iTunes is probably the most commonly used music organizer in the world; an obvious result of the iPod’s ridiculous popularity. Your iTunes library, coupled with the immense amount of music people have these days (my library is pushing 9500), can be a pretty daunting task to organize and maintain.
Lets face it, after spending all that time building up your song cache, it is incredibly discouraging when everything is completely disorganized. I recently realized that minimalism is key when trying to build and maintain your iTunes library. By using this approach I found that, not only was my iTunes a lot more manageable, but other aspects of my life followed suit. I know it sounds a little strange, but think about it… Everything in your life is essentially an extension of yourself and therefore everything is integrated into one another, even your iTunes library.
So here it is, 6 steps to organize your iTunes library, the minimalist way…
1 – Remove stagnant songs.
Start by removing anything that hasn’t had a play count in the last 6 months or so. I know it feels wrong, but less is more when considering keeping your iTunes organized. I recognize that my iTunes library is rather large, but I make use of TidySongs, which, well… keeps everything tidy for me.
2 – Download songs you are going to listen to, not songs you may listen to if the mood strikes you.
Just because you like one song by Kings of Leon, doesn’t mean you will like them all. Too many people download whole albums just to have them sit there, because they don’t like the rest of it. Don’t be afraid of having incomplete albums. Just throw these randoms into a play-list and you’re good to go.
3 – Download albums that can be listen to as a whole.
Really all this means is opt for albums that flow together. Iron and Wine’s, The Shepard’s Dog, is a perfect example of this. Every song on this album bleeds into the next, making it a whole rather than a compilation.
4 – Don’t worry about filling in every little piece of song information.
Some people get frustrated trying to fill in every section of the song’s info. Artist and album is really all you need, unless you’re the type that like to organize his/her music into genres of course.
5 – By some amazing speakers/headphones
Okay so this one isn’t really related, but it’s still good advice. The size of your iTunes library means nothing if you don’t have the equipment to really let your music shine. By buying quality sound equipment you will learn to appreciate the quality over quantity of your music.
6 – As soon as you add music make sure you organize it!
Incredibly simple, but amazingly effective in keeping your iTunes library organized without going insane. Little by little using these steps you can build a song cache that you’ll be proud to call your own and maybe you’ll come out a little more zen as well.