• Marcos

    Waitaminit. You guys use macs right? Why not use Time machine I mean the functionality is already there, and it’s super easy to implement!

  • http://www.myspace.com/cuttymello Mello

    About Tagging i use Tune Instructer on Mac does everything i allways wished for (renaming, search and replace aso.) only found a german link software english too though http://www.tune-instructor.com/de/index.html it´s the best combined free software i found.

    About Archiving i´m searching for a software for some time now to do file and folder based copying rather than backups. The Idea is that u can easy copy back that single tune you just have to bring for that one night but wouldn´t play on other gigs. And my Mac book Pro is just filled up if i keep all files.
    So when i back up with the delete and copy again method there´s files gone on the backup, get me ? ;-)

    I back up regulary with time machine to a WD Nas think a Nas1 (meens 2 redundant Disks) is the only real backup single Disks can allways die on u.

    Thanks for the great great thread, lot´s of ideas!!!

  • Anthony Jacobs

    I am meticulous about my tags, and after documenting the proper Genre, Sub-Genre, Key Signature/Key Code, of each track, I like to use a similar approach to Minimal’s tip… However I use the “grouping” field to document “Energy”, “Mood”, and “Voice” using a combo of numbers and letters in the “grouping” field as follows…

    Energy:
    1 = Early Set
    2 = Early/Mid
    3 = Mid Set
    4 = Mid/Peak
    5 = Peak Set

    Mood:
    1 = Dark
    2 = Dark/Neutral
    3 = Neutral
    4 = Neutral/Light
    5 = Light

    Voice:
    A = Instru
    B = Dub
    C = Vocal

    Example: 1, 4, B (translates to “Early Set, Neutral/Light Mood, & Dub Vocals”.

    This way I sort my playlists by Energy and Feel if I like, and quickly scan through and find songs matching the present Energy and Feel of the room, and/or move things up and down accordingly. ;o)

  • MUSIC_1

    Thanks to all who responded to my data back-up post.

    Hey Mike that would be great if you wrote an article on backing up your Itunes library,and the different solutions out there to easily backup your Itunes music folder.

  • minimal

    To expand on the sorting system (didn't want to give u all the juice at once!)

    ds = sound fx and samples

    dl = loops

    d2.5 = is a d3 not really suitable for dancing, (abstract beats, etc)

    d3.5 = is a d3 not suitable for cocktail parties (too heavy on the beat or just lewd! )

    That way these last 2 categories do not get included in either my d0-d3 or d3-d5…

    I also ALWAYS use the same words in the comment to describe a song:

    jazzy, funky, groovy, chickmusic, abstract etc.

    I know what these words mean musically and if I do a search, I get all the songs in my collection that fit the mood

  • http://www.djshagz.com djshagz

    @minimal re: d0-d5 trick…wow, excellent idea! I've been sorting things into genre buckets, and adding descriptors like "Chill" at the ends (ie. "Hip Hop Instrumenal – Chill") to help denote their energy level (something sitting at 120 bpms can still be dinner music). Not really that descriptive though. I like your system, I'll see if I can adopt it for me needs.

    I can't really add much to what's already be said, from an organizational perspective, other than find a system that a) makes sense to you and b) you'll actually spend time using. If you come up with a system that's overly complex and time consuming to keep updated, you're less likely to keep it updated for just those reasons. Find a good balance between being verbose/detailed enough to be useful and a timely workflow that won't make you procrastinate.

    Lastly, re: backup, I'm running Serato on a Macbook, and I backup my entire hard drive (as a bootable copy) onto a firewire LaCie Rugged HD using Carbon Copy Cloner (http://www.bombich.com/software/index.html). It's dead easy to use, drag and drop. I make an image probably once a week, and I bring the drive with me to gigs, so if the laptop drive dies, I can plug in the Lacie and boot the OS and everything else from that.

  • dylan

    hey, minimal
    good suggestion, i might just try it, especially with the ease to go between genres.

    also, just checked my post about zip disks. i mixed up MB with GB :S
    I was thinking you could get a zip disk with 250 GB storage. that sounded great, but 250 mb is nothing.
    oh well, would have been cool…

  • minimal

    Coming back to the 'tagging' part of the conversation, here's what has really helped me find the right tune fast.

