Reorganizing Your Record Collection

Listening — at least theoretically — will always be the main reason why we collect records, but where’s the fun in hoarding mass amounts of heavy, unwieldy physical products if you don’t get physical ~physical~ with them?

Now that most of us are stuck indoors without much to do let’s pass some time by grabbing some records and reorganizing our record collection.

From A to Z

The obvious first choice is alphabetical order by artist name. Unless you have a truly massive collection, this one is probably the default option: easy to find and easy to clean up. The only question is by first or last name? I go by last names — it’s easier to find Coltrane under “C” instead of “A” for Alice (Cooper? Clark? …In Chains?).

Handcrafted in San Francisco by Koeppel Design

There’s always time to dig deeper while using this sorting method. Sorting by country is an exciting choice, especially for those who want to show off large amounts of wax acquired from lands far off.

Genre is another easy option, especially for those who have more extensive collections or go out of their way to collect specific styles. This would also work for anyone who extensively collects albums released by specific labels, whether it be Blue Note or Sub Pop.

And there’s always the option to sort chronologically by year of release — appealing to those with a historical bent who want to see how music and their own tastes have evolved over decades of releases.

Handcrafted in San Francisco by Koeppel Design

Dividers Handcrafted in San Francisco by Koeppel Design

Give It a Personal Touch

Then there are the hyper-personalized approaches to ensure that your collection is truly one of a kind. Sorting albums by “listened to” versus “not listened to” may bring up a twinge of guilt if you have a decent back catalog, but now is probably the best time to catch up on your listening. You may even find something you can add to the database!

Sorting by date of purchase may prove difficult if you’ve been collecting for years, but those who have only just started to build up their collections can implement this unique sorting challenge to preserve some sweet memories.

You could also pull a “High Fidelity” and sort autobiographically. First record you ever got? An easy one even for the most seasoned collectors amongst us. Beyond that? Tricky stuff.

Either way, good luck unless you have been diligently updating your Discogs Collection from day one or keeping notes and receipts for years before that!

Add to Collection

Of course, one of the easiest ways to figure this all out is by keeping your Discogs Collection as up to date as possible.

Using the Collection feature also opens up a few more ways to organize that wouldn’t be possible otherwise. You can show off how much cash you’ve dropped on each record by arranging by value. Scored something that made our monthly Top 30 Most Expensive Items Sold list? Flaunt it!

On the other hand, utilizing the rating system is an easy way to separate the wheat from the chaff. Stick all of those 5-star albums up front for easy access.


The Rainbow Connection

My personal choice? I sort my records by spine color to create a beautiful rainbow of unorganized records. That’s my picture above. The top two rows are sorted by color and then by shade, while the bottom rows in black and white are sorted alphabetically by last name. I only decided to reorganize my collection in this style while writing this article and, full disclosure, this took a decent amount of time, even with my very modest collection.

Impractical? Absolutely. But I’m enjoying the new perspective on my collection, and thanks to the new shuffle I’m listening to some records I had previously forgotten! So let’s all stay safe and healthy by spending some quality time indoors sorting and spinning.

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Stevie Dunbar is a marketing coordinator at Discogs.
  • Aug 11,2020 at 19:14

    The key for me was having it logged in Discogs. Once that was complete, I could always reference what I have and not buy dupes, and I could sell the dupes I have. I have 4300+ items on vinyl and CD, and now I can pretty much buy records by selling records and hold on to my cash in these uncertain times.

    I appreciate all the sorting suggestions, but for me it’s all alpha by artist (last name) for all genres except Classical (too hard when it’s one orchestra playing pieces from three composers, etc), Holiday music, Comedy, Spoken Word, Soundtracks (unless by one artist–Looking at you, Super Fly) and Various Artist compilations. This, again, is made even more practical because they are catalogued on Discogs, and it’s easy to find any song on any disc in my collection. Stay well, and happy collecting!

