Organization of music

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Organization of music

Postby sokuban » Wed 10 Jun 2009 2:14 am

So, I'm guessing a lot of you here listen to music in many different languages. There are tons of different ways of organizing them. Some Romanize all of their foreign music for example, and some don't. What are your rules for your music collection? I am also making this topic to get suggestions from other people, as I am debating over a few rules.

As for me:

In general I try to keep my music to be in a state that a native would be content with (ex. I don't like Romanization), but I make a few notable exceptions. (I'll explain these later on a language by language basis.) If an artist has a couple different official names, I try to organize everything with the current one, unless I find a good enough reason to consider them using a different name. Few examples are: I consider "L'Arc〜en〜Ciel" to be the same as "L'Arc-en-Ciel", but "FictionJunction" different from "FictionJunction YUUKA". I have great trouble deciding where to draw the line for artists that have debuted in different areas of the world with different languages. For example: I keep all Utada Hikaru songs under "宇多田ヒカル", even pure English songs from her time in America.

English music obviously is simple, I just keep it English, and preferably with proper case etc. (When multiple cases are commonly used, I just use capital for the first letter and lower case for the rest as that is pretty sane.)

For languages that are written with the Latin script but use extra symbols, accents etc, I use as much of these symbols as feasibly possible for the song name. However I will not add any on my own obviously unless a reputable source agrees on a symbol.

For Japanese, I use the official names for the song: as found on the back of the CD case, the artist's own site, wikipedia etc. However, if there is a reading shown in brackets I'd delete it. The artist's folder is named only in hiragana, but the tags of course have the proper name. (This is to separate the Japanese music from Chinese music, and to order the Japanese music properly by aiueo.) However if the artist has a name in Roman letters, I'd keep it that way and let it mix with the English music. I'm currently debating whether to keep it this way or to even order them with the Japanese music with hiragana, which might be a more "native" style approach. (Most karaoke places for example would do this.) The only exception to the "proper names" are those that are really really long, and I'd shorten it to a common name that is more sane.

For Chinese, I use traditional if the artist is mainly from Taiwan/Hong Kong, and simplified if the artist is mainly from mainland. When it isn't clear as to which side they are on, I take it on a case by case basis and decide whether to use simplified or traditional. If the original CD was published in one script I'd use that. So far I haven't had anyone get more difficult than that. Though I personally prefer Traditional over Simplified, so I'd probably have a bias there if the decision was left to me. I haven't made any special ordering system for Chinese yet, unicode's radical + stroke style seems to be okay, though I may decide to make adjustments on my own later when I encounter characters put in a weird spot in unicode.

For Korean music, I generally keep it in hangul. However, if the name of the artist is clearly something English-ey or non-Korean, I wouldn't use hangul to write it even if it is the official artist's name, because I find that official names almost always use more hangul than necessary, and the "stylized" names look better. (For example I'd take "SG Wannabe" over "SG워너비") If there is an officially recognized hanja name, I'd use that, but like I did with Japanese, I'd still name the folder in hangul, only the tag in hanja, to separate it from Chinese and to order it properly according to the hangul system. If a song has a hanja name, with a hangul reading in brackets, or a hangul name and a hanja reading in brackets, I'd delete the hangul and the brackets and leave the hanja name. (I am debating whether to keep it this way, or delete whatever is in the brackets instead, be it hangul or hanja, which might be a more native approach.) I also have trouble deciding on where to put the threshold for a "recognized hanja name". Right now for example, I have the Boys over Flowers soundtrack listed as "꽃보다 男子", but Baek Ji Young listed as "백지영". I am debating whether to turn singers who use their real name like this to hanja or not.