    My first text in the 'comment' field is what I call the 'dance factor' key. Basically a scale from d0 – d5

    d0 = beatless (ie. ambient)

    d1 = has a beat (slow chillout)

    d2 = has a kick drum & moderate beat (kruder & dorfmeister, etc)

    d3 = your head start bobbing, dancing possible (minimal, hip hop,)

    d4 = very danceable, irresistible

    d5 = your floor fillers, high energy songs

    I have 2 lists one from d0 – d3 & the other d3 – d5, first list is good for cocktail parties & general mood music, the other only has danceable music.

    if you click on the comment field to sort your files in the traktor browser, you basically get an ascending energy scale from d0 – d5 (that's why they absolutely have to be the first characters in 'comment').

    Another nice thing about this organizing style is that it's irregadless of genres, so you can mix it up a bit but still keep your energy level where you want it. I've taken pissbreaks with the lists on cruise, just sat down to dinner last night actually with the d0-d3 list, & it works all the time.

    Try it.

  • http://www.mikecharles.net/blog/ Mike Charles

    Wow maybe we will have to do a whole article about backing files up. No matter how you back up, I feel its important to err on the side of caution, that why i mentioned it at the end of my post. So as quick follow up I'll just share how i personally do back ups:

    First let me start by saying that all of my computers are Macs w/ OS X 10.5 on them so Time Machine back ups are always occurring. The main copy of my music collection is on the internal hard drive of my MBP. I have an external firewire drive that I keep an exact copy of the collection on as well. Cherry pick additions and changes since the last back up is too much for me so what i typically do is just delete the the external HDs version and then just replace the whole thing with a fresh copy from my internal HD. Sure, it takes a few minutes longer, but FW 800 is pretty fast, and it'll give you time to go fix a sandwich or make a few phone calls.

    Once thats done, I plug my external HD into my desktop Mac Pro and put another copy of my collection on one of my Mac Pro's internal HDs.

    So all in all I keep copies of music collection on 3 different drives at all times, which makes me feel good about my disaster recovery plan, should the day ever come.

  • tobamai

    Wow, I really didn’t think they still made zip disks.

  • minimal

    [quote comment=""]a pack of 10 100mb discs is $32.

    a good option if it's worth it to you to spend a little.[/quote]

    Dylan, are you aware that you can probably get a 16gig usb key for that price? smaller, more space, quicker & no external machine needed, just plug it into your usb key, also great to carry in your pocket…

    Just a suggestion ;)

  • dylan

    as far as backing up, you might consider getting a zip drive. then you can really back stuff up on zip discs, label them and sort them. compared to an external hard drive that you use solely for back up purposes, it's not too expensive.

    a quick search on newegg.com turned this up
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N
    and a pack of 10 100mb discs is $32.

    a good option if it's worth it to you to spend a little.

  • Zac Kyoti

    tobamai- Thanks, that’s exactly what I was looking for. It just required looking at it from a different angle. Duh! Of course now there are several playlist stages before the final one, but I can live with that.

  • http://www.jesper-jensen.com Mr. Jensen’s

    [quote comment="16987"]Great article on itunes.I would like to know what backup software i can use to easily backup and sync my itunes music folder to 2 back-up drives.i currently use an external drive that has my entire music collection on it,and when i add tracks i have to completely delete the folder and copy and paste my master folder to 2 diff drives which takes close to 3 hrs for each drive to backup .i have 20,000 tracks i would like to just backup whatever new tracks i added.

    Thanks.[/quote]
    To back up my Itunes library i use: iTunes Library Manager.
    I can recommend this, it is a applescript its for mac.
    Welcome to Doug’s AppleScripts for itunes.
    http://dougscripts.com/itunes/
    Download 453 (and counting) free user-contributed AppleScripts for Apple’s iTunes that will make maintaining your digital music collection easier and more fun!
    iTunes Library Manager.
    It makes back up copies of the current iTunes database files and iTunes Preferences, allowing you to maintain two or more libraries each with its own preferences settings.?For example, you can have one “Main Library” which contains all your songs and playlists, and another which just contains your “DJ Music” songs and playlists.?Additionally, because each library is saved and loaded with its associated preferences, you can create many different configurations for different uses. For instance, you can assign each library its own designated iTunes Music folder, and keep a directory of audio files on your computer and another distinct directory of audio files on another volume, network drive or external drive; different libraries can have different Sharing, Burning or Importing settings, too. The flexibility is awesome.
    Two libraries is free, more is $10 shareware fee
    Export/Import Between Libraries
    This pair of scripts is only for use with backup libraries created with iTunes Library Manager. After creating several backed up libraries, you can use these scripts to export selected tracks from one library and import them into another. Optionally, you can include play count and rating of each track.
    free

  • Leefy

    To back up software I use a program called beyond compare 3, it's good compare tool with the option of Syncing between 2 folders. You can apply filters and rules, i.e. Update right if left newer, etc.

