Genres: Consolidate or Diversify?

Whyren

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
In your iTunes library, do you prefer to group types of songs together in a broad genre (like iTunes does: e.g. Electronic), or do you spread out your music to make it more specific to the type of music (e.g. Electronic=Breakbeat, DnB, Acid, Hardcore, etc.)?

I personally keep them broad (@ 32 genres) to get to stuff as quickly as I can, but would gladly diversify if iTunes would finally incorporate multiple genre support.
 

chucknorris

macrumors 6502a
Jun 28, 2005
559
0
Moscow, ID (No Kremlin here!)
Whyren said:
In your iTunes library, do you prefer to group types of songs together in a broad genre (like iTunes does: e.g. Electronic), or do you spread out your music to make it more specific to the type of music (e.g. Electronic=Breakbeat, DnB, Acid, Hardcore, etc.)?

I personally keep them broad (@ 32 genres) to get to stuff as quickly as I can, but would gladly diversify if iTunes would finally incorporate multiple genre support.
I generally don't really worry about it. If I take the initiative and do worry about it though, I tend to opt for more specific classifications.
 

iDM

macrumors 6502a
This is one of those things i constantly struggle with. I have 3500 songs, and at one time i have every single one rated, however after deleting some and acquiring some i now have about 150 that are not rated. I also have a bunch that are not in genres and some that are mis-titled it is so hard to keep up with, i can't stand unorganized libraries. My iPhoto library is currently being scanned for duplicates and imported thumbnails so hopefully that will be better organized and i can squeeze all of my photos and my .mp3's and apparently all of my videos on their as well!!!
 

madmaxmedia

macrumors 68030
Dec 17, 2003
2,923
32
Los Angeles, CA
Sub- genres or multiple genres in iTunes would be great, although I don't know if it is part if ID3 tags (in the song files.)

I used a small number of broad genres, but both ways have benefits...
 

JonHimself

macrumors 68000
Nov 3, 2004
1,553
4
Toronto, Ontario
To use sub-genres could you not just use the 'Grouping' tag? Just as an idea. Like have the 'Genre' tag say Electronic and then the 'Grouping' say Acid, House, etc... Then you can always search for Electronic and get all of your electronic or search House and just get those. Also, you could use it for Smart Playlists as well.. I know that I use the Grouping tag to identify live or acoustic tracks and then created a smart playlist for those... just an idea.
 

spaceballl

macrumors 68030
Nov 2, 2003
2,856
240
San Francisco, CA
I have a little over 20gb so I try to keep my number of genres between 11 and 15 in order to make finding stuff much faster. I can't stand going through artists directly. My rule of thumb is to try and keep them evenly balanced. If one has WAY too much stuff, I divide it up. If there isn't enough, I move it into other genres.
 

Blue Velvet

Moderator emeritus
Jul 4, 2004
21,652
123
Diversify. The genre 'electronica' is so broad and generally uselessly vague that it is virtually meaningless.

Apologies to our American friends but this is not a term that you will often hear in the UK at all.

So... yes, I have two (only two) made-up genres of drum and bass... dark and fluffy.

Just kidding... :)
 

Jaffa Cake

macrumors Core
Aug 1, 2004
19,801
6
The City of Culture, Englandshire
I tend to find that, no matter how much you try to use the broad genres, there's always some music that just stubbornly refuses to fit and demands its own custom classification.

And if you're going to do it for those songs, you may as well go the whole hog and do it for others, too.
 

cleanup

macrumors 68030
Jun 26, 2005
2,643
10
Toronto
I try to keep my genres as limited as possible. I hate genres.

For me, there's only a few main genres:

Rock
Pop
Rap
Hip Hop
Classical
Jazz
Reggae
Techno
Dance
(and maybe) Classic Rock

Don't give me no "House" or "Funk" or "Alternative Indie College Garage Revival Rock" ... that's just silly.
 

