My Music Collection Organization System


Filesystem layout

Top level: directories named after Album Artist if present, else Artist. Initial article moved to end of name after a comma (e.g. “Beatles, The”).

Next level: directories named after Album. Initial article left as‐is.

Final level: music files named as follows:

single disc: TT - Title.ext (TT is track #)

multiple discs: D-TT - Title.ext (D is the disc #; TT is track #)

(These hyphens are hyphen‐minus characters, as found on a standard keyboard.)

Exceptions: see “Classical”, “Soundtracks”, and “Various Artists” below.

Filesystem character replacements

Colon (:), asterisk (*), slash (/), and backslash (\) replaced with hyphen‐minus (-). Question mark (?) and trailing period (.; only possible in directory name) replaced with underscode (_). All others left intact.


Use accents always where they appear in the original titles!

Titlecase (i.e., initial caps except for “helper words”) or only initial capital as appropriate by language (e.g. only initial capital is appropriate for French). Exception: match case found on official distribution media when appropriate.

Use symbols/emojis as possible, if the titles include them. If a track is actually untitled, name it [untitled].

Use open and close quotation marks, never the straight marks which are found on the keyboard.

Use a true hyphen (), never the hyphen‐minus (-) which is found on the keyboard.

Exception to the above: when separating multiple track titles or artist names in a single field, use a hyphen‐minus (-) with one space on each side (“ - ”). Never use a slash, even if the official media uses it. (Some tools specially interpret hyphen‐minus expressly for this purpose.)


Fill Composer; name top‐level directory after this as Last Name, First Name.

Fill Artist with both orchestra name and conductor name, following formatting guidelines for multiple artists. Name second‐level directory as Album [OA-Conductor Last Name], where OA is the abbreviated orchestra name. (The hyphen is a hyphen‐minus.)


Album Artist and top-level directory are “Soundtrack”. Set Artist as appropriate per track.

Various Artists

Album Artist and top-level directory are “Various Artists”. Set Artist as appropriate per track.


Encode both track and album ReplayGain, using e.g. vorbisgain -a *.ogg or mp3gain -s r *.mp3.