None of my audio group members understand my system, but it works for me. I will outline it for you, perhaps it or some variation will help you decide.
On each shelf (or divider in your case) place only one category of music (Jazz, rock, classical, blues, comedy, etc.). From there, I sort by record label, placing all ECM on one shelf (or section) Verve on another, Blue Note on another and Fantasy on another (Fantasy represents Pablo, Contemporary, Prestige, Galaxy, Milestone, etc.)
At first this may seem complicated, but in my mind artists have a "period" of creativity and are represented by certain record labels at that time. A perfect example is Andre Previn.
Andre Previn recordings on Contemporary label are upbeat jazz trio and such, whereas Andre Previn on Columbia would more likely be "Misty with Living Strings" or other easy listening nonsense.
Using this method, I can find any artist in any period, from serious to sound track, by classifying into tighter musical groups.
Those that stare at my collection and expect to find the usual alphabetical order are always confused and often ask how I am able to find anything. My usual response is "what kind of music or what artist," and from their answer I can look though my (approx.) 6000 LP, locating that exact sound and artist within a minute or so.
Hopefully this will give you ideas that will work for the way you classify music and how you want to search. As for computer, I thought about that, but booting up and searching a database takes longer than looking at the LP splines, so I gave up on that.
Good luck with this.
Readerware software on your PC then synchronize the DB to your Palm O/S PDA. No computer bootup needed. The palm starts up within seconds. Works for vinyl, CDs, DVDs, books, etc. Anything. The neat thing is that you can take the palm with you when you shop and you'll have your collection at your fingertips. I haven't bought it yet, but we're stongly considering it. Mostly for her books (which drastically outnumber my vinyl). I think it would be worth it just for the barcode scanner for ease of entry (at list for the initial entry of 1000s of titles)
Right now I just have my vinyl in chronological order in the order I bought them. But I do like and admire Albert Porter's shelving system. Hmmmm. I can dig it.
Your system would work well for me but not my wife.
Reader software, I have never heard of it. Will do some more re-search on it. How do you get your LPs into it? And where do you find the info to cut nad paste into it? More info please!! You got my interest up!!!!!
Champtree, I just put "reader software" in at Google and found several web sites, including one that allows free trial.
Let us know how this works if you go for it. From Aroc's post, he is thinking about this but has not installed it on his computer yet.
Just checked their website and a barcode is needed to input your LP info. My problem is, most of my records have no barcodes. For 40 bucks it would be a great way to input your CD's!
Albert is right, we haven't bought nor installed it yet. We're just evaluating our options at the moment. And yes, the input method via barcode scan or you have to manually type them in.
if you're a fast touch typist, the copy/paste method might not buy you much speed. That is if there *is* a copy/paste method. You'd have to do some more digging on that.
There are several DB's out there that allow quick downloading of info for CEE DEE's. Some allow filling with the stroke of a few letter via an included hard-drive database and access to several on the web. A couple (i.e. CDTrustee) allow one to slip the CD into their computer and it will fill all fields automatically - even a cover picture. Sadly, I have not found a DB that is designed for LP's. Some of the CD data will be the same, but often it is different - tracks, track order, release dates and, obviously, release number.
However, that does not answer the question of categorizing. I use a modified system, similar to Albert's, but mine is mostly just genre by alpha. The label (period) idea is a good one. I do find that the front-facing shelving I've recently built helps me find things much more quickly, but it takes up a lot more space, too.
I put together a catalog of my entire collection of LP's and CD's, reading artist name, album title, and album label and album number into a Dictaphone, album by album.
I then paid my secretary to transcribe everything onto an Excel document.
Being computer-ignorant, I was frightened by the Excel file, so I copied the contents and pasted it into a Word file, and then hit "alphabetize".
The listings are arranged by CD's and LP's, and further subdivided by genre, e.g., classical, jazz, rock/blues, box sets, other.