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,194
6
Adelaide, Australia
I hate having the additional data so I delete all info about the song other than the name and artist. It makes for properly alphabetised lists and a cleaner interface (IMO) with less columns. :)
 

bepster

macrumors member
Oct 21, 2005
78
0
oh, I have such odd genres like alternitiv -fast, mid and slow!
I like the specifics, but only when it come to so large genres like alterintive music!


I like the possiblity to just play by genre like at parties... so it's nice that everything is about the same style and tempo
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,641
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
I collapse them down, so that I have about a dozen categories, and I fit anything I get into one of them. The reason is that the main use I put genres to is finding songs on my iPod, and it seems to be a good balance between having to dig through multiple layers and having a list that's too long to navigate in. I know a lot of songs don't classify that well, but I'm willing to live with it.
 

tobefirst

macrumors 601
Jan 24, 2005
4,029
1,139
St. Louis, MO
To be honest, I really don't use the genre tag very much. I started to, at one point, using very general tags, but now I can't be bothered with it. I would LOVE, however, some way to import the genres from the iTMS (or some other wealth of musical knowledge) via applescript. I know this has been talked about, but I don't think it's actually ever been figured out. I'd use it more if I wasn't the one making the tough decisions as to which genre a song would go in; I'd have someone else to yell at if I didn't like what genre a song was in!
 

Project

macrumors 68020
Aug 6, 2005
2,298
0
I personally go with a few broad categories. It makes everything so much easier when browsing. I dont have to think about what genre a particular track is in because it is so obvious.

My genres:

Dance (mainly soulful house, triphop, prodigy type stuff etc
Hiphop (all forms. my main genre)
Garage/Grime
RnB (everything from Marvin Gaye to Jodeci
Reggae
Rock

If I want to go any further than that, I use the comments field to add things.
 

cube

macrumors P6
May 10, 2004
16,436
4,445
I hate that CDDB restricts you to a pathetic small set of genres and does not allow defining your own.
 

flat6

macrumors regular
Oct 24, 2004
244
0
Bluegrass
Blues
Cajun
Celtic
Classic Rock
Classical
Country
Dance
Delta Blues
Disco
Electronica
Folk
Gospel
Hard Rock
Heavy Metal
Hip-Hop
Indian
Instrumental
Jazz
Latin
Pop
Punk
R&B
Ragtime
Rap
Reggae
Rock
Soul
Soundtrack
Swing
Techno
Trip-Hop
Vocal
World

So yeah, pretty general, with some specifics where my particular interests are. I like the ability to concentrate on a specific type of music - I mean, sometimes I just feel like nothing but Delta Blues will do.
 

Lacero

macrumors 604
Jan 20, 2005
6,639
2
I keep mine as simple as possible, but I have about 28 genres listed from the ordinary (Rock) to the obscure (Klezmer). I'll make extra genres just to exclude certain songs I'll rarely if ever listen to.

Rock by far is my largest genre with over 6,000 songs.
Here's to the Crazy Ones
 

Project

macrumors 68020
Aug 6, 2005
2,298
0
flat6 said:
Bluegrass
Blues
Cajun
Celtic
Classic Rock
Classical
Country
Dance
Delta Blues
Disco
Electronica
Folk
Gospel
Hard Rock
Heavy Metal
Hip-Hop
Indian
Instrumental
Jazz
Latin
Pop
Punk
R&B
Ragtime
Rap
Reggae
Rock
Soul
Soundtrack
Swing
Techno
Trip-Hop
Vocal
World

So yeah, pretty general, with some specifics where my particular interests are. I like the ability to concentrate on a specific type of music - I mean, sometimes I just feel like nothing but Delta Blues will do.

See I dont understand this - how have you divided Hiphop with Rap? What constitutes each, and what kind of artists do you have in each.
 

frankblundt

macrumors 65816
Sep 19, 2005
1,271
0
South of the border
Project said:
See I dont understand this - how have you divided Hiphop with Rap? What constitutes each, and what kind of artists do you have in each.
exactly.
and where does Prince go? and Hothouse Flowers (Celtic / pop / rock?) or Dreadzone, or Dread Zeppelin?
Almost never use them except when my parents are visiting, to avoid Ministry, Missy Elliot, Cypress Hill and the like randomly coming up and frightening them.
 