  • Jul 8,2020 at 01:58

    I didn’t use sort my LP at all, but now I have bought a second copy of the same LP I use discogs to let me sort them by either the CAT number or by the Run out labels.

    ..expect it will all get a bit complicated when i buy my third LP

  • Jul 3,2020 at 11:38

    Go ahead. Call me Mr. Boring. I can’t see how anyone would choose to organize by any method, other than purely alphabetically by artist, with all genres disregarded. Within each artist, records are sorted chronologically. Compilations, various artists releases, and deluxe editions are tricky, but that’s part of the fun. Thanks to the interwebs, we know when compilations were released, so they’re usually easy enough. Various artist releases are usually simple enough. They all come after Z on the shelves, and are organized by the main title, such as the name of the movie, or the title of the release. I generally keep deluxe editions with their original versions, unless the deluxe versions are substantially different. A good example of this is the deluxe edition of “Live at Leeds” by The Who, which went from a single LP to 3, and is one of the joys of my life.

    I’ve rejected the notion, for myself, of organizing by genre, as so many artists bend and blend genres, and labels generally bore me. I will admit, however, to maintaining two separate walled enclosures in my stacks, for classical, and for reggae. In the former case, due to the challenge of sorting. Is Beethoven’s 9th, performed by Berlin Philharmoniker, conducted by Van Karajan, to be sorted by composer, orchestra, conductor, year? It’s enough to make one scream (in German, of course, or is it Italian?). As for reggae, that’s music for particular moods, and I keep them in their own corner, just because.

    Artists are sorted by last name. In all my years of digging the stacks, I’ve encountered a store sorting by first name exactly once, and it struck me as being insanely weird. The fun comes in with such as Jethro Tull, Uriah Heep, Elton John, Alice Cooper, and others. Jethro Tull is a band name, and not the name of an individual in the band, so it’s a J, even though Mr. Tull was a historical figure. The same logic puts Uriah Heep under U. Elton John started as a moniker for Reggie Dwight, but became his legal name, first name Elton, so it’s a J. Alice Cooper started as a collective moniker for a band, but became the legal name of Vince Furnier, so it’s a C, even for the early, band albums.

    More fun is to be had with the former bassist, sometimes drummer of the Fab Four. He’s recorded under numerous names, Paul and Linda, Wings, his own name. Wings was a nice conceit of being an actual band. Sure. All incarnations come down to the Macca, so it’s all under M.

    What about Johnny Cougar? It’s all Mellencamp, no debate. We all agree to questionable things when we’re young. I’m not about to search for a JCM LP by trying to remember when he added his surname, or when he totally dropped the Cougar (sounds like my last divorce).

    Gosh, this really is fun. As far as keeping track of my listening queue, it’s just one more field in my music database, rated from 1 to 3.

  • Jun 14,2020 at 16:03

    With more than 13’000 records in my collection first I separate them from format. 7″, 10″, 12″, LP Vinyl and CD’s and BoxSets, even in different rooms and spaces. (for example my 12″ collection is in the garden house on the roof terrace including dj equipment for private party). Second, I separate them into genres like POP/JAZZ/BLACK/REGGAE/BLUES/WORLD/MOVIE/EXOTICA/CLASSIC that makes it easier to find what you want to listen to. Third, inside the genres it’s all in alphabetical order from A-AB-ABC, etc. by artists family or band names. And for last, it’s all in chronological order by artists names, starts with the first possible release date, including compilations. compilations and sampler with different artists goes under ‘various artists’ separately at the end of each section. picture discs are hanging on the wall, off course.
    I never have problems to find a record, created a filemaker program 25 years ago with my record collection on. Now I’m glad there’s discogs and I can upload the whole collection and make it public, thanks.

