This post is more a rant than really a question asking for your input, but if you're willing to reply I really appreciate.
The question is simple - how do you archive your music? As you know if you read this blog regularly, I've moved a couple of days ago. Since I've only bought new music today, since then, I hadn't yet unpacked my music collection, since I knew I would get into trouble once I did it. Well, with eleven new CD's I had to unwrap at least the main CD shelf in order to archive them, and then the issues arised all over again. See, I think that I have a quite nice way of organising my music: I moved from Coimbra to Lisbon less than two years ago and with me only came those CD's that absolutely had to come. When I moved from Carnaxide (the first place where I was, in Lisbon) to Laranjeiras (where I stood until a few days ago) lots of music went to Lamego and Coimbra. So, with me there's only a part of my music, and that's the part I'm interested in archiving properly. So, I have music roughly in four different formats: digital (mp3, ogg, whatever), CD, Vinyl and Cassette Tapes. Since I don't really care about the music I have digitally I simply don't archive it more than having a ~/music that has one folder per band, with its tracks inside. When I like something enough to be afraid of loosing it, then I buy it physically. Meaning I don't backup ~/music in anyway, and sometimes I even delete random folders in it, since those are the Gb's in my hard drive there's no real loss in deleting: even Monday I had a "not enough space on the device), so I went to Amarok, ordered those tracks by user rating and just deleted the less-rated ones until I had a comfortable enough percentage in df -h|grep hda|cut -d" " -f21 . I have only a few vinyls here in Lisbon, so they're also easily ordered - alphabetically per band, chronologically for records of the same band. With the tapes I have bands ordered by "interest" (something like "what I listen more times first"), chronologically for tapes of the same band. Now... the BIG issue are CD's. I won't even discuss this part: all CD's of the same band must be together and ordered chronologicly. How else would I find a specific Marilyn Manson CD, for instance, between the 71 I have from that band and plus having all those randomly mixed between other artists CD's? But, how to order the bands? Alfabeticly makes to sense really (it's almost the same as random) since some bands have nothing to do with others. I simply don't want my Claw Finger CD's (yes, I have some, do you want to buy'em?) which I don't hear anymore near my Cranes CD's I'm often listening to! They don't match in nothing but the first letter of the band... So, how to order them? Musical style? Heck, most of my CD's have a hard-to-define musical style, I wouldn't know how to do that - how strict or generic should I be? Per label? It makes some sense: almost all CD's of the same label are on the same vein (for indies, of course), but some bands started in one label and went to other and other... And then, should still make sense to order by band? For those labels you have a big percentage of their catalog (I'm thinking on my Prophecy CD's) it might make sense, since you can follow not only a progression of one or other band, but an whole movement of the bands that had a role in it, but in labels from who you don't have the complete catalog it makes no real sense... But, with all this questions... What am I used to do? Well, I simply mix a bit of everything described here, never breaking a band's discography, and ordering it by "what have been my mood lately". Of course that it makes me frustrated, because sometimes I glance at one point and then to a distant other and think "Hey, do I really like Skrol that much more than Autumn's Grey Solace?". Oh well... But the worst of all is when you have an weirdly packed CD (like now - where do I put this 2CD digipack? I'll have to move all this band to another place 'cause this CD won't simply fit in this shelf...) and specially... compilations. Heck what do you do with the compilations? If the compilation is not that good the solution is easy: for instance, if you got that CD because of that one track, and the others aren't as good, you just put that compilation as making part of the band's discography. But what if the complete compilation, or almost every track in it, is awsome? Where will I put this CD that has tracks from both Tenhi, Antimatter, Elend and Empyrium?
Boy, being a music lover is hard!