LIBRARY Step 04: Music


“Bottom line is, if you do not use it or need it, it’s clutter, and it needs to go.” – Charisse Ward 

"Alexia, play some slow jazz." This is one of my favorite things about a smart home. Years ago, I loved walking into my home and flipping the power switch on my amplifier and the house was filled with music. Then things became too complicated. Turn on Bluetooth, select music source, etc. just killed the mood.

Now everything is easy again and I love it. I want to make sure you know today's easy techniques and how to get your music library organized and ready to enjoy.


Some of us stream all our music, some don't stream any music and some of us rely on a mix of streaming and our own digital music files. This step is "mostly" about digital music files.


We cannot talk about music in today's world without including streaming music. Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Music, and SoundCloud are just a few streaming music services. Most have free services and paid services. They can create your own music "stations" featuring your favorite genre, artist, era, and so on. But the big news is that you do not need to store your music on your device, it is all up there in the cloud.

Digital Music Files

Why keep digital music files when streaming services are so readily available? You don't want to pay for the premium service and the free service doesn't have the music you want. You don't always have access to the cloud. Different languages, esoteric tastes, homemade recordings, or you already have an extensive music library, and you love what you have.

Copyright Music

Just like photos and videos, if you did not purchase it, you don't own it.


Stay away from bootleg or illegal music. Let your music player do the heavy lifting for you. When in doubt, don't delete that duplicate, you may be deleting your most favorite version of that song.


We are going to discuss your own (owned) music library. How you end up mixing streaming music with your own music is up to your personal likes.

Music File Naming Convention

Just like photos and videos, music files have their own naming convention. This is designed to sort the correct songs into the correct album, numbered so that they will play in the intended order. For example:

  • 📁Alan Jackson - 16 Biggest Hits (2007)
    • 01 - Alan Jackson - Chattahoochee (Extended Mix)
    • 02 - Alan Jackson - Gone Country
    • 03 - Alan Jackson - She's Got The Rhythm (And I Got The Blues)
    • 04 - Alan Jackson - Midnight In Montgomery
    • 05 - Alan Jackson - Tall, Tall Trees

This naming convention is popular, not the law. You can name your files anything you like. Some folks don't like the artist's name in the file name. Some like to add the genre and more.

Whatever you decide, the numbering should stay.

You have an assortment of songs by the same artist, not a specific album like the Alan Jackson example. You should group all the songs by the same artist into a folder named after that artist.

  • 📁Al Green
    • Al Green - Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone - (0000)
    • Al Green - Happy - (0000)
    • Al Green - Have A Good Time - (0000)
    • Al Green - Here I Am (Come And Take Me) - (2011)
    • Al Green - Hold On Forever - (0000)

No album, no numbers, just keeping the artist in one location.

😎 WordCutter: If your music collection is not excessively big (under 1 or 2,000 songs) and you are not a maniac about organizing, you may want to interrupt this step and go to the Media Management step, here. For example, PLEX will organize a folder full of crazy, disorganized music files and present them in a highly organized manner. If you are happy with the results, you can skip most of this step.


Remove Duplicates

Just as in photos and videos, we want to minimize or completely remove any duplicate files.

Watch out for false duplicates like the same song performed by different artists.

  • Search Results
    • Me And Bobby McGee
    • Me And Bobby McGee
    • Me and Bobby McGee

Duplicates or just the same song performed by different artists?

  • Me And Bobby McGee - Jerry Lee lewis
  • Me And Bobby McGee - Janis Joplin
  • Me and Bobby McGee - Kris Kristofferson

Cover Art

Do you need cover art in your music library? Personally, I don't think so. Most of the music player applications will add cover art to your music in the application itself. On your desktop, on your phone, your music player will scan your library and add not only the cover art but missing details like artist, date recorded, genre, and so on.


Again, organize, organize, and organize, that's the name of the game.