Back when I used to listen to music on pieces of etched plastic, I
had a simple classification system. Music was slotted into one of
"Chilled", "Techno", "Hip hop", "Rock/Pop", "Classical", "Jazz",
"Other". There could easily be overlap there, but because I was doing
the classifying, it made sense to me.
When I started listening to mp3s, I carried over this basic system,
with Rock and Pop split to separate categories and a couple of new
ones added: "Reggae", "Radio" (for podcasts), "Country" (for Johnny
Cash). My musical tastes got broader too, where in the 1990s I
listened almost exclusively to electronic music, I started getting
back into Rock, and some of the new musical forms like Post Rock (a
ghastly term, worse than "Progressive <anything>".
The cracks started to show in my taxonomy. Godspeed! You Black
Emperor ended up in "Chilled", yet Tortoise and M83 ended up in "Rock",
by virtue of using guitars. Goldfrapp is in "Chilled", despite mostly
being stomping electro, but something you could go to sleep to. I
dunno, it doesn't make much sense now.
toy has prompted me to revisit this issue. I've long avoided
music library software, preferring to browse by my own folder
structure, and I despise shuffle in most circumstances, either
choosing individual tracks or listening to whole albums. The
Squeezebox allows me to browse by my directory structure, but it also
has a bunch of other useful and cool ways to slice and dice my music,
so the time has come to get my music tagged properly.
It's going to be a long process, tagging all my music. I've
generally gone for <artist> -
<album>/<trackno>.<trackname> but with so many,
for example, Bowie albums, that's getting unmanageable too. So I
might end up with artist/album/ after all, though I will never
do the brain damaged thing iTunes does and move stuff from
compilations into individual artist directories -- that's just
So I'll shortly be starting the Great Retagging. Any suggestions
on tools and approaches?