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hopkins

Your music cataloging "system"

94 posts in this topic

1 hour ago, Stonewall15 said:

Entering a collection onto an excel spread-sheet is quite easy. It would take a lot of time if you have a large collection but the benefits after you are done are terrific. The capability of excel to sort any column is very useful. At a minimum you could enter artist, title, and label in each of 3 columns. Additional columns could include source such as CD, CDR, LP, Cassette. Secondary artists could also be listed in separate columns. I find this very useful because some albums have more than one principal artist or for a particular artist that I follow. I also have a column for notes about the album that I want to save.

That just about describes my cataloguing - separate sheets for vinyl, CDs and now downloads for each genre Jazz, Classical and laughingly 'non- Jazz'. Kind of shows my priority genre-wise.

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Д.Д. said:

I am not implying that he's not. It's just that it is one guy for whom his software is merely a hobby that does not generate revenue. This is not a very sustainable proposition long-term.  

There is a risk with any software that it no longer gets maintained.

The best way to avoid this is to make sure the data you enter can be exported (to a spreadsheet, for example) and re-used elsewhere if required. Is that the case with iTunes, for example? Not sure... I know "Roon", to take another example, has very limited export options. Not sure how easy it is to export data from Discogs either. Could be that even if the software is still available you may want to switch to something else. Keep that in mind... 

Edit: with Discogs, you can export your collection to Excel - https://www.discogs.com/users/export

Edited by hopkins

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Posted (edited)

You can have the data exported from Discogs easily but it wasn’t in a format you could manipulate; at least I couldn’t. 

Edited by Brad

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My biggest problem with a subscription service is that if I decide to stop paying it after a year or two, they can disable the app if they want and I'd lose all that work. I want to own an app and all the work I put into creating a database of my collection. I don't want any chance that someone can kill it.

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1 minute ago, Brad said:

You can have the data exported from Discogs easily but it wasn’t in a format you could manipulate; at least I couldn’t. 

I just tested it. It is a CSV format, that you can import into Excel or Google Sheets easily. It only contains the basic album information (title, artist, release ID, label, format).

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CSVs are cool, small file size, still opens in Excel, from wherein you can format/save the data any damn way you like, including as a table, if you like to roll like that.

 

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Man, I love these kinds of threads! I rip all my CDs and share the audio files across my computers. The audio files are backed up, and my CDs are on full display. I know it's not the "Show yer collection" thread from the early 2000s, but here it is, minus the Mosaics and similarly sized box sets: https://www.flickr.com/photos/187626192@N04/49702197523/in/dateposted-public/

I keep a master spreadsheet in Google Drive, with basic information - artist, title, label, label #, any additional notes that I find interesting (e.g. RVG series) and number of discs. I use Lord's Discography to record the CDs and individual tracks that I own. Selecting the tracks one by one made for a tedious summer, but it's easier to to add new purchases now that the bulk of the collection is already in there. Although Lord is not perfect, it's pretty good and an easy way for me to, say, look up a box set and see how much music I'd be duplicating. I can look up the Mosaic Boogie Woogie select and easily see that I have the majority of the music on Chronological or Collector's Classics discs and the Lionel Hampton Mosaic set.

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18 hours ago, JSngry said:

CSVs are cool, small file size, still opens in Excel, from wherein you can format/save the data any damn way you like, including as a table, if you like to roll like that.

 

I downloaded the data and was able to open it in Excel. In Discogs I have the Artist information arranged alphabetically, A, B, C, etc. However, when I open it in Excel, it’s all jumbled up. I never used Excel a lot; ask me a question about Word and I can give you a solution.  Any advice on how I can fix that column so it comes out the way I want?  Thanks. 

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If it's in a CSV file, try formatting it as a table, then put in filters on every row column so you can sort how you like. And then save it as an Excel workbook/worksheet instead of a CSV file. THAT point is critical, because a CSV file don't wanna hear about all that fancy "formatting", CSV don't play that.

