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Your Ripping Workflow #1 - (NAS or) hard drive structure*

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Dillydipper, Nov 1, 2019.

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  1. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark Thread Starter

    Central PA
    It’s my hope by asking questions 10 different ways to Sunday, I’ll gain both knowlege and wisdom to help me in my ripping project, and maybe give you newbs ideas as well. (This one is specifically about how you organize your server/hard drive/collection, but there will be other threads in this series as well as the days go by!)

    How are you cataloging your rips on whichever hard drive(s) you put them on? Do they all go in one library, in folders of artists and/or album titles?

    Do you find yourself separating them for easier selection, location or shuffling?

    I’ve been toying with the notion of separating a collection by the subject (“GenPop”, for instance, for “general population“), another folder for the tracks I’m most likely to always want to go to...and a third for “everything else” (such as those I keep dupes of for some reason, or the Jethro Tull “Living In The Past” tracks I don’t need since I have most of them on other albums, or albums I may only want to get to once or twice in a lifetime)

    Once I’ve done that, is keeping these in separate sub-libraries just making pure shuffle process more difficult? I can imagine these sub-libraries containing tens of thousands of tracks each anyway, making universal playlists impossible in the first place.

    While I’m at it...does a complex hierarchy make shuffling impossible in the first place...because I really don’t know.

    But, I’m assuming it’s at least a good idea, to keep your classical music from your Christmas music from your day-to-day music from your archives of 1930’s radio shows...right?
    Randoms likes this.
  2. vinylontubes

    vinylontubes Forum Resident

    Katy, TX
    Structure is top level folder with folders with for each artist then subfolder for each album.
    After that it doesn't matter about shuffling, even though I never do this. Most media players will look at the top level folder and find everything within it. The media player syncs with the folder at opening to check for any changes. So, it's always updated unless you do a rip with another program, then you have to force a sync.
    Shawn and Dillydipper like this.
  3. Carl Swanson

    Carl Swanson Forum Resident

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  4. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark Thread Starter

    Central PA
    Carl, are you genres very detail-specific ("trip-hop", "western swing"), or are they intentionally more universal ("rock", "jazz", "pop")...?
  5. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    Seattle, WA
    Me too. But frankly I've discovered that dividing by Genera on a NAS is nearly pointless since the DLNA server organizes everything by its tags and/or play lists regardless of your folder structure.

    However, for the OP: I have a process where I rip to my local HD in batches using EAC, I then scrub the tags while the files are still on my HD (in batches). Finally I perform a one-way update-sync to my NAS using the free tool MS SyncToy after I have the metadata the way that I want it to be.
    Dillydipper likes this.
  6. vinnn

    vinnn Forum Resident

    For me it's either;

    ... when I have a discography going on for that artist or something, or just;

    genre/artist - album
    ... for everything else.

    More specifically, the majority of my collection is;
    genre/artist - album (year) [format]

    The genre folders being quite a loose generalisation, the real organisation is in the file metadata/tags anyway so the directory structure is just for neatness really. I wouldn't normally navigate the filesystem tree on my NAS to play files.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2019
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  7. Grant

    Grant Living in the 90s

    United States
    Dillyman! Here is what works for me:

    The single artist/bands go into one folder marked Single Artist Titles. Each artist gets their own folder and each album gets a folder within their respective artists folder. In the case of two discrete artists having a duo project, such as Santana and The Isley Brothers album "Power Of Peace", the same album will go into both artists' folders. Wasted space maybe, but space is cheap.

    The soundtrack albums go into one called Soundtracks.

    The various artist comps go into a folder called Various Artists. This one, I haven't quite figured it out. I have most of them categorized by record company or conglomerate. For those that were not issued by a specific record company/conglomerate, or are custom/homemade comps, they go under a folder within the various artists folder called Assorted Comps And Tracks. In the case of, say, Universal, I have separate folders for, say, Motown, MCA, and Polygram. and Time-Life. For Capitol, I know Warner owns them now, but I still think of them as EMI. Just how my brain works. It's hard for me to remember that Concord has the post 1967 Stax material.

