"Year" in compilations - how do you manage it?

Discussion in 'iPod' started by c-Row, Jul 17, 2008.

  1. macrumors 65816


    Jan 10, 2006
    So I have set up some neat little smart playlists, dividing my tunes into 80s, 90s, 2000s and everything else, further split into individual years, which is handy if I want to listen to some 80s rock music, for example.

    However, since there is no "album release year" tag (yet), how do you manage compilations than span across more than a few years? Do you enter the appropriate year for each individual song? Or is it set to the album's eventual release date?

    Basically, I don't want to listen to the Beatles if I select one of my 90s lists just because some Best Of compilation got released during that period, while on the other hand I miss out their tunes while digging through the 60s collection.

    What's your approach?
  2. macrumors newbie


    Jul 17, 2008
    Baton Rouge
    I'm not sure if this helps much, but since I'm currently in the process of properly cataloging and tagging all of my 140GB worth of music in itunes, (which is a logistical nightmare) I thought I'd chime in what my method is.

    I first sorted music by genre into folder on my hard drive, with music in 1940's, 1950's, 1960's, ect. and then Country, Comedy, Books, Disney, New Age, Soundtracks, ect.

    After that, I sorted into subfolders under the genres the artist names, and under artists, I put the albums for each.

    Now here I had to make a decision. I first ran into a problem with Elton John. His career has spanned from the 1960's to the present. Which decade do I put him into? I took a look at the songs I have for him and realized that I really only started listening to him in the 1990's and it was the albums he put out after the 1990's that I have the most of. Even though I know he has music from the 70's and 60's, indeed I even own some of them, I opted to put Elton John in the 1990's and drop all of his music in that folder. If I want to remember what year the song came out, I'll put it in the "notes" area of the MP3 file while tagging.

    But then I had the reverse problem with Bon Jovi. I put him in the 1980's, even though his more recent albums probably belong in the 2000's.

    In my 1980's genre especially, I have alot of compilation albums, including one marked "Heavy Metal." Well Heavy Metal got its start in the 70's and I have some Black Sabbath in that folder, and yet since most of the songs are from the 80's, I put it in the 80's genre.

    Being unable to tag by year, I just had to work out a system for myself where I would remember where my music is and how to find it quickly. All I can say is thank god for the search feature on ipods!

    Part of my problem was my first MP3 player, an Archos Jukebox recorder, works as a plug and play hard drive and sorts music into file folders just like a computer hard drive does. Not only was it my music player, it was the external hard drive on which I stored my music. This was how I had to find my music, by folders, as there was no song/artist/genre search on the device. I'm still sort of stuck in that mentality, and though I do own a 4th gen ipod, I'm still having a hard time convincing myself that I really can drop Elton John's albums in the decade folders by which they were released and if I want to hear all Elton John or all Bon Jovi, go to the Artist menu and play all thier songs from there. I was mentally trained by my first player that meant I had to remember which folder I had put my songs in if I wanted to play them. With 30GB, not so much of a problem. With 140GB, it can be a chore.

    And smart playlists still elude me.

    Good luck, hope you get it sorted out! (no pun intended)

  3. macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    I use the following hierarchy:

    1. Genre (most common for the artist. If an artist does mostly rock but does a few country, I keep them in rock)
    2. Artist (if multiple artists on a song, the most prominent one)
    3. Album
    4. Song

    Also, I don't accept standard genres.... I modify them to match what makes sense to me. I don't need 137 genres and sub-genres, when 20 will do.

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