Might also be a good time to learn about Text-To-Column functionality too, and Format Painter. Hell, between being retired and sheltering in place, you can use this time to reinvent yourself  as a You Tube character, the old guy who teaches other old guys how to make Excel work for them rather than against them.

I mean, there's a market. I work with Excel all day long, and started out not knowing one damn thing about it. I still don't know more than a few damn things about it, but they're the type of things that, like, when you get a bunch of nastyass data from somebody who think that "formatting" is something you do to place settings or something, instead of going to their desk and deathraying them, now it's possible to just mentally eviscerate them and then go about getting that data the way you need it to be.

Just saying, it's a process, and there is a learning curve. But dude - you passed the bar, right? You can do this too. And if you like solving puzzles, hey, Excel is JUST the toy for you to learn to play with at this point in your life! ;)

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On my work PC, as long as the .csv file was written "tab delimited", it opens directly into Excel with each tabbed entry in a separate column.

If the file isn't tab delimited but uses spaces instead, you'll probably have to import it or read it into Excel. I haven't done that in many years so it's a bit foggy.

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Thanks both. I managed to figure it out.

As far as passing the bar, it took me a couple of times. Not an enjoyable experience, but it’s not supposed to be. 

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37 minutes ago, bresna said:

If the file isn't tab delimited but uses spaces instead, you'll probably have to import it or read it into Excel. I haven't done that in many years so it's a bit foggy.

It will still open in Excel (as long as you don't have something else set up to handle it, but yeah, that can get really wonky, especially with names. But if you're the type of person who enjoys cracking something open as much if not more than doing something with it afterwards, hey, GAME ON!!!! :g

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I am very "Old School' in the way I catalog my CDs. I started purchasing CDs back when they first became available around 1984. Previously I had a 3x5 card catalog system for my LPs. So when CDs came on the scene I used that same 3X5 catalog system.

The number of my CDs grew dramatically. By the time I realized that some form of computerization of my CD catalog would be beneficial, the numbers of my CDs stopped me in my tracks. It would be an overwhelming project that I had no ambition to undertake.

I have 9 boxes that house the 3X5 catalog of my many thousands of jazz and blues CD. Each card has the name of the leader, the CD title, and the names of the musicians. It also has the label and serial number. This system works quite well for me. I can quickly lay my hands on a 3X5 card for any CD in my collection.

I decided to not create a catalog for my classical CDs in this way.  I created a computer listing on Pages of each of my favorite composers where I have large numbers of CDs. So I have a page for Beethoven, one for Mozart,, one for Haydn, and for another nine or ten composers. 

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Peter Friedman said:

I have 9 boxes that house the 3X5 catalog of my many thousands of jazz and blues CD. Each card has the name of the leader, the CD title, and the names of the musicians. It also has the label and serial number. This system works quite well for me. I can quickly lay my hands on a 3X5 card for any CD in my collection.

That is pretty close to what I am doing, aside for the fact that my "cards" are text files (one for each album) saved on my computer.

Entering information  in text files is probably quicker than entering it in any "cataloging" software (some of which have been mentioned here), and you can put whatever content you find useful, but of course it has some disadvantages as well, not least of which is the fact that I have had to develop my own solution to search and browse through all these files. There are probably software out there ("document management software", not necessarily specific to music) that could be helpful to "compile" all these files and search through their content "intelligently" - will continue to investigate.

The thread has been interesting - thanks for all your input (and keep them coming). 

Edited by hopkins

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On 25/3/2020 at 4:03 PM, mikeweil said:

Steven Albin is a very reliable software developper.

Sure! And a ver nice and helpful guy, anytime.

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I’ve decided to keep using Discogs and not Collectorz. I put in sufficient time inputting the albums into Discogs and don’t want to repeat the process. Moreover, Discogs has more information than Collectorz but I only need basic information. I also found that if you tried to input a boxed set into Collectorz, it would only do one disc so you’d have to repeat it several times for the remaining discs. For me, they are essentially the same. 