    Within Assorted Comps And Tracks, I have even more folders nested inside of it. Here, I keep the "Now That's What I Call Music" series, my year-by-year comps, select comps made by others that were given to me, and a folder I call Christmas Crap. Also in this folder, I have another folder called Assorted Tracks where I keep stragglers, songs/singles that don't fit anywhere specific. I have these separated by decade. They are huge folders! Here, I keep downloaded songs, needledrops of 45s and various album tracks. Many of them cannot be found in digital form on any official release. I keep 12" singles, b-sides, and can have multiple versions of the same basic song. Every few years I find ways to streamline the various Artists folder.

    I never, ever separate albums by genre. To me, it is fundamentally wrong, and smacks of segregation. besides, some music defies categorization. Since music is my life, I already have it in my head what an artist or album sounds like. I don't need no stinkin' genre tag to tell me what to think. If anyone else looks at my collection and needs, say, a disco album, tough titty!

    I keep two FLAC drives and two mp3 drives.

    One more thing: I do not use computer programs that file and filter titles or genres for me.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2019
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  8. Vincent Kars

    Vincent Kars Forum Resident

    I had multiple libraries but switching from one to the other proved a bit cumbersome.
    Hence 1 library for me.

    As I tag classical different from jazz and pop, my file system is

    This makes it easy to filter on “classical” leaving the genre tag free for a more detailed classification.

    Within this file structure, I use a folder (Performer - album title) per CD. Having all the tracks in the same folder helps the day a track seems to be missing.
    I rip to a file per trach as I don’t like cue sheets.
    Its tagging is to limited and I do prefer to have a file being self-documenting and not dependent on another external file. Likewise I store cover art in the tracks.

    A bit more: The Well-Tempered Computer
    Dillydipper likes this.
  9. PitreVert

    PitreVert Active Member

    Ripping and tagging are one of my "hobbies" for about 10 years.
    Today, almost every players handle tags quite well and create music database so folders structure is less important than before.
    Nevertheless I prefer to keep my music files well sorted.

    I use EAC, Mp3Tag and flac format in my ripping process.

    The top level folder is based on the source of the files : Rips (the discs I ripped myself from my collection), Digital Purchases, Bootlegs, Others.
    Inside these folders, I use the artist / album structure.
    For the file naming, I prefer [discnumber][tracknumber] - track name.[extension]. For example : Jimi Hendrix\Band Of Gypsys\103 - Changes.flac
    For multiple discs albums, I don't create disc folders. Every tracks are in the album folder and wih the filename starting with [discnumber][tracknumber] everything is well sorted.

    For bootlegs, the "album" folder name is different. For example : 1979-08-11 - Knebworth Festival, Stevenage,, UK (Tarantura - TCD-4-1,2). It's Date - Venue, City, Country (Label - Label code).

    I use script functions in Mp3tag to be sure that my tags are consistent. I use comment tag to keep track of the mastering.

    All my files are duplicated on my NAS, 2 different computers, external drives and my dropbox.
    Dillydipper likes this.
  10. Sevoflurane

    Sevoflurane Forum Resident

    Artist - album/track. Title for me.

    I keep parallel FLAC, ALAC and mp3 versions in separate folders (mp3 for the car, though as I now play ALAC versions via CarPlay I may stop doing this). All get ripped and placed into the correct folders in one go using the dBPoweramp multi encoder.

    I have separate folders for Hi Res, DSD and surround versions.

    In terms of metadata management, I try and get it all right at the time of ripping using dBPoweramp. Alternative versions of albums get an addition to the album title, e.g.”The Dark Side of the Moon [2003 DSD remaster]”. I only add front cover artwork, which dBPoweramp is pretty good at getting right first time. If I have to scan the front cover I will. If the album’s e.g. a live bootleg without artwork I’ll try and find a suitable band shot from that tour to use instead. Each folder also has a copy of the artwork named folder.jpg, which dBPoweramp does automatically. Some players only show the cover art if this is present.

