Music File Management 1: Formats, Names, and Tags

Like most DJs I have a lot of music and a lot of that is files. CD rips, recordings of cassettes and vinyl, flac and mp3 purchases from online record stores, and so on. Articles and conversations about music library organization are always interesting to me, so I thought I'd take a minute here to document how I handle my own collection.

I manage and interact with my digital music library using a computer that runs FreeBSD. Everything is done from the command-line using the Bourne shell, the standard file utilities, some shell scripts, and a few specialized encoders and tagging programs that I'll list next. I don't use Picard or any of the other automated taggers.