  • Jun 12,2020 at 09:18

    I’ve got my 4000+ lps organized by both genre and chronological categories. I’m able to find a record quickly by deciding what kind of music or era I want to listen to and then going to the shelves, closing my eyes and grabbing something. My philosophy of collecting is if I don’t want to listen to that particular random selection, then I probably shouldn’t have that record in my collection. In the event you might be interested, here are my weird categories: American Classics, 1960s; Boppers Paradise, Proto-Punk, On the Edge, Just Plain Weird and Totally Psyched, 1960s-70s; American Classics, 1970s; American Modern, post 1974; British Invasion; British Classics, 1960s-70s; British Modern, post 1974; Beatles; Soul & R&B; Pioneers and Blues; Reggae & World Beat; Country. Have fun organizing, by whatever means necessary!

  • Jun 11,2020 at 17:06

    I’m so delightfully heartened to read about how Discogs users and lovers of vinyl arrange, store and care for their collections–with some real unusual ideas to boot.

    With over 4000 in my personal collection, and 3200 for sale, both kept separately, I think I would go mad if all of it wasn’t alphabetized…truly I don’t know how you would find something you wanted to play. Yes, by last name and then chronologically. Although that still is a challenge for someone like Teena Marie,is it indeed “Miss Marie”?

    I asked my neighbor to custom build shelves for me in my house for some fair amount of bucks. They are beautiful and have made me happy as a clam. That’s the next article to write, how everybody stores their records with photos!

  • Jun 11,2020 at 15:18

    Okay I re-organized my vinyl record collection loosely by genre then by Artist A-Z by band name or last name/surname then by original release date. So this better be the best way to do it subjectively. There are advantages and disadvantages both ways. I liked having some artists together by first name/band name but I didn’t like some others. And I do like having some artists next to each other by band name/artist surname but there are others I don’t like as much. So it’s a wash.

    So it’s AC/DC to ZZ Top with compilations, comedy and soundtracks at the end on top shelf.

    And it’s Adderley, Cannonball to Zentner, Si in my big Jazz section followed by my small Classical section at the end which is sorted by composers’ last name such as Bach on the bottom shelf.

    As much as I wanted to try to match it up with Discogs and didn’t mind using first names I think this is still the best way. It’s how most record stores do it and how libraries do it. A book by Ernest Hemingway is found under Hemingway, not Ernest. Same for music artists.
    Thank you 🙏 for all your help.

  • Jun 11,2020 at 10:02

    Mine are in a random order, this way I can just grab something at random and play it as I have little idea of what is where. However, I am thinking of going back to A-Z order as sometimes it’s frustrating not being able to find something specific. I also separate new from secondhand, so will end up with secondhand A-Z and new A-Z.

  • Jun 11,2020 at 08:42

    I for some strange reason have kept them in the order I got them since around 1966 for LP’s and 65 for 45’s.I was 10. Name a song, CD or LP and I know when I got it and can locate it within +/- 10. If not I have an excel spreadsheet.

  • Jun 11,2020 at 02:47

    I order my collection of about 3,000 items by record label and then catalogue number. It creates issues. 4AD catalogue numbers are bizarre, but once you know the code you can quickly file them. This method means that you have to keep Discogs up to date to help find anything.

  • Jun 11,2020 at 01:10

    I sort mine by genre. Some crossover artists are hard to categorise, apart from that it works pretty well. I lose records sometimes … the system isn’t perfect. I spent a good few hours looking for “Music For Commercials” by Yasuaki Shimzu the other day. Could it be in the Japanese section, soundtracks, avant garde or the electronic section? Or is it mislaid somewhere daft?
    On these massive flicking expeditions I find lots of other things I’ve not played for a while so I dig them out to play later. I enjoy the chance / serendipity nature of this little game. If I can’t find an album after 2 days then I go slightly mad. I start looking through places I’ve already looked… and then I imagine someone has stolen my record. At that point it’s not about listening to the record anymore … I just want to find the damn thing.