    It sounds convoluted, but the majority of CDs rip in one go with only minor metadata edits needed. If I rip audio from a DVD or BD, then I add the metadata and artwork using Audiomuxer, and dBPoweramp format converter generates the final versions using the multi encoder.

    Most important: multiple backups, on both my Mac and PC, with a NAS backup and a couple of portable drives off site. All hard drives will fail.
    defmoot, Grant and Dillydipper like this.
  11. Randoms

    Randoms Aerie Faerie Nonsense

    @Dillydipper great idea and question.

    We are all trying to create a personal library, but what is in that library and how we want to display it varies massively from individual to individual. There are so many "rights" and far more wrong ways of doing this. Obviously most peoples stated aim is to get it right first time, but working out just what "right" is, for our own needs, within the limitations of our player / app and for compatability without further work, is possibly the biggest and hardest decision. There are no real standards for tags and many players and apps remain very basic. Artist, Title (Album / Song) and Genre are most common, so for maximum compatibility I tag around those. Hence Artist Gustav Mahler Album Symphony No. 2 in C minor, "Resurrection" Crude and basic, but it works as I expect it to.

    Firstly, I rip direct to my NAS and don't rip until I'm happy with the tags and cover art.

    I personally use dBpoweramp with a folder structure of Artist (or Album Artist), Album, Disc. Each disc has, it's own folder with Folder. jpg

    For Various Artists, I changed Various Artists to Compilations in the naming string:

    Soundtracks I use Album Artist OST and, Genre Soundtrack.

    As you asked about Christmas, two examples:

    Compilations / Christmas Hits Genre Christmas

    Album Artist Phil Spector
    Album Artist Sort Spector, Phil
    Album A Christmas Gift For You
    Genre Christmas
    Compilation Unchecked This displays as Phil Spector (under Spector)

    Both albums can be easily pulled up by searching for Christmas under Genre. Really the only reason I use (and abuse) Genre, is as a quick search tool. Most players ignore Style so do I.

    For this reason, Genre I populate for my needs pre-rip and Year I use original release date. As my app can display by Artist / Album / Year, this effortlessly displays the Artists albums in (almos!) chronological order - it is simple to turn off Year.

    ALL CDs go into one library, BUT I always populate Genre and Year

    I don't define my music by Genre, simply using it as a search tool. The majority of my collection could easily be named Genre Pop Rock, but that offers no help to me whatsoever, whereas for example, Christmas, New Wave, R&B, Blues Rock, Country, Opera, Punk, Jazz, EDM, or whatever I decide to use, works as a search tool.

    As we all have differing tastes and collections, one person's Classical could well be Baroque, Chamber, Opera, Symphonic etc.

    So much of this is so personal and dependent on our players / apps, but if you can figure out what works for you and your library, that a carefully chosen naming script and a couple of simple entries, can streamline the job and offer useful tools with minimal effort and user intervention.
    defmoot, Grant and Dillydipper like this.
  12. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark Thread Starter

    Central PA
    Gents - this is the first of a series, primarily focusing on drive structure...the folders you arrange your libraries in. I'm about to open up another thread on the tagging itself.
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  13. Synthfreek

    Synthfreek I’m a ray of sunshine & bastion of positivity

    I admit, I do not get all the hoops people are going through to arrange their folder structures in such detailed ways. How are these ways beneficial over just letting the software simply create a folder of the album name inside of the artist’s name folder? Does this help when wanting to move music over to a portable device or something?
    Mike-48 and Madness like this.
  14. Grant

    Grant Living in the 90s

    United States
    One more thing: since I use Windows alphabetized ordering, I name the artists folders with last name first. I add a "The" after the artist. So, it looks like this in the folder structure:

    Beatles, The

    Nightingale, Maxine

    Andrea True Connection, The


    Trower, Robin

    Cooper, Alice

    For the last two, I am well aware that Robin Trower and Alice Cooper were also the names of those bands, but they were also, or became the name of the artists. Vincent Furnier legally changed his name to Alice Cooper, so...
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  15. Madness

    Madness "Hate is much too great a burden to bear."