Indian music is where I am really debating a lot over. A lot of Indian artist put the official name in Roman letters, not the local script. Right now I try as hard as I can to accurately find the native names of the songs, but this is very difficult, especially since the Internet has few things in native Indian languages. I wonder if simply keeping everything in Roman letters would be a better choice sometimes. The thing is, Indian culture is very different from East Asian culture. In Japanese for example there are many different ways to write the same word, using different scripts/characters. However, the Japanese consider the "right" one to be the "right" one. Chinese have similar thoughts, but traditional & simplified variants of a character are considered the same, so one could use either one. But Indians write with whatever they feel like, and just because something was written one way doesn't make it right. When people talk about a Malayali song in English, they Romanize it. When Malayali talk about the song in Malayalam, they write in in the Malayalam script. I haven't checked, but I could bet any money that if Hindi people were talking about the song in Hindi, they'd write it in Devanagari if they could. On the other hand, if Japanese were shown a song written in Roman characters, they'd always use Roman characters to talk about it, and consider using katakana or other scripts - even if they are more accessible or Japanese-ey to be wrong. This makes it difficult to assess what the "native version" of the song is for Indian music. Heck, a local version of a certain band's site writes the song name in the local script, while the English version uses a (very poorly) Romanized version. So clearly the "native" approach would be to use the local script. But the thing is, it is so bloody hard to find the native versions of every Indian song. If I use native scripts for some Indian songs, I would want to be consistent and keep it that way. Where should I draw the line? What if like in the Japanese songs the "native" approach would be to use the Romanized name? I don't know how to tell.

Phew. Anyways, I have lots of other rules for sorting music etc but I only listed the language related ones here.
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Re: Organization of music

Postby dtp883 » Wed 10 Jun 2009 9:03 am

Well, since all my music is on my iPod and my Computer (and backed up to a DVD) the Computer alphabetizes it for me. Because the only non-Latin language that I have music in is Hebrew, I just transliterate the song. Sorry this probably is not much help to you.
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Re: Organization of music

Postby Epp » Wed 10 Jun 2009 10:02 am

For technical reasons, I Romanize them. I just look up the artist/song on the English and write it the way it's written there. If it's not on Wikipedia, I write it like it's written on the CD or use the official transliteration. This is not a big issue to me, because I almost only have music either in English or in other languages that use the Latin script. I write them the native way, also with special letters (if there are any).
But, but; it's not only-only, you know!
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Re: Organization of music

Postby Zereskaoate » Wed 10 Jun 2009 11:42 am

Yeah, I just dump all my music in a folder called "Music" and be done with it. :)
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Re: Organization of music

Postby Epp » Wed 10 Jun 2009 1:17 pm

Zereskaoate wrote:Yeah, I just dump all my music in a folder called "Music" and be done with it. :)
OMG, how can you live like that? I have one folder for each artist, then the albums. I don't sort after genre, though, because sometime it overlaps and it's hard to decide on one.
But, but; it's not only-only, you know!
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Re: Organization of music

Postby sokuban » Wed 10 Jun 2009 4:55 pm

Ahh. Romanization would be a definite no-no for me, since I have a fair amount of Chinese music, and Chinese music Romanized isn't really good. I don't have any technical problems keeping things in their native scripts, though I might if I get any RTL music or those that use really obscure scripts. So far I haven't.
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Re: Organization of music

Postby Sobekhotep » Wed 10 Jun 2009 10:24 pm

Zereskaoate wrote:Yeah, I just dump all my music in a folder called "Music" and be done with it. :)

That's what I do. :)
Although within my "My Music" folder there are sub-folders for each album I've "acquired".
Generally I keep the names of the songs as they are given on the artist's official website.
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Re: Organization of music

Postby Stosis » Sat 07 Nov 2009 11:09 pm

I keep my music in a folder with subfolders for each album. For rarer artists that I can only find individual songs for, I just put all the songs in one folder and be done with it. I normally leave the names the way they are when I download them, unless their mislabeled or misspellt or something.

As for your problem, there is help for OCD ;)

But seriously, I wouldn't worry too much about having the "official" names for your songs. Its not like the artists are going to look at it and get offended or something.
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Re: Organization of music

Postby Delodephius » Sun 08 Nov 2009 2:38 am

I don't Romanize.

As for organization, I have couple of categories, but many songs should get their own categories and to avoid having too many folders I just dump it all in more broader categories, like 'Celtic' also includes songs in Celtic languages but also songs in English sang by Celtic singers and soundtracks from movies with a Celtic theme.
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Re: Organization of music

Postby Talib » Sun 08 Nov 2009 5:26 am

I don't have enough foreign music to justify sorting it.
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