  • Jun 11,2020 at 00:11

    It is documented that the late great British radio jock John Peel organized his collection by giving each shelf position a ‘numbers from/to’, so 1,456- 1,556′ for example (based on 100 records across that shelf space). Each record loaded onto that space from left to right then got logged into the computer, with the corresponding number from 1,456-1,556 assigned. So if using Excel, a pages document etc, typing in either the record title, artist or label would bring up possible shelf positions. This can gives multi options for location, if going by label or artist, with record title no doubt being the most precise in most situations. For huge record collections, I would recommend this after adopting it myself. X5 house moves over the last 20 years & things got so jumbled up each time, I’d still be shuffling around X2 years after re- shelving. Memory also develops whereby many records I can find quickly without having to check, but for tricky stuff crossing many genres/multi artist contributions/different years or untitled records, it’s an effective system. The only negative is if you want to see all your individual artists work collated in one zone together; this could be worked in, with some patience. Number zones could also work across genre & artist.

  • Jun 10,2020 at 23:49

    My collection contains around 1,500 CDs, out of which 75%+ are classified as “Classical”, from early to contemporary music.

    So, for classical genre exclusively, I use… a Chronological order: i.e. per birthday/deathday of the Composer (or main composer) on the album.

    The currently 1,200 items are shelved in a total of 14 Ikea CD-storage columns and ordered from Up-left (older) to Down-right (most recent) as if the columns formed just one piece (see profile photo).

    The secret to avoid displacing the hundreds of CD each time a new item is added, consists in leaving free space for future incorporations. When space becomes scarce, then time is come to add a new column and bring backward one cell the content of the 2nd row down to 12th one providing additional space between release(s) of different composers.

  • Jun 10,2020 at 16:08

    First I separate LPs by Artists from Series (e.g.Pop Giants and Samplers (VariousArtists).
    Artist (FamilyName) is filed in Alphabetical order and then within the artist the releases in alphabetical order as well.
    In the beginning I filed my items within an artist first by country and then along release date. As I am collecting also ReIssues of items it was more and more confusing, to put them in the right order of release date.
    So about 10 years ago I changed to alphabetical order within the artist as well. This logic will help you find quickly any item within an artist, esp.if you have 50 to 100 items per main artists (Stones, Beatles, Hendrix, Floyd, Santana etc).
    Try it and it will, save your time, esp. if you have your collection (printed or tablet) with you, when going to street markets or record fairs, this helps to avoid buying duplicates.
    Happy Collecting

  • Jun 10,2020 at 16:08

    I have around 5000 45s and 1100 lps. I use the folder option and classify them as to where they are located or type, ie, cabinet, drawers, big band, etc. I have a cabinet for about 2400 of the 45s that pull out (each shelf that pulls out holds about 100) and I use the export function in discogs and print what is on each shelf. I do the same for the rest of the 45s and the lps. I use the downloaded file and sort by first name, title, label, release id. However, that being said whenever I buy something new I have to d/l and print. It was mentioned above that they used an ipad with discogs on it to rapidly find where something is. I do like that idea and will start to use it.

  • Jun 10,2020 at 14:22

    Mine are A to Z using the second name of the artist. Within that, it’s in release date order. I use Discogs to determine where something was released, rather than worry about it on my shelves.

  • Jun 10,2020 at 14:09

    Reading these comments I thought I was lucky having a rather small collection without a complex system.

    And then I realized it’s not so simple.

    I order everything alphabetically by artist name and in chronological order of release within each artist. I use the full artist name as reference, so e.g. Billie Eilish is at B. I do this mostly because I want to avoid confusion with bands like Miike Snow whose name looks like a person’s name or musicians whose names don’t follow the “firstname lastname” pattern.

    But, compilations usually don’t have a specific artist associated to them, so I gave them their own section where I go just by alphabet.

    And then recently I started collecting some movie and game soundtracks. Since I find it hard to remember the composers’ names and sometimes soundtracks don’t even have one specific composer, I gave them yet another section where I just sort them by game/movie title.