    Maryland, USA
    My file structure is "Music"/artist/album. I used to be really OCD (aka anal) about this, but now I just let the tags speak for themselves. If I have a 24-bit album, I edit the tag and add that to the album name, i.e., Fear Inocolum (24/96). I find that helps me identify the hi-res 24 bit albums from the CD resolution versions if I have the same album in both formats. Oh and I use JRiver exlusively for ripping/tagging/copying to my microSD card for my Pono.

    EDIT: I rip to a separate hard drive on my laptop, then copy over to a NAS.
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  16. Grant

    Grant Living in the 90s

    United States
    I also keep a folder for all hi-rez titles.
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  17. Dingly Del Boy

    Dingly Del Boy Forum Resident

    British Columbia
    Separate folders on a Synology NAS for a) hi-res (my definition being anything at 24 bit) and b) everything else - CDs are ripped via dBpoweramp. Below those it is a regular artist/album structure. I use Roon which captures everything no problem.
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  18. Goldy

    Goldy Failed to load

    Artist\Category(01 - Studio, 02 - Live, 03 - Compilations etc.)\Year - Album_Title\Year - Album_Title (Source_Release_Year Country Label Optional_Attributes (such as Anniversary Edition) Media) Resolution_if_different_from_redbook
    Example: The Beach Boys\01 - Studio\1966 - Pet Sounds\1966 - Pet Sounds (2016 EU Capitol 50th Anniversary LP) 24-96
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  19. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark Thread Starter

    Central PA
    Organized by artists and albums as well, or just as stray tracks? I would gather it was an entire albums done in hi-rez.

    But, in the case of surround mixes, I actually have a comp or two with a DVD containing a surround mix of one or two songs, sometimes a video with a 5.1 mix. For those, I'm not likely to make an album folder to hold just one or two surround mixes. So, this is why I'm asking about the hi-rez.
    Randoms likes this.
  20. Grant

    Grant Living in the 90s

    United States
    Both. One folder for full hi-rez albums, and one for stray hi-rez tracks/singles.
  21. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark Thread Starter

    Central PA
    I have a companion "Ripping Workflow" thread on just tagging, I wonder if you might mind bringing this up in there as well when you get to it. Identifying multiple versions of album options in a collection is something I want to talk about. Some cases they only need to identify in a track ("single mix"); sometimes in a whole album ("1987 version").
  22. drh

    drh Talking Machine

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  23. Blue Gecko

    Blue Gecko Forum Resident

    Ripping workflow and storage is based on a file system and tags with an overall purpose of personal useability within your own dedicated software and hardware.
    I use a detailed File system and synch PC files to a NAS for Roon use. Example file structure below. I use Karen's Directory Printer to print lists of all music owned for use while shopping for additional music. I use my own genre tags (~140) withing Roon. Roon does not have any issues importing the Album Name field and genre tags for use in their database. I also maitain a database of my own. Disclaimer... I'm a data guy from the 80's. In addition to Class & Rock directories I use a few more including Hi-Rez and Boots. I also use nontraditional genre tags such as BM for best master and "CD, SACD, DD, etc." for music format. I also attach artwork to each file (Roon can filter on albums which I have not yet attached artwork). IMO... file structure and tags should be a combined system that works best for you--within your time restraints. Best of luck...