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18 hours ago, Peter Friedman said:

I am very "Old School' in the way I catalog my CDs. I started purchasing CDs back when they first became available around 1984. Previously I had a 3x5 card catalog system for my LPs. So when CDs came on the scene I used that same 3X5 catalog system.

The number of my CDs grew dramatically. By the time I realized that some form of computerization of my CD catalog would be beneficial, the numbers of my CDs stopped me in my tracks. It would be an overwhelming project that I had no ambition to undertake.

I have 9 boxes that house the 3X5 catalog of my many thousands of jazz and blues CD. Each card has the name of the leader, the CD title, and the names of the musicians. It also has the label and serial number. This system works quite well for me. I can quickly lay my hands on a 3X5 card for any CD in my collection.

I decided to not create a catalog for my classical CDs in this way.  I created a computer listing on Pages of each of my favorite composers where I have large numbers of CDs. So I have a page for Beethoven, one for Mozart,, one for Haydn, and for another nine or ten composers. 

With the stay at home situation now would be a great time to enter your 3x5 cards into an excel spreadsheet. Each card would be a record. It would take a lot of time but in the long run it would be worth it.

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19 hours ago, Peter Friedman said:

I am very "Old School' in the way I catalog my CDs. I started purchasing CDs back when they first became available around 1984. Previously I had a 3x5 card catalog system for my LPs. So when CDs came on the scene I used that same 3X5 catalog system.

The number of my CDs grew dramatically. By the time I realized that some form of computerization of my CD catalog would be beneficial, the numbers of my CDs stopped me in my tracks. It would be an overwhelming project that I had no ambition to undertake.

I have 9 boxes that house the 3X5 catalog of my many thousands of jazz and blues CD. Each card has the name of the leader, the CD title, and the names of the musicians. It also has the label and serial number. This system works quite well for me. I can quickly lay my hands on a 3X5 card for any CD in my collection.

I decided to not create a catalog for my classical CDs in this way.  I created a computer listing on Pages of each of my favorite composers where I have large numbers of CDs. So I have a page for Beethoven, one for Mozart,, one for Haydn, and for another nine or ten composers. 

My Word file has everything yours does except the name of the musicians. I’ve been keeping it since the late 90s when I first started listening to jazz. 

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In addition to trying to enter my collection in Discogs database, I try to keep my text document files of CDs, LPs and DVDs/VHS up to date. Unfortunately, I always need to check shelves before buying stuff, because I inevitably overlook some items not enetered in these files.

Here is an example for one artist of titles billed under his name:

CDs

Eric Dolphy          Other Aspects                                               Blue Note 7 48041

Eric Dolphy          Out To Lunch                                        Blue Note RVG 4 98793

Eric Dolphy         The Illinois Concert                                                    Blue Note 4 99826

Eric Dolphy          Out To Lunch                                                          Blue Note (J) 81013

Dolphy, Eric        Candid Dolphy                                                                   Candid 79033

Eric Dolphy         Berlin Concerts                                                                      Enja 3007/9

Dolphy, Eric        Last Date                                                                        Fontana 822 226 

Eric Dolphy         Vintage Dolphy                                                                         GM 3005

Eric Dolphy         Timespan                                                    Marshmallow Export (J) 153

Dolphy, Eric        Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise                           Natasha Imports 4001

Eric Dolphy         The Complete Prestige Recordings                                 Prestige 9 4418

Eric Dolphy          At the Five Spot, Vol. 1                                                     Prestige 8260

Eric Dolphy           Out There                                                                 Prestige RVG 8101

Eric Dolphy Quintet       Outward Bound                                            Prestige RVG 30083

Eric Dolphy        Musical Prophet: The Expanded 1963 New York Studio Sessions

                                                                                                                    Resonance 2035

Eric Dolphy/Chico Hamilton Quintet     Truth                                               Rockin' Chair 

Dolphy, Eric         The Uppsala Concert Vol. 1                                                       Serene 3

