Tag Archives: cataloging

Music Nerd Meets Archivist

Vinyl Image

Anti-Gravity Bunny is, to paraphrase it’s author, a music blog of one dude who loves sharing music that’s crazy awesome and/or under-represented. That dude is Justin, an archives student, and he’s not shy about his compulsion for mp3 organization. Justin’s perfectionist ways attracted me to his post “Music Nerd Meets Archivist: A Guide to Cataloging An Unwieldy Digital Music Collection.” In this guided tour of his personal library schema, Justin describes his iTunes protocols, tagging tendencies, and love of metadata. After reading of his scrupulous methodology, I can no longer describe myself as detail-oriented.

Below, I’ve outlined a few tips from the post that not only demonstrate Justin’s natural affinity and passion for archiving, but inspire me to rethink my own iTunes library practices. This is just a start, for more read Justin’s full post here.

On a related note, what 160GBs of music looks like.

5 Ways To Get Your Digital Music Collection In Order (Selections from Anti-Gravity-Bunny:)

1. Standards Matter

“Everything in my library from the moment it gets imported needs to have at the VERY least the artist, album, and song fields filled. If it’s in all caps, I change it.”…“I normalize the artist to match the way it’s represented in my library (add or remove “The,” etc).”…“If the song titles have track numbers, I get rid of them (and make sure the “Track Number” fields are filled).”

2. Fields Are For Filling

“I wanted to include a lot more data in the tags than iTunes would allow and there wasn’t much leeway with other fields. Like BPM.” 

Anti-Gravity Bunny Catalog

3. Develop A Context

“Every album needs to have the year it was released, the label, artwork, and a genre that’s meaningful to me. I also don’t just want the original year of release, I want the date specific to the copy that I have.”

4. Future Compatibility

“Just because I currently use iTunes, I know that the application won’t last forever (nor will my mp3s). So I make every attempt to utilize the mp3 fields that iTunes recognizes and none that other applications don’t.”

5. Make your work searchable

”If I’ve learned anything from this project, it’s that the “Sorting” tab is my best friend.”

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