    And all of that happens twice, once for CDs and once for vinyl…

    It’s cool to see how differently other people manage their collection!

  • Jun 10,2020 at 13:56

    Personally I got 2 systems going that work fine: By artist, and by Genra & Country.

    This means that my 3 Joni Mitchell albums goes into the ‘Canadian folk’ department next to Neil Young. Joan Baez goes into ‘American folk’ next to Pete Seeger. My 10+ Emmylou Harris records have their own compartment. I also have am ‘asorted’ for random records in seperate genras I only have 1 of, & one place for records I borrowed off of other people.

  • Jun 10,2020 at 13:14

    Why not be really bizarre and do it the old British record shop way pre-UPC codes, by label catalogue number…with the numerical only spines starting with the lowest to the highest numbers…when masterbags were in use.

    The empty sleeve was displayed in the store for sale with the masterbag behind the counter, they were reunited at time of purchase and the masterbag used to re-order and keep count of how many copies remained in stock?

    Of course, you’ll never find anything again if you don’t know what record label it’s on, but that might make you listen to things you never normally get to play…

    All your EMI classical will run ASD 123, ASD 1234, all your ECM would run ECM 1001, ECM 1002, UK Columbia’s SAXL 1001, SAXL 1004, UK Warners K10003, USA Capitol ST 570, ST 650, etc, etc…

  • Jun 7,2020 at 08:32

    Mine are by genre, within that by artist and chronologically and even by mono v. stereo, with various artist discs at the end of each genre.

  • May 24,2020 at 13:30

    Physically, in the room where my 2500 LPs collection is stored, they are sorted in a few categories:
    – Pop rock supergroups: Beatles, Stones, Supertramp, Led Zepp,… and a few other bands known on each and every planet
    – Pop rock LPs which I especially love, for one reason or another
    – Other Pop-Rock
    – Not listened to yet (destined to land in one of the other categories)
    – Classical
    – French
    – Blues
    – Soul
    – Jazz and fusion
    – Compilations
    – World, non music, varied.
    It works quite well for me. I am generally able to find a given record in less than 20 seconds.
    On Discogs, I sort my LPs in a different way: by country of release.

  • May 22,2020 at 21:52

    I sort my records by title, ignoring “the” and “a”. I love the visual variation this creates, and it does not cluster together all the work from some artists of whom I have several tens of records. It remains easy to find albums by title.

  • May 22,2020 at 08:16

    Everything goes into my Discogs collection, everything. I use a lot of customized fields for things like where purchased, price paid, room located, and new/used. But when it comes to organization on the shelf, I leave it to Discogs. Where it sits in the collection folder when sorted alphabetically, that’s where it goes on the shelf. I keep an iPad with Discogs in the living room for my wife and guests. If I’m not home, they know exactly where to find whatever they want to listen to. Don’t have to deal with the issues with my rap section, like lots of others here. That said, worst part about alphabetical sorting is that every time you get a new record, everything has to shift. When you’ve got packed shelves, adding even a few new records can take an hour. Still, it’s the best system I’ve come up with for finding what I want, when I want.

