How's your music library?

When looking through the systems on A-gon, people's music libraries are frequently missing, not shown, or possibly not in the same room. After all the $$$ spent on one's system, I'd like to know what's behind all of this. After all, it is the entire raison d'ĂȘtre for audiomania.

I had a collection of about 200+ LPs that I've recently sold or given away; finally able to emotional divorce myself from the vinyl I started acquiring as a teenager. I began building my CD collection about 15-16 years ago. It's now 636 titles and nearly 700 discs. It spans the globe and periods from the Renaissance though 20th century, BeBop to Acid Jazz, Afro Celt to Zap Mama, and a fair dose of Rock & Pop. Recently, the fastest growing genre has been 20th century music which has surpassed earlier "classical" music but still trailing the Jazz and World sections. A modest collection certainly, and compared to a friend who has a library (unfortunately uncatalogued) of well over 2000 titles, quite modest. He's gotta music library! I suspect there are quite a few other impressive libraries out there. Please tell us.

How's in your music library?
One more question to add to this, if I may. How does everyone organize their library.

I have over 600 CD's, and they too span from the late 60's/early 70's to present, from keyboard/synth oriented to folk to rock.

I find myself completely forgetting about some artists or titles when having everything in alphabetical order, especially when the CD's are at the top or bottom of the rack. I have gone past the bifocals on to trifocals. So it's hard to tilt my head to the top and bottom of the rack.

I've thought of grouping by female, female fronted group, male and male fronted groups. Or grouping by folk, punk, keyboard, light, medium and hard rock, etc. But you always have CD's that span those lines.
I have only about 700 LP's and 350 CD's, mostly purchased in the past 2 yrs. The finest I have seen is approx. 60,000 LP's and I think he had 4 or 5 CD's. I buy both LP's and CD's as the music is often available on one and not the other. I also try to get old original LP's but they can be tough to find in good condition. I hope to get a camera soon to display the small collection and system soon. But camera money can buy more LP's!
Yes, I'm sure there are many who have large LP/CD collections - I do, but I can't see any benefit in telling the world about it. It would only serve to make some jealous, some envious, and a few would even comment on my use of my disposable income and the fact that I couldn't listen to them all in a reasonble period of time (like a 'lifetime). :-)

FWIW, while I listen far more to music composed in the late 19th and 20th century today than ever before, it sure is nice to revist Beethoven (et al). Conversly with Jazz, with only a few exceptions I'm sort of stuck with the style of the 50's, 60's and 70's. I've tried most of the new artists but for some reason the CD's rarely get pulled from the shelves more than a couple of times. Never bought any rock or pop, I have a tuner for that stuff when the mood strikes.

Too bad there isn't more discussion of music in this forum but I guess its because it is equipment based.

Been there done this: ARCHIVES--oodles...peace, warren :)
You can always do like John Cusack in High Fidelity and organize them "autobiographically."