Dolphy, Eric         The Uppsala Concert Vol. 2                                                       Serene 4

Dolphy, Eric          Naima                                                                           West Wind 2063

 

LPs:

Eric Dolphy                         Iron Man                                                          Douglas 30873

Eric Dolphy                         Stockholm Sessions                                                  Enja 3055

Eric Dolphy                         1928-1964                                                            Epitaph 4010

Eric Dolphy Quintet             Live At The Gaslight Inn, October 1962                    Ingo 14

Eric Dolphy                         The Berlin Concerts                                          Inner City 3017   

Eric Dolphy                          3 Dolphy Groups                                      Unique Jazz (Isr) 26

Eric Dolphy                          Unrealized Tapes                                              West Wind 016

 

Just as I finished pasting these files, I realized that the recent Resonance set wasn't on my

CD inventory list. At least I was no danger of buying another copy...

 

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Here’s an example from my Word file, which is similar to Ken’s (I chose a page at random):
 

Teddy Edwards and Houston Person – Horn to Horn – Muse 5540

Teddy Edwards – Steady with Teddy – Cool ‘n Blue 115.  Sides from Dial Records (1946 and 1947) and Rex Records (1947 and 1948)

Teddy Edwards - Sunset Eyes - Pacific Jazz Records (CDP 7243 4 94848 4 5)

Teddy Edwards and Howard McGhee - Together Again!!!! - Contemporary Records S7588 (OJCCD-424-2)

Roy Eldridge and His “little jazz” – Joue Pour La Dance – Vogue L.D. 004 (Vogue No. 3)

Roy Eldridge - Roy Eldridge in Paris - Disques Vogue (BMG-09026-68209-2)

Roy Eldridge – Heckler’s Hop – Hep 1030

Roy Eldridge - Little Jazz - Columbia Jazz Masterpieces (CK 45275)

Roy Eldridge - Little Jazz: The Best of the Verve Years - Verve (314 523 338-2)

Roy Eldridge and Dizzy Gillespie - Roy and Diz - Verve (314 521 647-2) (BMG Club Edition)

Duke Ellington – And His Mother Called Him Bill – RCA LSP-2906 

Duke Ellington - The Blanton Webster Band - RCA (5659-2-RB)

Duke Ellington – The Cosmic Scene – Columbia CL 1198 (Mosaic MCD-1001)

Duke Ellington - Ellington At Newport 1956 (Complete) - Columbia/Legacy (C2K 64932)

Duke Ellington – Masterpieces by Ellington – Columbia Masterworks ML 4418 (Columbia Legacy CK 87043)

Duke Ellington Meets Coleman Hawkins – Impulse! IMPD-162 

Duke Ellington – Piano in the Background – Columbia CS 8346 (Columbia Legacy CK 87107)

 

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On 3/27/2020 at 0:37 PM, JSngry said:

It will still open in Excel (as long as you don't have something else set up to handle it, but yeah, that can get really wonky, especially with names. But if you're the type of person who enjoys cracking something open as much if not more than doing something with it afterwards, hey, GAME ON!!!! :g

When importing a CSV there is a wizard to help with the steps.   The first choice is a set of radio buttons where you need to select 'Delimited' and select 'My Data has Headers' to promote the first row to field names.   The next button brings you to a second dialog box where select how the fields are separated: tab, semicolon, comma, space, or other.    The last dialog box lets you change the data type which I usually skip because the spreadsheet is almost always pre-formatted. 

I'm going to have to give Discogs a try.  If it's able to export data then it is a good candidate for Power BI (excel on steriods). 

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Posted (edited)

On 30.3.2020 at 4:46 AM, Ken Dryden said:

In addition to trying to enter my collection in Discogs database, I try to keep my text document files of CDs, LPs and DVDs/VHS up to date. Unfortunately, I always need to check shelves before buying stuff, because I inevitably overlook some items not enetered in these files.

