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Organising Cd's For Gigs.

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What do people out there find to be the best/optimum way to sort your CD's? Is it alphabetically, by genre, by year, by artist?


I'm about to transfer my CD's to 500 disc books (250 CD's and inserts per book) and I'd appreciate any pointers from experience.







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Single artist discs in alphabetical order, compilation discs in chronological order (most recent first), but compilations also separated by genre (mainstream pop/dance/etc)

I'm a DJ based in Northern Ireland with nearly 10 years' experience offering a range of services. Including club residencies, karaoke, pub quizzes, specialised wedding service, Master of Ceremonies, Compere, Night at the Races and much more.




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For me, its CD singles in alpabetical order, using first name first, so Donna Summer would be under 'D'. I find it easier under pressure.


Compilations & albums are given a unique number which the case is labelled with, and these stored in numerical order. The contents of each CD are listed on a database, and the location and track number of the particular song listed. So Elvis Presley - Teddy Bear may be found on 046 12, which translates into CD No. 46, track 12.


I also maintain a 'second location' column for those instances where you wish to follow a particular track with something, but it's on the same bloomin' CD! Mostly happens with 60s & 50s material, I find.


Works well for me.

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i have my cds numbered from 1-268 and just add 269 when i get the next full album. i also carry an a-z book with 2 listings. a-z of artists and turn the book over and a-z of songs. also have a seperate box of all the dmc albums in monthly order and roughly know where the most used ones are and it seems to work ok for me.




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I do the numbered CD thing with my Karaoke Discs..and like Andy I keep the contents on a Database (well actually it's an Excel spreadsheet which I find really easy to navigate).


But I have a hell of a lot more CD's than Karaoke discs!!(about 600 or so). Andy, what database do you use? Did you have to manually add in the contents of each CD, or where you able to use a CDDB database or something similar?


I've tried a couple of CD cataloguing programs but have found them all to be a little idiosyncratic so far. I'd prefer something simpler like Excel to list my CD's...but obviously I don't fancy adding in every cd manually.


Anyway, as always, got some good ideas from your answers....thanks again :rant:

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I've always liked the Excel way do cataloging. It works for me, and with over 25000 tracks in the database, it's easy to flick from catagory to catagory.


My headings are:


Code no (Cd it's on) although this is only important when using CDs as backup as I use OTS.

Track no: (for obvious reasons)


Artist (and I sort it first name first)




Chart Position:


In excel you can then sort by any heading

Edited by jamesmurphy
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Quote Expresbro:

"Andy, what database do you use?"


I use Microsoft Access - 'tiz what it's for.

And yes - I have to enter everything in manually, and have separate columns for artist, title, year, highest chart position, genre, my notes, location 1 and location 2. Not a problem entering stuff in though once you are up to date - the odd album or the odd ProDisc takes 10 - 15 minutes every so often.


The database can be ordered to list any column alphanumerically, and the cells in the rows stay tied together unlike Excel.


"Works for me." smile icon

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Not a problem entering stuff in though once you are up to date - the odd album or the odd ProDisc takes 10 - 15 minutes every so often.



Cheers Andy...though since I'll be starting from scratch...there's gonna be a lot of data entry....like any database..all the work is in the setting up I guess. With my Karaoke discs I was able to copy and paste a lot of the info from the websites where I bought the discs. Not sure I can do that with Access...have never really used it...but I'll definitely give it a look.


Reverend..I know I could just rip all my discs to a PC ... then use DJ software...but I really wanna do the disc thing first..just bought a Double CD player..and well..I just like the idea...hehe!! Probably a bit of a masochist in me... tongue out icon


Anyway..off to pick up my CD holders today..getting 4 500 disc bags for a very good deal...be able to store 250 and inserts for each in each bag.


Busy evening ahead..... :omg:

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There are some cd cataloguing programs available which might make your life a little bit easier, not least for the initial input of all the data.


I personally use a program called CD Trustee which cost me about $30 I think. Most importantly, though, it has an automated facility where you put your cd's in your PC cd tray one by one and it reads the cd information, track listing etc. from an online database (CDDB). All you have to do is allocate each cd a unique number (slot ID) so that you can number the actual discs.


Whilst you will find some cd's that are not in that database, and that you have to key in manually, a quick cursory check of the information is all you need and you can do batches of 20 or 30 cd's at a time quite eaasily.


When I'm going on the road I use the output facility on CD Trustee and export to an excel spreadsheet which I then run two tabs in, one sorted tracks by title and one by artist.


As someone else said, once you have gone through the initial data loading pain, keeping up to date is a lot easier.


Others may have useful input about other cataloguing software too, but CD Trustee is all I have used so can only comment on that.

Phil Cunnington

Member of the LWP

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I have all my albums bunched together in Slappa cases in genre types, this enables me to browse for music very effectively. Same with CD singles, and I also have a club Slappa which has all my club essentials separately for those nights :joe:


I am dreading the impending switch to digital as I feel the browsing experience which is so central to what I do will be compromised. I guess I have a photographic memory of my tunes, and this is not (yet) possible with digital DJing. I love the feel of the new media players such as the DH-HD2500, but don't visualise the tune lists. :wacko:

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Expresbro, i've used a laptop for 2 years and wouldn't be without it as now im not hunched over cd's with my back to the audience lol. Still got my twin cd for backup but my laptop makes life so much easier lol



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I personally use a program called CD Trustee which cost me about $30 I think.


Thanks Phil... just downloaded the 30 album demo of this program and will try it out with my Now CD's. It looks fairly straightforward with no unnecessary clutter that a lot of these programs seem to have.


If it does the job it's well worth the money (It's currently $39.99, which is not bad at all).









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  • 2 weeks later...

Obviously everyone has there own unique style of how they organise their cds and it comes down to personal preference. For me I use 5 different case logics in varying sizes. First contains all my artists albums split into whether it is a greatest hits album or just a new release album, both in alphabetical order. The second case contains all my cd singles in chronological order, starting with the oldest single I have from 1992 to the latest one purchased. The next case starts off with all my now albums starting from the latest 68 back as far as 22. This is followed by other pop compilations, then come my 90's compilations, 80's, 70's, 60's, 50's, rock and roll, motown, rock , power ballads, christmas, indie, r&b and dance. The next case continues my dance compilations then into the old skool ones and the dance mix cd's. This case is completed with all my mastermix and dmc cds in genre order. The final case I have continues my dj only cds followed by discs I have burned from i-tunes, dj download beatport etc, covering various genres, and finishing this case off are my cd pool monthly releases and monthly discs i burn from i-tunes purchases, one of each for each month, so this obviously gets added to each month.


I have to admit I get a bit OCD when it comes to the organisation of my cds as everything has got to be in its correct place. I must have one of the most organised cd collections going lol from what I have seen of other DJ's


I totally understand where brian is coming from relating to the visual thing in your head. I too am contemplating a switch over to the HD2500 in the future, but I like the visual browsing I currently do in my head. I now know more or less what cd every tune I own is on. Well I wouldnt be able to tell you off the top of my head, but once I am in the console and working something clicks in my head and tells me where it is its strange. When I first started dj'ing nearly 4 years ago I used to carry a laptop with a catalogue of my music in case someone asked for a tune that I didnt know what cd was on. Now however I do not need to do this. However I now work in a club and don't get asked for such requests that often anymore

Edited by P.I.J. Roadshow

Always borrow money off a pessimist as they never expect it back

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