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  #1  
Old Feb 13, 2013, 01:19 PM
chilledinsanity chilledinsanity is offline
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Default Advice wanted on organizing soundtracks

This could be a longshot, but I'm hoping someone here might have some insight on a personal "quest" of mine. I'm a big soundtrack fan, but I'd like a better way to sort my music when listening. I'm not talking about generating ID3 tags and proper info, that's no problem. What I mean is I want a way to have my music sorted in such a way that it can blend together well when I listen to it. My end-goal is to be able to select some sort of category, hit random play, and all the pre-organized music will fit that general theme, so I don't even have to think about it when I want to listen to a certain style of music.

Any soundtrack fan knows just how enormous the variety is on soundtracks, which makes it hell for me to find some sort of meaningful criteria for organizing custom categories to listen to. Some music sounds like it belongs in a carnival, some in a desert, some is peaceful, some is aggressive for part of the track, calm the rest, some has more of an 8-bit sound quality to it, others are more modern renditions, etc. How do you people listen to music? Do you decide on a new playlist every time you want to listen to music or do you have some sort of system so that your music blends together well?

The real question is how would you recommend I organize my music? I'm totally willing to put time in organizing it, but once it's organized, I don't want to have to think about it, I just want to be able to select a category and enjoy it. Organizing by composer and album doesn't accomplish much in that regard if I'm looking for a similar theme when I listen to the music.

Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me.
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  #2  
Old Feb 13, 2013, 09:46 PM
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Jedi QuestMaster Jedi QuestMaster is offline
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I sort of have this same issue. Soundtrack music encompasses different moods. It'd be nice to have subgenres to alleviate this.

I found the best way to deal with this is by having playlists that correspond with whatever you're doing. For example, here are the titles of some of my playlists:

Conclusion
Night
Run
Sleep
Water

Some of these are pretty self-explanatory: Run is music for running; Conclusion are ending/credits themes or anything that sounds like you've just accomplished something; & I don't know why I created Water, but they're a bunch of ocean/underwater tunes. I guess if I were ever stranded out at sea, then I'd have this to listen to.

I don't know if anyone else does this, but I also seasonalize some of my music (Winter, Spring, Summer, Halloween, Christmas) into a seasonal folder that I simply swap with another one when the season changes.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 01:47 AM
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Datschge Datschge is offline
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The underused Genre tag could be used for that.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 03:01 AM
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Zethe Zethe is offline
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Yes just tag your files properly. Either the widely used genre field, or use/or add custom ones ("mood", "type" or whatever you want to call them). Once everything is tagged, play them back with a player with nice database capability and voila. That's how I do it and I'm happy with it.


The nice thing about tagging according to your custom scheme is when you couple it with capable software (foobar2000 e.g.) you have pretty much unlimited possibilities in how you interact with your library. Instead of manually assembling playlists or searching folders you can use simple or advanced database queries like "give me 3 random PS1 soundtracks please that I haven't listened to yet" or "let me listen to some silver age film music" or "give me everything falcom released before the year 2000" or "give me everything with a 4.5/5 rating from the Shutokou Battle series that has a guitar in it". really neat stuff you can do and I wouldn't want to miss that functionality.

Last edited by Zethe; Feb 14, 2013 at 12:48 PM.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 09:19 AM
chilledinsanity chilledinsanity is offline
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Jedi QuestMaster: I was leaning towards this direction with custom genres, but I wasn't sure where to cut things off. For instance, I can have two tracks that are both very calm and relaxing, but one is very upbeat, the other is much more dark and morose. Or I may have music with a desert theme to it that doesn't blend as well with a lot of my other tracks, but is too slow / fast compared to other desert tracks. I'm impressed you can get yours down to just 5 categories.

Quote:
Yes just tag your files properly. Either the widely used genre field, or use/or add custom ones ("mood", "type" or whatever you want to call them). Once everything is tagged, play them back with a player with nice database capability and voila. That's how I do it and I'm happy with it.
Exactly, this is what I've been attempting to do, but I don't know WHAT criteria to use. If I get too many custom genres it's not really practical, but too few and you get a lot more mismatches with music. What custom genres do you personally use for your music?
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 01:10 PM
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Datschge Datschge is offline
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If you do custom tags you could use simple subjective ones, like mood (happy, sad, oppressive, exciting, whatever), speed (slow, fast, medium), complexity (solo, band, ensemble, orchestra), type (song, instrumental), sound (electronic, acoustic) etc. etc. Just ask yourself what are the lowest common denominators you'd personally use to describe the music you commonly listen to.
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  #7  
Old Feb 14, 2013, 08:01 PM
GoldfishX GoldfishX is offline
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For me, I have my albums organized in my folder according to how much I like them. I use the following codes in front of the title and then sort by name:

(4) - favorites

(5) - good albums, but not quite favorites

(6) - lackluster albums, ones I probably need to sell or delete

(g) - ones I've gutted a lot of tracks out of and just left the remains

(m) - ones that are generally good, but I need to be in a specific mood to listen to. Examples are the Suikoden Celtic Collections or most of the symphonic VGM I have (I mostly listen to rock or chiptune-based VGM, so that stuff mostly makes the "normal" (4) spots.

Unmarked - Ones I still need to listen to and assign a rating. My "pool" of fresh albums, so to speak.

It's a little awkward, but the name-sort has been working for awhile now for me. As far as tagging individual files, way too much work. I usually just grab an album and throw it on, randomized.
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  #8  
Old Feb 21, 2013, 09:59 PM
.out .out is offline
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I'm hoping someday we can use vgmdb or an offline version of it to listen to our music. Perhaps with a Greasemonkey script or some other method we'll be able to visit an album's page and click on a track to automatically play. All that has to be done is have a set naming convention, a way to handle image rips (cue sheets) and a way for the browser to locate our music.
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