    Compilation\1969 - Chopin's Greatest Hits [CD][1984 CBS Masterworks Comp][DADC G1, DIDC 20134 21A1]\
    Compilation\1983 - This Is Denon CD [CD][1983 Denon Comp LE][Denon G1][JP for JP]\
    Compilation\1984 - 10 Glorious Organs in Europe [CD][1985 Denon][Denon G3, 1A11 5Z][JP for US]\
    Charles Dutoit\
    Charles Dutoit\1981 - Lalo, Symphonie Espagnole & Saint-Saëns, Violin Concerto No. 1 [CD][1984 London][PolyGram, 411 952-2 02][WG for EU]\
    Charles Dutoit\1981 - Ravel, Daphnis et Chloé [CD][1982 London][PolyGram, 400055 2 02][WG for EU]\
    Charles Dutoit\1982 - Saint-Saëns, Symphony No. 3 in C Minor 'Organ', Op. 78 [CD][1983 Decca][PolyGram, 410 201-2 01][WG for EU]\
    Charles Dutoit\1982 - Saint-Saëns, Symphony No. 3 in C Minor 'Organ', Op. 78 [CD][1983 London][PolyGram, 410 201-2 01][WG for EU]\
    Charles Dutoit\1983 - Falla, The Three Cornered Hat & El Amor Brujo [CD][1984 London][PolyGram, 410 008-2 01 DS AZ, ver. 1][WG for EU]\
    Charles Dutoit\1983 - Falla, The Three Cornered Hat & El Amor Brujo [CD][1984 London][PolyGram, 410 008-2 01 DS AZ, ver. 2][WG for EU]\
    Vladimir Horowitz\
    Vladimir Horowitz\1978 - Rachmaninoff, Concerto No. 3 in D Minor, Op. 30 [CD][1984 RCA Red Seal][Denon G3, 1A6-44 5 7][JP for US]\
    Vladimir Horowitz\1978 - Rachmaninoff, Concerto No. 3 in D Minor, Op. 30 [CD][1985 RCA Red Seal][Denon G3, 1A14 59][JP for US]\
    Vladimir Horowitz\1987 - Liszt, Horowitz Plays Liszt [CD][1987 RCA Red Seal][Sonopress][WG for US]\
    _Compilations\1984 - The Best of Traditional British Jazz (1960-1961) [CD][1984 Philips Comp {Gert van Hoeyen}][PolyGram, 818 651-2 01][WG for US]\
    _Compilations\1985 - GRP Digital Sampler, Volume 2 [CD][1985 GRP Comp LE {Wally Traugott}][CTA G2, X-223 1A1][JP for US]\
    _Compilations\1985 - Windham Hill Records Piano Sampler [CD][1986 Windham Hill {Bernie Grundman}][Denon G3, 1A3 66][JP for US]\
    _Compilations\1986 - 20 Greatest Hits, 1964 [CD][1986 Deluxe Comp {uncredited}][Daio Kosan, 207][JP for US]\
    Anita Baker\
    Anita Baker\1983 - The Songstress [CD][1986 Beverly Glen {John Matousek}][Toshiba G2R, BGD-10002 1A1][JP for US]\
    Anita Baker\1983 - The Songstress [CD][1987 Beverly Glen {John Matousek}][Daio Kosan, 506][JP for US]\
    Anita Baker\1983 - The Songstress [CD][1987 Beverly Glen {John Matousek}][Technetronics]\
    Anita Baker\1988 - Giving You the Best That I Got [CD][1988 Elektra {Bernie Grundman}][SRC G3, SRC-02 M3 S4]\
    Blue Oyster Cult\
    Blue Oyster Cult\1972 - Blue Öyster Cult [CD][1987 Columbia {uncredited}][DIDP 071110]\
    Blue Oyster Cult\1974 - Secret Treaties [SACD][2016 Audio Fidelity LE {Hoffman&Marsh}][#1588][AU for US]\
    Blue Oyster Cult\1981 - Fire of Unknown Origin [CD][1995 Columbia {Paul Stubblebine}][PMDC?DADC]\
    Blue Oyster Cult\1990 - On Flame with Rock and Roll [CD][1990 CBS Special Products Comp {uncredited}][DIDP 072229]\
    Blue Oyster Cult\2010 - Setlist, The Very Best of Blue Öyster Cult Live [CD][2010 Columbia {uncredited}]\
