How I whore mp3's
Most of the time I either download to try new artists or to get some song I heard. While I'm getting the song I might as well get the whole album. My collection feels messy unless I have a lot of full albums.
First I pick my poison. I usually go with eMule or Soul Seek. If I know exactly what artist I want and I don't have any of their music then I will get a torrent going. Soul Seek is best when you don't have any artists in mind. These programs are very good at getting large quantities of music quickly. Soon the amateur mp3 whore will be overloaded with junk. They will probably have one folder with a lot of files in it. These files will use just about every name scheme available. Thats why they are (still) amateurs.
How to 'git er done':
Pre-requisite: Download music. If you see a full album go for it at once. Pounce. A full album can be considered N times less work than individual songs where N is the number of songs on the album minus one to three.
1. Take the music you want to sort out of the Incoming folder and put it in a folder called 'Music to sort' (or somthing like that, I don't really care).
2. Open up Tag & Rename. Select all the check boxes. This can be done manually or automatically by clicking the check box in the tool bar or hitting ctrl+a. If you see a lot of blank spots and pink don't fear; Hit F11 to copy id3v1 to id3v2. If you still have a lot of pink then you need to add tags yourself. This is where you wish you downloaded a full album since if you did your work is easy. All you have to do is go to the "get tags from filenames" tool and your done. If they are all different then you might have to put them in manually.
I am assuming that Tag and Rename is an unfamiliar application. My recommended method for learning a new program is to play with it
. Since the worst thing Tag n Rename can do is mess up an album. Never tell it to look in your music collection. There you can really mess things up, besides it will take an hour to list all the items.
3. Make sure all the tags are right. Never skip tags. The 'essential three' are artist, title, and album. If its a full album then add track numbers and make it an 'essential four'.
4. Use the "rename files" tool to make all the file names standard. The best format is Artist - Track.mp3. It makes everything look nice and keeps your files organized by artist in explorer. Some times this creates duplicates between albums. If they are identical save one. If they are different then name one differently.
5. Move your files into a folder called somthing like 'music to add'. This is sort of a last stop to make sure that you have only one copy of each file. This is also your last opportunity to make sure everything is right. Remember that different edits are not duplicates unless they sound the same and have the same length. If they do they are not different edits.
6. Add the songs to your music folder and tell Winamp (or your music player of choice) to look for the new files. Just don't say you use iTunes since its not a great player for the dedicated mp3 whore. Winamp has the best features for a windows mp3 whore.
7. While you were doing all this you should have been listening to a the mp3s to make sure they are good. Never let your music collection get contaminated. Contamination must be filtered out through use of multiple folders. You can make a mistake once maybe even twice but three stops and your sure to have pure mp3 goodness.
This is where Winamp really has some good features. It will tell you what songs you added in the last couple of days so making play lists and listening to all of the new songs is easy. With these lists you can keep track of songs that you don't remember the name of.
Listen to your collection all the time. Mix it up and have fun. Try to support those you like.