I thought I’d share my method on how I organise my digital music collection as when I first switched over from vinyl it wasn’t really something I properly thought about. Since I’ve started sorting tunes properly it has made it much easier for me to find the tracks I want on the fly mid set. I’ve seen a few articles online about how to organise your music library, but not so many that are aimed towards DJ’s so thought I’d share my process as simply as possible.
Firstly I am using Pioneer’s Rekordboxsoftware, but the principle is the same for Serato, Traktor or even iTunes.
The secret to organisation is playlists! Every month I create a new playlist and name it with the month & year, for example March 17. Every track I buy or get sent in March 2017 will go straight into that folder, that way I will be able to skip back easily to find all tracks from that month.
I will also spend about and hour each week making sure all the info for each track is correct; Artist, Title, Album, Record Label. This helps me when I’m DJing, if I want to play a track by a certain artist I can easily find it. I’m not so fussed about the Genre or Key but if you are then be sure to update these fields. I will also make sure my beat grids & cue points are all set up during this time. It’s best to stay on top of this and do a few each week, if you leave it a few weeks then it becomes a bit time consuming!
Each time I play a gig I will set up a playlist. I’m not one for pre-planning sets, but it does help to think what tracks I’d like to play and put them in one place so I have easy access to them. I compare it to when I used to go through my vinyl and put what I wanted to play in my record bag.
Unless you have way too much time on your hands I wouldn’t bother going back through your digital collection, it’ll take forever, concentrate on keeping it in order going forward. I do find myself wanting to play old tunes now & then so will catalogue them in small batches as & when I need them.
And that’s pretty much it…. Simple! I would also recommend backing up your collection (including cue points) regularly. I do mine every 6 weeks. That way if a USB stick or hard drive dies on me I haven’t lost everything. Check out my article on ‘Backing Up Your Reckordbox Music‘ for info on how best to do that.
Any other DJ related tips you want to know? Let me know