I have the catalog in a three-ring binder. It is 40 pages single-spaced, sits in a drawer, and I never look at it. It is about twenty albums out of date now.
As for actual arrangement of LP's and CD's, maybe 2/3rds are with us where we are currently living, and the balance is in our other place. The LP's and CD's are sort of in alphabetical order by genre, with special sections for Dylan, Vengerov, the Stones, favorite items, etc. There are also three LP piles propped up against the walls, etc., of frequently played titles, and a varying stack of recently played or plan to play CD's sitting next to the CD holders.
The catalog is nice for insurance purposes, but the real arrangement is irrational and heart-felt (like music).
Being naturally adverse to clerical work, over many years on the job, which involved many memos and other documents I developed a chaotic method that actually proved to be, in its own way effective. After reading something, I simply threw it on top of a pile. When I needed to refer back to a document, I found it easy to remember approximately how old it was, and pull it out of the pile. After rereading, it went back on top of the pile. Over time, the important documents naturally migrated to the top of the pile. Periodically I threw away the bottom.
My recordings, discs and LPs, use a similar system, although of course they stand up on edge. Stuff I am really fond of ends up on one end of the shelf. When I feel like something really different (steel drum band music for example) I rummage through the other end of the shelf.
This is not a joke. I used to feel guilty about being so "disorganized", but then I realized that I am just organized in a different way.
I suggest you rent and watch the movie called "High Fidelity" with John Cussack and Jack Black. It deals with this subject in a new and interesting perspective. You will enjoy it.
My 4,000 LP collection is 85% classical, and, with multiple composers and multiple works on a single LP, filing and seeking can be a bit challenging. My solution is a combination of (1) filing on the shelves largely alphabetically by composer (of the work I consider "primary" to me on the LP) or by period/genre for collections, and (2) an Access database that allows me to search by individual work, composer, artist (soloist, conductor, orchestra, venue, etc), record label, record number, or certain recording engineers. Yes, the database was all entered manually, but the initial build was done when the collection numbered only 1,500 and the rest has been done gradually as the collection has grown over the years since then.
Unlike Albert's system, I find the database almost a necessity for my classical music collection. It's really helpful when trying to find all the various performances of the same work across multiple LPs that may reasonably be filed elsewhere on the shelves (e.g., my 5 different performancea of Debussy's "Sonata for Cello and Piano" on 5 different LPs with additional music variously by Ravel, Busoni, Stavinsky, Foss, Rachmaninov, Barber and Ginastera; or Bruch's "Kol Nidrei" for orchestra and again as transcribed for cello and piano on an LP of various chamber works by other composers).
The database information drops into other software on a Palm for ready access when used record shopping or when visiting with a fellow music aficianado.
My case is near identical to Rushton above. The only sad difference is, the d-base is NOT well updated and, so, I have to rely on (failing) memory as well as the incomplete palm when buying records!
There's a good difference, too: I have more than 5000 LPs (mostly classical).
Cataloging, what a typically male pursuit, may I add my recomendation to whatch "High Fidelity", a good film anyway. At one point John Cusack, impresses a friend by saying he is recataloging his records by when they were bought and the relationship he was in, thats obsessional, not to say anally retentive. I really do my best, but struggle even keeping them the same way up so I can read the spines. My real dilemma is what to do with compilations. What composer do you file them unde? I lose sleep over rhat one.
Yep! I know what you mean. Just finished going thru my 4000 records and I filled my classical compilations under orchestras, or in the case of my jazz collection (because it's small) just "Jazz Compilations" in random order.
I forgot to add, what do you do when your cabinets for CD's and LP's are full and the wife says there is no room for any more. I have to grudgingly admit she may have a point.
Do you: A) By the shelves anyway and take the flack.
B) Change your buying habits
C) Change the wife
Answers on a postcard please.
Simple reply to your question.
"Sorry honey no more shoes- after all your name isn't Imelda"
DISCLAIMER-- I am not married
Now its off to the store to buy more records, and maybe a pair of shoes.