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Planning how to sort huge collection
#1
I just purchased this program and am looking for advice about best way of using the fields (within song attributes) and artist/setlist/collections, etc to stay as organized as possible.

Here is the background.  I currently have about 2500 individual PDFs, about 90% of which are jazz standards.  Often, I have numerous versions of the different tunes (because they have different arrangements or keys).  Each PDF has a unique file name.  I also have separate folders with lists of tunes, like: ballads, blues, swing, dance, post-bop, holiday, latin, etc.   In addition, I created a spreadsheet with some additional information, like: artist, key, tempo (described generally as just slow, mid-tempo, up-tempo), time signature, specific style of jazz (bebop, fusion, standard, etc).  Finally, I have created some folders with set-lists. 

The spreadsheet is imperfect and needed a lot of updating anyway.  But I am not looking forward to inputting all of this information on each individual song, through the "edit song" tool.  I am wondering whether there are any short-cuts.

For example: since 90% of the music is jazz, can I select all of the library at once and add "jazz" to the genre? I would then need to correct about 10% of the tunes, but that would still be a time-saver I think.

Second, since some of the tunes are basically copies (but worth having because of variations in key and arrangement), is there any way of copying all of the editing tags on one song and then applying them to another song?

Lastly, if there are any other considerations I should keep in mind at the outset, please let me know.  Again, I'm mostly looking for any short-cuts that will still enable me to sort things as I've been doing so far.This will be time-consuming so it would be nice if I could start with the right approach.  Thanks.

Oh: one more question just occurred to me: would any of this likely be faster if I use the companion app to make changes on my computer, as opposed to on my tablet (Microsoft Surface)?
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#2
Hi Wynton


Quote:The spreadsheet is imperfect and needed a lot of updating anyway.  But I am not looking forward to inputting all of this information on each individual song, through the "edit song" tool.  I am wondering whether there are any short-cuts.


Instead of writing a lot here I advise you to search the forum for csv import. Since you have already a spreadsheet with a lot of information you will appreciate that you can use this to import it into MSP. Feel free to ask, if you don't get along with the many posts we already have here.

Quote:can I select all of the library at once and add "jazz" to the genre? I would then need to correct about 10% of the tunes, but that would still be a time-save

Yes.

Quote:Second, since some of the tunes are basically copies (but worth having because of variations in key and arrangement), is there any way of copying all of the editing tags on one song and then applying them to another song?

No. (At least not yet. Mike is always adding new features).

Quote:one more question just occurred to me: would any of this likely be faster if I use the companion app to make changes on my computer, as opposed to on my tablet (Microsoft Surface)?

Depends. I have a Surface, too, and like it's keyboard flap and its handling. But I prefer a desktop with a normal keyboard for my typing. I don't use the companion and did almost all of my editing or rather importing with the aforementiong csv method. And I'm certainly quicker and more comfortable with spreadsheets on a desktop than a tablet (though I didn't have the Surface yet when I did most of my importing. 

Maybe I will work in MSP directly on my W10 desktop when the library sync (currently in beta) is finished and I can transfer my editing to my other devices. Personally I think if you have MSP on a W10 desktop you don't have much use for the companion anymore (well for connecting and transferring to Android tablets, but with the upcoming sync feature less of that as well, I think).
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#3
As you are starting from scratch, I suggest you look at the csv option (as advised by BRX). I've only used it once and that was splitting a large pdf into multiple songs (not sure if you can use it to provide data for multiple input files).

The other thing I would suggest is that you start small by choosing a representative subset of your songs and work out exactly how to get it working as you want. Then blow it all away and fill the database for real i.e. don't try and add to your test subset. You probably don't want the "Let MSP manage the  files" option selected (this creates a subdirectory for each song which means that you have will have 2500 subdirectories containing a single file).

Probably also a good idea to use your own file structure as opposed to letting MSP copy them into it's storage folder. You can then use your own subfolders to categorize the songs making it much easier for you to manage the files. It will also remove any file handling inefficiencies from having an excessive number of files in a single folder (perhaps not such an issue nowadays).
Best of luck - I let MSP manage my files at the start and I haven't got the courage to blow it all away and start again!

Geoff
Samsung Galaxy Tab A6
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#4
I just tried "import CVS" function and then realized that the spreadsheet is not in that format.  I created the spreadsheet with excel.  The extension is "xlsx"  I guess for that reason MSheets could not find the file when I tried to "import CVS."

I actually am pretty inexperienced with spreadsheets.  This was one of very few that I ever created.  So I need to find a pretty basic guide about how to utilize them.  I have read a bunch of threads here about CVS files but I'm afraid they all assume knowledge I don't have.    I'll keep trying to figure that out, though, since it does sound like a nice way of proceeding.
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#5
How do I select all of the tunes I've already imported and indicate that all are in the same genre? I can't see a way of selecting all songs at once.
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#6
In Excel, you will need to save the file and say that the output is required as a CSV file (comma separated variables). This will create a CSV file (you still have your original one).

  1. Display the list of songs in MSP
  2. Press and hold one of the songs until a check box appears to the left of the pressed name
  3. A floating tool bar appears (probably at bottom of screen). Press the right hand "open" square to select all songs
  4. Edit Song
Note: I've only edited a song at a time but the MSP implied it was in a Batch Edit mode

Prior to selecting songs, you might want to press the 3 dots (top right) and Show Filters.; this gives you a way to subset songs by filename or whatever.

Alternatively, use the companion and select all the songs and then select Edit.


Remember to start small to establish what you need to do before importing lots of songs;
If you get the CSV bit working, you can easily populate the fields and keep redoing the operations until it is in the form you want.

Geoff
Samsung Galaxy Tab A6
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#7
CSV thing didn't work.  I got a message indicating that "all columns specified in the CVS were "invalid."  I guess this makes sense since my columns are not identical to the fields in the song editing function.  Should I change the headings of the columns in the spreadsheet to make them consistent with the fields?  If that is the solution, do I need to have the same number of fields?
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#8
The column headings need to reflect what is in the fields i.e. your spreadsheet has to have the values in the correct columns

Someone recently posted about trying to get a CSV to work ; can't remember what they did (it might be this one)

Suggest you create a new spreadsheet with 3 songs, say,  and the required columns/data
When you get that to work, you will know what you need to change in the the main spreadsheet.

I'm at the limit of my knowledge now!

Geoff
Samsung Galaxy Tab A6
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#9
Thanks Geoff and others.
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#10
So I never did master the CVS thing, but I've moved on, partly because I wasn't satisfied with my original spreadsheet anyway.

Meanwhile, I think I figured out a fast way of organizing matters: heavy reliance on the "collections" tool.  The real purpose of the spreadsheet was to enable me to sort the material by genre, tempo, etc.  But the collections tab seems to accomplish the same purpose, and makes the process faster. 

For example, I just created a collection entitled "ballads." Once the collection is created, I now know that I can easily select songs for inclusion, without having to go into the "song editing" function.  That is pretty fast and painless.  I now intend to create a whole bunch of "collections" (like Latin, bebop, funk, blues, etc).  My only question now is whether there is any downside.

In other words, is there any functional advantage to option 1 (going into the attributes of each song and adding a keyword such as "ballad") over option 2 (creating a collection of ballads and including the songs that way)?  Option 2 is sure a lot faster when starting from scratch.
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