  • May 20,2020 at 08:30

    I really enjoyed reading people’s comments about their organization! I think it’s one of the most satisfying parts of collecting, how you display and sort the damn things. It’s an art form. Here’s my system:
    Rock/Pop/Indie/Psych: Alphabetical by last name or group. There is some foreign stuff in here like German kraut-rock that doesn’t make it into international.
    Soul/R&B, Metal, Punk, HipHop, Compilation, Soundtrack and International (Alphabetical as well)
    Now here are some problems. Splits are always tricky, I was fascinated by one user’s comment (was it 12″ or 78’s I can’t remember). Fortunately, I don’t own too many. I used to sort 10″s seperatedly but now they are grouped. 7″ have their own section, no genres just alphabetic. Then you have artists that I commonly think of by their first name so I have to violate the last name rule (can’t think of a specific one right now).I 100% agree with the user about Jimi Hendrix and JHE going together, mine’s under H. But then you have solo artists whose later career isn’t tied to the original band so they might go alone. The international section drives me nuts because I tried to do it by style/region (E.x. Ska, Afrobeat). But this gets pretty blurry. Then I have International Comps and they go with their respective style/region but so often cross genres! And deciding if it goes in International or General comp is tough.
    I have John Carpenter’s solo work in the soundtrack section because he’s so closely associated with that music.
    Hip-hop is the hardest to sort by the last name because of all the aliases. For example: MF Doom, Doom, Viktor Vaughn, King Ghidora, ugh. I gave up years ago on a workable system for that section.
    Of course, you will always have tough calls on which genre to place something, it’s the nature of organizing. Who’s ever gotten upset to find Bon Jovi records in a heavy metal bin at a record store?
    For some time I was trying to arrange the band’s records Chronological in their respective section but this got too cumbersome. At the end of the day I just want it to look neat and I own about 1700 records so I find what I want pretty easily. Thanks for reading!

  • May 18,2020 at 12:25

    I thin a combination of Discogs and a coordinate system in the shelf is a good approach….
    Add all items added to your Discogs collection, add an additional field where you can for example tell what room, shelf and what section in the shelf the record can be found….
    Example: Living Room, Shelf 1, Row C (A-Z from top to bottom) and box 3 (left to right in the specific row)… “LR-S1-C3” and you have reduced down the search time to a small set of records….

  • May 18,2020 at 01:45

    I use an alphabetical method for my LPs, 10″s and CDs. Only jazz LPs and CDs are kept separately, although sometimes I have problems with jazz-rock/fusion albums (Weather Report, Mahavishnu Orchestra etc.), and have to choose whether to put them into rock/pop or jazz sections. Normally I prefer rock/pop as my main sphere of interest.
    I also use last names, band names and compilation titles for the alphabetical order, but it is also tricky sometimes. In my case the Spencer Davis Group is “S”, but Jimi Hendrix Experience is “H” because otherwise Jimi’s solo records should be kept separately from his Experience albums.
    I would like to regroup my collection by genres someday. It would be certainly much easier to choose what to listen to at any particular moment depending on the mood. What really stops me is the uncertainty about blurry “borders” between genres. It is almost impossible to devide 1960s beat, R&B, garage, psychedelic records/compilations or, for example, psychedelic and prog LPs. It is even more difficult when talking about retrospective compilations by certain groups or cross-genre compilations.

  • May 15,2020 at 15:42

    I, of course, use the alphabetical, but not only.

    My CD go like this:
    I have a ‘world’ section, meaning that anything is in it, Artists from US, UK, Germany, Australia, Japan, etc. Mostly music in English. And that goes alphabetically.

    Then I have my Brazilian section (since I am Brazilian and I own quite a bunch of artists from there), and that goes alphabetically.

    Then I have a small but favorite Portugal, Spain, Italy section, and a Polish section (where I live). And all that that goes alphabetically within each section.

    Then I have my Progressive Rock section (like 40% of my collection), and that goes alphabetically.

    LPs, Tapes, DVDs and Blu Rays go alphabetically, cause I don’t own a whole lot of them so I don’t need sections.

    It’s not easy for anyone else but me to find stuff, but it’s my collection, isn’t it? xD

    My wife, though, gets pissed everytime she tries to find a cd for her to listen to xD

  • May 15,2020 at 08:02

    Great to see how other collectors work, I’ve tried alphabetical, genre etc. I’ve ended up giving up,and using Discogs as my database every record I own goes in a poly sleeve, I stick a 1″ sticker on the poly sleeve and give it a catalogue number, that catalogue number goes in the notes field on discogs eg 1678 – and then any notes I want to add after that. Then all of my LP’s are kept together, all my 12″ are kept together, I just use Discogs collection to decide what I want to play and within seconds I can find any record I own.
    This works for me so well I wont go back to any other method. I also once in a while export my collection feature and print out an excel alphabetical ‘menu’ if you like that I keep next to my record player that I or guests can browse through.

