Library Management and File Structure

Tags: #<Tag:0x00007fe3150fb8b0> #<Tag:0x00007fe3150fb518>

Greetings All!

I’m new here, and to forums in general…However, I’ve recently decided I need to get a better handle on my music collection and the internet-rabbit-hole has led me here. I’ve just begun fiddling around with MusicBrainz Picard and this whole scripting thing, and it’s got my mind all in a jumble. It’s also caused me to start asking more in depth questions about my library and what I want it to look/act like.

I’ve thought that I wanted to get a directory and folder structure down, but then I wondered how that would work with cross-platform media players. I don’t typically carry around all my music files, I just load up a bunch of what I’m feeling like and have recently been using the Android VLC media player to listen on the go.
However, in the past I’ve used MediaMonkey on both my PC and mobile device, but I don’t know if the directory naming structure has to be the same on both devices, or if I can just jumble a bunch of songs onto my mobile device and have the media player sort them in the interface…suggestions?
Will the media that’s tagged be readable by MediaMonkey even if it’s not in the same file structure?
If I create a playlist on my laptop, can that same playlist be used on my mobile device?

So, to wrap up this post I have the following (2) questions:

  1. What are some very versatile cross-platform media (mainly music and video, possibly also pictures) players that I could run on both a Windows PC and an Android device?

  2. Can someone provide a sample script that would set up my folder directory as follows?:

Root Folder:

My Music


Around The World
__%Country Of Origin%
___%Album Artist%
____%Year% - %Album% [%File Quality% or “Mixed Quality”]
-------->%Track Number% - %Track Title%

Classical Music

Single Artist Music
___%Year% - %Album% [%File Quality% or “Mixed Quality”]
------->%Track Number% - %Title% [%Quality% (if it’s a mixed quality album)]

__%Album% - %Year% [%File Quality% or “Mixed Quality”]
----->%Track Number% - %AlbumArtist featuring, x, y, z% - %Title% [%Quality% (if it’s a mixed quality album)]

Sound Tracks
__%Year% - %Movie%
___%Album% [%File Quality% or “Mixed Quality”]
------->%Track Number% - %Artist% - %Track Title% [%Quality% (if it’s a mixed quality album)]

—That’s it —

Also…if you’re feeling instructional, I’d love to learn what was used to make the script, why it was written the way it was written, and what or how each step in the script does what it does.

Thanks in advance for anyone’s consideration!!

As long as your players are all up to date, then you will be fine. The tag data really is the key. And the more accurate the tags, the better all the players will handle it. Most players won’t really care about the folder names.

It also helps that many of the newer players know of MB and will read the MBID’s directly.

Generally players read the tags first, and only fall back to file names if the tags are missing.

BUT there is one gotcha - Hardware. Old portable MP3 players, car stereos, hifi’s, etc. HARDWARE can give you some hassles. Especially older hardware.

I have some old MP3 players in a drawer that are real fussy. I then have to either tweak my tags to fit their needs, or copy tracks onto the devices and then retag them for that device.

  • Some of these need me to go into Picard settings and change MP3 tags to v2.3 as they can’t read newer v2.4 tags.
  • Some of them get utterly confused with multi-CD releases. (I have an old phone that needs me to number tracks as 101, 102, 103…201, 202, 203… etc otherwise I get stupid playlists when I play that album)
  • Some devices insist on having artwork called folder.jpg or cover.jpg

And so on… so really, it is the Hardware you play back on the limitations will appear. So go dig out all your devices, phones, etc that you are likely to playback tunes on and check that they are happy.


@IvanDobsky - Thanks for the reply! That’s another thing I was wondering about…tags! Which version of tag is the most widely used?
If it’s just the hardware, then I think I’m all set…I don’t have a dedicated mp3 player, although I’m leaning towards one because I don’t like to lug around a smartphone when I go to the gym, or out for a run. Either way, I appreciate the tip!

I try and use the ID3v2 v2.4 tags and UTF-16 when possible. This is the newest tag “spec” and is a bit more sensible how somethings are handled. My main media centre certainly likes the extra info.

As I don’t like embedding artwork in my files, the fussiest device I have needs artwork as folder.jpg. Which is simple enough to sort out by hand as needed.

But the best thing to do is just experiment. COPY a few different albums into a folder and try things out. Use these copies as test victims to be hammered into compliance. Massage to your needs.

Various Artist albums are another one that can be a little messy. Making sure your player knows the difference between %albumartist% and %artist%.

Multi-disk albums can be setup in various ways.

And watch out how those players handle non-ASCII characters: Asian Fonts, Umlauts and accents, and then the classic MB “gotcha” of the prettified Unicode hyphens and speechmarks.

(Especially watch-out for the Hyphens and Apostrophe’s in band names. These caught me out as they look identical to an ASCII hyphen you find on the keyboard but the computer reads them as different. Can be funny to spot two folders side by side called “Easy Star All-Stars”)