    Bon Iver\
    Bon Iver\2007 - For Emma, Forever Ago [CD][2013 Jagjaguwar {Nick Petersen}][OEM]\
    Bon Iver\2011 - Bon Iver, Bon Iver [CD][2011 Jagjaguwar {Greg Calbi}[OEM]\
    Bon Iver\2016 - 22, A Million [CD][2016 Jagjaguwar {Huntley Miller}][OEM]\
    Bon Iver\2019 - I, I [CD][2019 Jagjaguwar {Greg Calbi}][GZ Media]\
    Frank Zappa\
    Frank Zappa\1984 - Boulez Conducts Zappa, The Perfect Stranger [CD][1985 {John Matousek}][Toshiba, CDC 7 47125 2 1A2 C][JP for EU]\
    Frank Zappa\1985 - Frank Zappa Meets the Mothers of Prevention [CD][1986 Rykodisc {uncredited}][Denon G3, 2A2 68 X X][JP for US]\
    Frank Zappa\1985 - We're Only in It for the Money & Lumpy Gravy [CD][1986 Rykodisc Comp {uncredited}][Shape Optimedia]\
    Frank Zappa\1986 - Apostrophe & Over-Nite Sensation [CD][1986 Rykodisc Comp {uncredited}][Denon G3, 1A4 68 X][JP for US]\
    Frank Zappa\1986 - Apostrophe & Over-Nite Sensation [CD][1987 Rykodisc Comp {uncredited}][PDO]\
    The Cars\
    The Cars\1978 - The Cars [CD][1986 Elektra Comp {George Marino}][PDO, 135-2 01! E]\
    The Cars\1979 - Candy-O [CD][1985 Elektra {uncredited}][JVC, 507 2 M4E 13][JP for US]\
    The Cars\1985 - Greatest Hits [CD][1986 Elektra (RCA) Comp {George Marino}][Denon G3, 3A1 68][JP for US]\
    The Cars\1985 - Greatest Hits [CD][1986 Elektra Comp {George Marino}][SRC G1, SRC 26]\
    The Cars\1985 - Greatest Hits [CD][1987 Elektra Comp {George Marino}][PDO, 60464-2 02% FO]\
    The Cars\1985 - Greatest Hits [CD][1988 Elektra Comp {George Marino}][ARC?SRC G4]\
    The Cars\1987 - Door to Door [CD][1987 Elektra {Stephen Innocenzi}][SRC G2, SRC-03]\
    mj_patrick and Dillydipper like this.
  24. Claude Benshaul

    Claude Benshaul Forum Resident

    The folder structure on the NAS is really only for when I browse the NAS directly with the file explorer to ensure that I didn't mix by mistake my music with my extensive porn library. I'm used to the Artist\Album structure so this is how everything is stored on the disk but the media center JRiver doesn't really care about directory, folder and file structure and use the metadata and tags to catalog, sort and display everything.
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  25. rcsrich

    rcsrich Forum Resident

    I rip to ALAC lossless with CueRipper to make sure they're accurate, then those get imported into my lossless iTunes library. Once imported, I make 320 kbs mp4 copies and import those into a separate lossy iTunes library that I sync with my 120GB iPod and copy to my phone for car listening. My lossy library has a bunch of stuff I bought years ago as downloads as well, which is part of the reason for maintaining the separate libraries.

    I can see the day when I'll need to move away from iTunes, but won't until I'm forced to. I think the artist/album structure iTunes uses is pretty straightforward- I do go back and make sure the artwork is embedded.
    Dillydipper and Bingo Bongo like this.
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