night at the Opera/Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody.mp3"
If Queen covers The Beatle's She loves you, the path would be:
"Music/Queen/Tribute to The Beatles/Queen - She loves you (The Beatles cover).mp3"
I have a golden rule: there can't be 2 different music files with the very same file name. So, if I have in my music library a live performance of Bohemian Rhapsody, the name can't be "Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody.mp3", cause that one already exists and it's the one of the studio version. So I will name it "Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody (live).mp3"
But what happen if I have 2 different live performances, which happens a lot?
Well, that's why that solution up there is not valid, and I came up with this:
"Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody (live at Tokyo, 1977).mp3"
I include the city and the year, and that way I solve my tagging problems once and for all. Oh, before anything, when browsing my music library through my HiFi music player, the interface shows all the albums (cover arts), sorted alphabetically by artist and then by year. So, all the Queen albums will be in the middle of the library, all together and sorted by year. All the Beatles albums will be at the beginning of the library, sorted by year. So I don't navigate or browse through folders, it's ugly and slow.
Now, the hell of the hells of tagging: classical music. The fake example piece will be the Mendelssohn violin concerto, solo violin Maxim Vengerov, conducted by Simon Rattle, performed by the London Symphony Orchestra in 2012.
What should be the name of the first folder (artist level): Mendelssohn or Maxim Vengerov or Simon Rattle or London Symphony Orchestra?
At first I sorted it by the actual composer, which made total sense, so the path would be:
"Music/Mendelssohn/Violin Concerto in E minor/Mendelssohn - Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64, 1st movement Allegro molto appassionato.mp3"
But, I love Simon Rattle, I have a lot of his works. By naming the folders like this, yeah, I would have the Mendelssohn works all together in the middle (which is awesome) of the interface above Queen, but Simon Rattle's albums would be all over the library.
And I love even more Vengerov, and this way he would be also all over the place, and I wouldn't have his albums all together at the end of the library, sorted by year and with the possibility of analyzing his evolution over the years.
And what about the LSO? Poor orchestras!
I love the LSO, it's a shame if I couldn't have all their works together.
And also, what year should I put in the album: 2012 or 1845?
And what name should I put in the album?
OK, that's easy, Violin Concerto in E minor.
But what if we're talking about the 99.99% of classical music CD's where there is always a sum of different works, like Bach and Verdi, LSO with Perlman under Karajan?
Now what's the year? What piece should I choose to set the year? 1689, 1807 or 1987?
And the name of the album?
Should I name it as the actual CD: "Bach sonatas and partitas for violin and Verdi symphonies and overtures"?
Quite crazy that name, and the problem of the year is still there. Where would that album be in my HiFi music player interface? Letter B or V?
Should I split the album in 2 pieces: Bach and Verdi?
Doesn't sound quite good either, splitting an album in pieces of composers, it would be crazy and very time consuming to do that in many albums. And what about the cover arts, I would have dozens of repeated cover arts, incredibly ugly and 0% efficient.
And to loop the loop, what about those albums of one top violinist including violin concertos of over 4 different composers?
As you can see, this is CRAZY.
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