My collection of 1500+ CDs is digitized and pretty well tagged. I can click on a button and organize 'em by title, by artist, by genre. ;)
Mine is quite little compared to most people here on audiogon. I have about 115 cd's and 50 lp's which includes every style from Jazz , Contemporary Classical, Rock, Electronic , Blues , to Avant-Garde etc... I've been starting to build a music collection about 4-5 years ago (i'm now 22years old.) Most of my spending went into building my system which I consider an excellent starter audio system. Now I can concentrate on building up my music collection , there are endless titles that I would like to get my hands on and such little time!
I have close to 18,000 black diamonds and they are in alphabitized order. The collection runs the gamit from Pop to Classical from jazz to RocknRoll. Lately I have thought of selling some of them off because after the last 3 years my music interests have changed dramaticly. There are records in there that I know I would never listen to again because as I've gotten older and have come to appreciate a different kind of music like blues or mellower sounds. I have around 750 cd's catorgized the same way.
My collection consists of approximately 1000 Lps and 200 CDs. I prefer vinyl for its sonic properties, a few pops and clicks never bother me. Another reason I prefer vinyl is because I like changing the music often whether the mood is to stick with the same genre, or change it. CDs go on for over an hour and can cause me to loose interest in the music. I will often record some tracks from an LP mixed with other LPs and enjoy that CD in my car or just relax in my listening room without having to change an Lp.
All music is listed alphabetically by first name. This is the best way for finding things quickly and easily. In the past 20 years, I tried by last name, band name, genre. It's simpler to go by first name regardless of genre. "Collections" are tricky, but I have one small shelf for collections.
Also, this year I splurged, drove for 3 hours and purchased 2 shelves from Ikea- the "Expedit" shelves. Lps fit perfectly and they really looks sharp. I considered building custom shelves, but these are much better in that they can be moved. With this crazy hobby, built-in shelves might be a mistake.
Email me if you wish to see the shelves.
Like some of you, ever since I went the PC/Server route, it has been pure bliss organizing my CD collection using MediaMonkey. Unfortunately my digitised collection (1000+) is only properly cataloqued.....:-(
BTW, slightly off topic but another thing which I find useful with the SB3/Server is if I set it to randomly select from the collection I begin to rediscover music that has been neglected over the years :-)
10,000 + LPs and about 1,200 CDs 650 DVDs
LPs and Cds divided into three separate groups: by Classical&Opera, then Jazz&newage&blues, then Rock&pop.
Classical by composer A-Z, then each composer by solo, to small group to large, vocals last. If I have a bunch of Beethoven 5th, (for example) conductor name a-z order for the group, etc.
Jazz by primary artist alpha then within artist BY DATE RECORDED. Date give a better way of finding my way. I put the date on the edge of the LP, and CD.
Rock and pop same as Jazz, except if always a group, by that name, then also chronologically.
Very few artists cross these basic three groups.
For example:
Kiri Te Kinawa: opera and pop... (Lucky for me I do not own her pop music.)
Frank Sinatra could be with Jazz, but I definitely stick him in pop.
Bela Fleck, Jazz and bluegrass..Hmm I keep "Drive" with rock, the rest with Jazz.
I hate Classical collections.. and unless one item is outstanding to file it with that, I usually do not keep silly collections that are on one LP. Some Mercury 90000 label items or RCA 'shaded dog" stuff like this is all I will keep around. (Leroy Anderson, Boston Pops..)
Though I DO have a large bunch of Jazz various artist collections.. which are superb.
The Jazz LPs 2,500 are in the kitchen, the rock and pop 3,000 in the bedroom, and the classical LPs 6,000 in the living room... to distribute the 6,000 lbs of Lps carefully around the apt walls!
Elizabeth, what do you use to turn those LPs? :)
I have too much invested in vinly so I'm stuck for the long haul. I started collecting 30 years ago. I trimmed my collection down to a superb 1,500 LPs. However, I just purchased my audiophile friends collection (30 years in the making) of 3,300 LP's. They are Classicsl, Jazz, Pop/Rock, Easy Listening, Male / Female vocals, Blues and many soundtracks. I am keeping some and selling the rest.

If interested, e-mail me and I can give you the list to look through. The prices will be reasonable.

BTW - I sold my SME and am using the amazing Grand Prix Audio Table in my reference system.
Elizabeth! 2500 LPs in the kitchen?!! Where do you keep your dishes? (Just a rhetorical question.)

Thanks for the suggestion about organization. Mine are divided into 5 sections: Classical (through 19th century), 20th Century, Jazz, World (A real grab bag that includes whatever doesn't fit in the other 4 categories.), and Rock/Pop. Alphabetical by composer or artist, and cataloged using Delicious Library, a Mac program that does CDs, Books, Movies, and games.

I did check the archives by "music collection," and "music library," and found no threads devoted to this subject. There were some ancillary references of interest. One that targeted audiophiles' devotion whether to music or rather audio gear.

Thanks to all for sharing.
I now have 4 LPs and about 1100 CDs. Oh, and 9 SACDs.
I have only 250 CDs and 50 SACDs of classical and jazz and vocals and some rock. I am now 58 and don't keep CDs that I am no longer wanting to listen to. But I listen alot to the CDs that I have. It's probably just me but I would be overwhelmed with thousands of CDs. I am always open to new stuff though.
I have over 200 books on music and related topics. About two dozen books on album cover art alone and many reference books regarding everything from John Cage to folk, electronic, psychedelic, ethnuc, Blues, punk, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90's rock and jazz. Also, many biographies and just plain weird and fun stuff related to music. did say libraries! I have some LPs too.
Happy listening! And reading!
i sort my lps and cds by label. within each label, i sort in numerical sequence. this is the easiest way to find a recording.