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,194
6
Adelaide, Australia
frankblundt said:
Almost never use them except when my parents are visiting, to avoid... Missy Elliot... randomly coming up and frightening them.

Missy Elliot? She's so soft she cries when butterflies die. :eek:

FWIW, I think hip hop is a more modern style than rap, that's how I've got them sorted in my smart playlists.
 

Project

macrumors 68020
Aug 6, 2005
2,298
0
HipHop preceded rap though, so how can it be a modern style of it?

Alas, the MTV Awards brainwashing has taken effect lol. I remember when they had J Lo in the Hiphop category and Nas in the Rap category. I cried.
 

Counterfit

macrumors G3
Aug 20, 2003
8,202
0
sitting on your shoulder
Blue Velvet said:
Diversify. The genre 'electronica' is so broad and generally uselessly vague that it is virtually meaningless.
See, this is my problem. Should I put Ornette Coleman, Charlie Parker, and Jelly Roll Morton all in "Jazz"? Or should I split them up into "Free Jazz", "Bebop", and "Dixieland"? Oh the choices :eek:

Apologies to our American friends but this is not a term that you will often hear in the UK at all.
No apologies necessary, not many people use it over here either. We go for "Techno" as the broad term, with the thousands of sub-genres to go with it for those who care. Maybe I should ask my brother to explain them all to me some day. There are so many, I can only describe what I like by telling people what groups/artists I like. :confused:



One last thing. Why do people insist on using "World" as a genre? All music is "World" music. It's also just weird to put traditional music from Japan (with the koto or shamisen) in the same genre as music from central Africa (with the mbira). They're just as dissimilar as Baroque and Middle Eastern music. Ah yes, for anyone who cares, the "Classical" period lasted approximately from the death of J.S. Bach (1750's I think) to the early 19th century. Before that, there was Baroque (Bach) and Renaissance (Gabrielli), and after it came Romantic (later Beethoven, Chopin) and 20th Century, and others, which I am far too tired to list. Posting at 5:30 AM is a bad idea :O
 

flat6

macrumors regular
Oct 24, 2004
244
0
Project said:
See I dont understand this - how have you divided Hiphop with Rap? What constitutes each, and what kind of artists do you have in each.
Well, I don't know what the experts do about these divisions. All I know is what I think the difference between them is, so that's how I split them. (But to be fair, rap vs. hip-hop is one of the hardest distinctions to make when I'm trying to organize my music).

But to answer your question.
Rap: 50 Cent, Coolio, Nas, DMX, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Mystikal
Hip-Hop: Black Eyed Peas, Busta Rhymes, Cypress Hill, Gorillaz, Gil Scott-Heron, Fugees, Handsome Boy Modeling School, The Herbaliser, Roots Manuva, Wu-Tang Clan, Wyclef Jean

If I had to justify it: rap is straight-forward spoken rhymes, following a pretty strict structure, almost wholly separate from the generic beats in the background. Hip-hop is far more creative, both in the lyrical structure and how the beats/instrumentals intertwine.

But that's just me.

One last thing. Why do people insist on using "World" as a genre? All music is "World" music. It's also just weird to put traditional music from Japan (with the koto or shamisen) in the same genre as music from central Africa (with the mbira).
I'm far too musically ignorant to make worthwhile distinctions. And even if I did, I'd end up with categories containing the one Mongolian song I have, and the one Chinese song I have, and the one Iranian song I have, etc... far too splintered.
 

Counterfit

macrumors G3
Aug 20, 2003
8,202
0
sitting on your shoulder
flat6 said:
I'm far too musically ignorant to make worthwhile distinctions. And even if I did, I'd end up with categories containing the one Mongolian song I have, and the one Chinese song I have, and the one Iranian song I have, etc... far too splintered.
Well, you could always use "Non-Western" if you only have a few songs. (of course, it'll look weird if you have some west African music in there... ;)