Organizing an iTunes Music Library with Tags and Smart Playlists
Tag your music well, because if you have 100,000 tracks in your library and you can't find anything it is the only chance you have of staying on top of everything. Here are some principles and practical ideas on how to manage and maintain a huge iTunes library.
It all starts with the tags, because they cover such a broad selection of your songs that they can update large sections at once, and from here you can use smart playlists to narrow down your organizing even further. When using playlists, always choose the Smart Playlist as this updates as your music collection changes.
It is the tags and the fact that they cover such a large selection of songs that are key to managing and maintaining a large itunes library. Regardless of whether you paid for your iTunes music or you were savvy enough to get yourself a free iTunes gift cards to get songs for your iPod - there is nothing worse than an unorganized music library. It takes away from the user experience and makes iTunes less than it can be.
Tagging is one of those things that takes time, but it is also a no brainer, so use any downtime you have listening to tracks to go through and update the tags in your music collection.rate music on your iPod. Also, get Quicksilver or Butler and set up shortcut keys for assigning ratings to your music while it's playing. This streamlines the process a little more.
Make sure your music does not creep up on you by tagging everything as it arrives. The best way to do this is to use Smart Playlists (again a great way to help you stay organised) and call it 'recently added' and set it to include anything well, recently added. Set the playlist to only include unrated songs and once you rate and tag them they will no longer be on that playlist.
Take those genres that sound and looks very similar and cull those which you don't use. There is no point having twelve different types of rap and hip hop genres if you do not even listen to that style of music. This just clutters your organizing abilities.
Basically, regardless of whether you choose to use tags, playlists, genres, or a mix of all three to organize your huge iTunes library the important element is that you impose a system on your iTunes library and you stay consistent and trust that system.