    There is a free microsoft power tool you can use (all those on PC's that is), i thinks its called SyncToy. It is free but not as good as beyond compare.

  • http://www.YourCrate.com Edson C.

    My gig laptop is not my primary machine, I have a Mac Pro which hosts ALL my music, this includes stuff in my digital crate and not. THUS I treat it like a large library of vinyl. I have House, and House Crate, Deep House and Deep House Crate, Progressive House, and Progressive House Crate….catching on?? When it’s time to gig, I have smart playlists setup which filter the tracks with “Crate” in genre. I fire up Traktor Pro on the Mac Pro and export the files to my MacBook Pro over Firewire 800 using FW Disk Mode.

    Happy to help with more tips anytime Ean. I’m in SF now, lets meet up for lunch sometime?

    Edson

  • tobamai

    MUSIC_1, I use Asseca’s shadow to backup my music. It’s clunky to configure, but it works well and it’s free. ( http://www.asseca.com/shadow/index.html )

    Zac Kyoti, make a smart playlist that contains house OR breaks tracks. Then make another smart playlist contains tracks from the first playlist AND has 320 kbps.

    I don’t use itunes to just listen to music, I use foobar2000. If you’re like me you can use itunes library updater ( http://itlu.ownz.ch/wordpress/ ) to sync a directory into the itunes library and it will automatically update any smart playlists you have for use in traktor.

  • Zac Kyoti

    Nice writeup Ean, but I gotta say, I love the idea of smart playlists better than the actualization of them though…

    Let's say I want to make a smart playlist that contains tracks that are ONLY 320 kbps, and will include everything that has a genre of House or Breaks. Because in the smart playlist you only have the option of matching Any OR All of the rules, a simple idea like the one above is not possible. Match all returns a result of nothing, because each track has one genre, not both, and match any will return results that include files smaller than 320 kbps. I'd love to hear a brilliant workaround, cause I really want to use this functionality in a flexible way. (Maybe petition Apple for "if" and "or" options between rules?)

  • Bram

    May I suggest spending some time on explaining the encoding options in iTunes? I recently saw some debate on forums on the itunes default vs LAME (via plug-in) encoding, and the discussion which was best…. Well worth it to expand on, in my opinion!

  • MUSIC_1

    Great article on itunes.I would like to know what backup software i can use to easily backup and sync my itunes music folder to 2 back-up drives.i currently use an external drive that has my entire music collection on it,and when i add tracks i have to completely delete the folder and copy and paste my master folder to 2 diff drives which takes close to 3 hrs for each drive to backup .i have 20,000 tracks i would like to just backup whatever new tracks i added.

    Thanks.

  • mpetersen3

    I have noticed that itunes will automatically re-tag the genre of some songs when I play them in my smart folders causing them to be removed, this is very annoying. Anyone had this problem and found a solution?

  • http://www.djsirkitbreaker.com kraal

    [quote comment=""]hey, maybe I am oldschool, but id3 tags only seem to be a small part of how I organise tracks. Don’t get me wrong, I am pedantic about ow my id3 tags are written but I put the tracks in folders i.e. house>deep>track so I always know where they are and what they are doing there. I use a itune script that renames the file of the mp3 to the id3 tag. Sorry but I can’t always rely on itunes to be there when I need it. Hell, it does mean I have to sort mp3s into genre but at least I know where each type of track is when I need it.[/quote]
    you know you can always use smart playlist instead of folders

  • Laurens

    hey, maybe I am oldschool, but id3 tags only seem to be a small part of how I organise tracks. Don’t get me wrong, I am pedantic about ow my id3 tags are written but I put the tracks in folders i.e. house>deep>track so I always know where they are and what they are doing there. I use a itune script that renames the file of the mp3 to the id3 tag. Sorry but I can’t always rely on itunes to be there when I need it. Hell, it does mean I have to sort mp3s into genre but at least I know where each type of track is when I need it.

  • http://www.rassta.dk rallevondalle

    Mmm, I like this.. Will see if I can try out some new smart playlists for my gig 2nite :)

    And props to Mike Charles, you should really check out his site – it's really nice and he's packing some nice mixes!

  • http://www.danceriot.de Sebastian

    Very good Article. Will try this out tonight with my Traktor Pro Setup and my Ipod. Planning to Backup my whole Itunes Libary to external NAS from Synology (http://synology.com). Maybe this will do it for you too!!