i have about 1100 lps and about 1000 cds. i haven't been playing too many lps lately, partially because i am reviewing alot and lps are a nuisance.

i have a method of making sure i listen to all my cds.
i prefer jazz, classical, blues new age and blue grass as musical genres.

i will listen to each genre, in order of label until i have heard all of my cds. i may not play each cd all the way through but will listen to several selections. it does take time to cycle my entire cd collection.

my reviewing keeps me busy. it's quite interesting to audition different components and observe the differences between them. sometimes i get attached to a component, but i can't afford to buy all of them. it's often disappointing to give up something you like.
My collection consists or approximtely 4,000+ LPs and 2,000 CDs. I started in the early 60s typing on 3x5s information about every piece on each record and CD. Each card is filed alphabetically by composer and in some cases I have created files for various instruments and performers. All of these are in the same file drawers, filed alphabetically. Each card contains the composer and his/her dates, the title of the composition, label name and number on the label, timing, format, performers, orchestra, conductor and the name of the person who wrote the program notes and the date the notes were written if available. All LPs are on my shelves alphabetically by recording company and numerically by the number placed on the recording by the record company. This way I do not have to add anything to the record. Needless to say I have thousands of 3x5s but any recording or any selection on any of the records or CDs may be located quickly. It is also very important to "keep up." I have gone through several typewriters over the years. I hope they keep making them!
All of my books are in the same file system but I have them arranged on the shelves by genre or by composers. All of my scores are arranged by composers. I am very fortunate to have a dedicated listening room(20x30 with 14 ft. cathedral ceiling)which is full of all of my books, scores and recordings, and my playback system. Great to be in after a day of teaching!
I have trimmed down my collection considerably and now sit at about 500 LP's and 2000 CD's, of which about 15 are SACD's. I keep them in Classical, Jazz, Blues, World, Country and Pop categories. And keep track of them with an antiquated data base on my computer that will have to be replaced soon. I would like to give them all ID#s, so filing would be faster.

all the best

Jwc, You're more ambitious than I am. :-)

I started to do that once, catalog all my stuff, but ultimately I simplified that by simply purging and or re-prioritizing placement. Apart from recordings I gave away, I have set up two locations - the prime location in classical is where I keep performances that I actually pull out to listen to now, the secondary location is where I put recordings I only pull out for reference.

The prime location is broken down into categories by composer with sub categories of type of music and if the collection is large enuf into further sub-sub categories by performer. Compilations are filed by conductor, on in chamber/solo instrument, by performer(s). (I do this in other types of music but I usually just file by performer).

The benefit is that I don't need to go to a card file or a computer to find stuff that I regularily listen to, don't need to do all that clerical work, and on those few occasions I do need to pull a reference recording it comes up fairly by walking my little fingers. Not a perfect system but it works for me (and FWIW, while the format differs our numbers are not far apart.)
Around 1200 classical CDs, and 800 jazz, pop, rock. Around 900 classical lps and 900 jazz, pop, rock albums.
Ashra--> have you read "silence" from John Cage?? I'm actually almost half way through it and I find it amazing a little too philosophical but I like it!
Elizabeth,I emailed you on the side, but maybe it didn't go through. You have quite a vinyl collection there, and I was wondering what TT and cartridge you use? If it's a Garrad TT with a Pickering cartridge? --hay, that's OK. We'll be
I just updated my system pics to show some of the vinyl that is in my listening room. I still have at least that many more LPs in racks elsewhere in the house. FWIW, I still have and play many LPs that I bought in my teens, including the first one I bought: A Monkees album...
4500+ mint lp's (and covers) 614 sealed lp's 3600+ cd's plus around 800 japanese mini lp cd's.....except for the sealed lp's, i have lost count after the above numbers
I curently have a Denon DP-59L with a Ortofon OM30 on it via an Audio Research PH-1, and a Dual 7000 Golden One, with a Shure V15Vmr via an Audio Research PH-2.
(and a spare new Shure V15Vmr!!)
These TT because they have auto lift at end and a cue function. I totally demand a lift at end, and these are the best I can find that include this feature.
I have about 3000 cds, most of which are digitally encoded and stored on a NAS. My wife greatly appreciates this as it was getting VERY difficult to find space for all of my music. I do keep a small stash of favorite or new cds laying around for critical listening.