  • May 14,2020 at 18:47

    I used to have all my CDs by genre but my ex couldn’t find anything so I put it alphabetical for him. After we split I did the rearrange thing and decided to do alphabetical within each year, best thing I’ve ever done, giving me a totally new way of listening to things. Highly recommend it!

  • May 14,2020 at 18:10

    I may be one of the very few people who do the kind of sorting I do with singles, but with more than 200,000 items in my collection, it works well for me for several reasons. First, especially with 78s, there was a penchant to put two different artists on any given record, so a strict sort by artist is impossible. Second, when there’s so many, it gets a bit hard to remember what I have and what I don’t have (it was no major problem till about 100,000 records and 30 years ago–plenty of brain storage space, but a certain inability to recall due to age crept up on me).

    So while I arrange albums 1)by genre and 2)alphabetically within genre (which still gets confusing with people like Joe Jackson and Jackie Gleason), I sort my 45s and 78s 1)by label and 2)by number. This has its own problems (for example, should I file the Capitol-numbered Apple singles by their number within the Capitol singles, or in their own section with the dedicated-number Apple singles?), but if I’m checking auction lists or the like, I have an easy way to instantaneously find a specific disc.

    I haven’t done this next trick in years (and I have listed none of my non-Discogs purchases on Discogs so far–not enough time), but I used to carry around one, then two, and finally three 3×5 loose-leaf notebooks (about 100 pages each) listing my 78s by label and number so I would have a quick reference whenever I was in a secondhand shop. When it was about to turn into a 4th notebook (about 20 numbers per page, adding more in between the lines) in the 1970s, I gave up. But I still prefer the records filed in that order.

  • May 14,2020 at 10:05

    A-Z is how I shelve my vinyl and CDs.

    Individual artists I file by family/surname.

    Bands are corporate entities, so I file theme by the first word after the definite article (which is usually “The”). As a result, Beatles under “B”; Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers under “T”. As a result, Springsteen can pop up under “B” or “S’ depending on whether the E Street Band is given any prominence.

    For compilations, just alphabetical by title, sometimes separated by genre, e.g. Blues, Rockabilly; Doo-Wop, [et. al.].

    Soundtracks alphabetical by title.

    It can be a bit confusing to the uninitiated, but it’s my stuff and no-one else should be poking around in it.

  • May 14,2020 at 07:27

    I normally arrange alphabetically and have certain key genres grouped together.

    One of the genres is tough though (hip hop), because some artists use their given name and others don’t. So for example Erick Sermon, it feels odd putting him in ‘S’ when he is commonly known as “E-Double” and Biz Markie, would feel odd under ‘M’ when he is commonly known as ‘Biz’ or ‘The Biz’. Big Daddy Kane is another complexity as he is also known as “Kane”. The only way I can be consistent with hip hop is to arrange alphabetically by the first letter of the artist’s name (Erick Sermon is filed under E, Biz and Big Daddy Kane are both filed under B).

    For all other genres, I file solo artists alphabetically by surname (if there is one in the title).

  • May 13,2020 at 22:24

    The rainbow approach is fun, or white to black would be cool. BUT – my OCD ain’t lettin’ it happen. I still go A-Z, using number bands spelled out (.38 Special is under Thirty-Eight, not 3). Within the artist’s discography, it’s chronological, including any single(s) released before an album, and those after. Special editions later released (like Prince’s Purple Rain, or 1999) are often just kept with the original version of the album.

    I started doing that numeric to alphabetic trick after working at a low office in the 90s. They had a similar approach to client files. Any business that started with a number was just filed alphabetically. Took some brain work, but we’re not here to stagnate anyway.

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