Here is an example for one artist of titles billed under his name

 

On 30.3.2020 at 0:40 PM, Brad said:

Here’s an example from my Word file, which is similar to Ken’s (I chose a page at random):

Here is a random page from my very fast Paradox DB  you can print out various reports. This is the standard report with the main & important data for rach Item in the collection. The head of this report is wrong however and has to be changed to "various". Arch # runs fron 0001 to 9999 / bigbands have an assitional "3" and can be sorted accordingly.

BTW ACCESS is another easy to handle DB for such projects

38185524jf.jpg

 

 

Edited by jazzcorner
new scan & text added

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Posted (edited)

I've been pondering this matter for some time (with some 7,500 LPs and a 4-digit number each for CDs, 45s and 78s some action os overdue - mistake duplicate buys 'n all).
However, I'd prefer to keep the setup strictly on my PC and am hesitant about Discogs et al.
What I'd need and want is relatively basic, i.e. artist (leader), LP title (or tune titles, see below), and catalog no. (plus another field for the original release,maybe), recording date/period, plus track listings for records originally issued on LP (the titles might all go underneath each other for each record in one column of the table and would not necessarily have to be sortable), plus one or two "wildcard" or "Notes" columns where I can enter equivalent issues/reissues (it has too often happened to me that I have bought an LP and then found out I already had all the tracks on a single or double LP - even in the same order - but with totally different cover artwork, different label and number, different (re)issue country, etc.).
One particular aspect is that I have TONS of reissues from the pre-LP era and in these cases would not so much be interested in LP titles but in the artist, song titles, original issues, recording dates and a Notes field to reference the reissue(s) I have the tracks on.
So pure listings of LPs (such as the two recent examples above) are of minor use to me and would only be relevant for those recordings that were FIRST issued on LP. Anything else would have to be sorted by artist and tune title, not by artist and LP title. I am not so much interested in being able to check I have this or that compilation reissue LP but in checking if and where I have the individual tracks on any LP or CD. I.e. Count Basie's Roulette LPs would go under their LP title (insofar as what I have are more or less the original couplings) but his Decca, Columbia and RCA recordings would go under the tune title and recording dates. The LP title and cat. no. are of secondary importance for that latter kind of recordings.

I must add that I HATE Excel. I have to use it regularly in my job and find it extremely inconvenient (compared to a Word table) if I have to start the table from scratch. 

I am currently working with a Word file to record and catalog data of roughly comparable complexity in my other hobby. The file consists of tables with 11 columns in all and can of course be sorted by any of these 11 columns. Which is all I can imagine I ever need. It has some 500-600 entries by now and for MY needs is dead easy to handle and sort in all directions.
So I wonder about adapting a similar WORD-based setup for my records "database". I know all this sounds "old fashioned" to some around here but any suggestions on how to proceed further on THIS basis?

Edited by Big Beat Steve

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Posted (edited)

23 hours ago, Brad said:

I’ve decided to keep using Discogs and not Collectorz. I put in sufficient time inputting the albums into Discogs and don’t want to repeat the process. Moreover, Discogs has more information than Collectorz but I only need basic information. I also found that if you tried to input a boxed set into Collectorz, it would only do one disc so you’d have to repeat it several times for the remaining discs. For me, they are essentially the same. 

That's not true. I have all my box sets in Collectorz as sets not individual discs. I don't really advocate for Collectorz especially if it is only by subscription but it is a wildly flexible platform. You can export to excel and mostly it imports release info from discogs. 

Edited by jcam_44

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6 hours ago, jcam_44 said:

That's not true. I have all my box sets in Collectorz as sets not individual discs. I don't really advocate for Collectorz especially if it is only by subscription but it is a wildly flexible platform. You can export to excel and mostly it imports release info from discogs. 

Sorry, but it is true. I tried to import the new Grateful Dead set that just came out and all the discs are separate entries. Same for a BB King box set. It’s not the worst thing in the world, just pointing out one of the idiosyncrasies. 

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