If you are like me, then you probably have lots of folders filled with media files: music, videos, pictures or movies. However, after a while, they start to pile up and when you want to search for a particular file, chances are you will have to spend some time to track it down.
A digital media organizer is a far better way to keep track of your media files. They catalog all the files according to a set criteria and you will be able to find them easily next time you need a picture, or other files from your computer. Today, we’ll be taking a look at how to organize your media collection both with specialized programs and with the integrated tools from your operating system.
Organize your files with ratings and different names
If you want to organize your media file without the need of a dedicated organizer, then you can use the integrated tools from your operating system. First of all, create your own sorting system, which will help you categorize all your files. This is the first step in making your media collection tidy.
For example, you can sort music first by genre, then by artist and then by album or year. This way, you have a tidy folder tree and recovering a certain track will be easy. If you have lots of downloaded pictures or photos that you’ve taken, then you can create a similar tree, with the type of picture (photo or downloaded), then you can group them by what they contain, so if you want to have your vacation photos easily accessible, then you can simply navigate to their folder and find the one you are looking for.
Many photographers also use the rating system, that every OS has, and it allows you to rate pictures (or other media files for that matter). The rating system is a great way to find certain photos in a folder. You can rate the best photos with the maximum number of stars and this will allow you to later sort them by rating and find the one you are looking for. In the case of photos, you can even sort them according to the camera they were taken with.
Renaming media files is a sure way to quickly find them after a while. Every operating system offers a search function, and if you know the general area where the file is, and what is its name, then you can find it easily. If you don’t want to spend countless hours on renaming 1000 photos, you can just bulk-rename them and when you search for them, you will just have to search amongst a few.
Keep in mind that for the best results, it’s best if you use all these techniques. It will be far easier for you to have a folder tree, and inside the folders, your media files which would be rated and renamed. For example, if you want a certain picture and you know that it is somewhere in the “Vacation” folder, all you need is to open the folder and search for it, either by name or by rating.
So, if you are willing to spend the time necessary to organize your media collection manually (and remember that if you have lots of files, it might take a while), then remember these tips, which will definitely help you. Here’s a quick recap of what you can do with your media files:
- Create a folder tree / sorting system
- Use the default rating system to rate your files
- Rename the files and give them relevant names
Use a media organizer to keep your files in check
If you don’t want to bother with manually organizing your media collection, then you can use a dedicated service that allows you to quickly find your files. Keep in mind that these programs won’t do wonders, and if you have only one folder with all your images or music in it, you will still have a hard time finding your files. We recommend that you create a folder tree and categorize your files, so it will be easier to find with the dedicated program.
There are many media organizers available for users, and most of them only manage one or two types of media, so if you want to keep all your files organized, then you might need more than one media organizer to get the job done. Now, we’ll give you a list of such programs, and you can make your choice depending on what type you need and, of course, how much it costs.
Most likely, you will have much more photos than any other type of media on your computer, and therefore, keeping your photos organized can be a pretty hard task. The following media organizers will definitely give you some help when you want to find certain files from your computer. Also, in the recent updates, developers also added video support for most of them, making them perfect for organizing both photos and videos.
One other advantage of using a dedicated picture organizing tool is that some also offer editing features, or they are integrated with other image editors. They roughly offer the same features, and the main differences between them are the price and the platform they work on. We will provide you with a list of such programs that includes both free and paid media organizers.
- Windows Photo Gallery – Free
- Ubuntu Shotwell – Free
- Mac OS X Image Capture – Free
- Google Picasa – Free
- Nero Kwik Media – Free
- digiKam – Free
- Zoner Photo Studio – Free
- Apple iPhoto ’11 - $14.99
- CyberLink PhotoDirector 4 – €79.99
- ACDSee Pro – $59.99
- Adobe Bridge CC – Starts from $19.99/month
- Corel AfterShot Pro – $59.99
Video, Movies and DVD Organizers
Along pictures, many of us have lots of videos that we’d like to view over and over again. But many times, these files get mixed up and it’s really hard to keep track of them. Also, for those who like to collect movies and DVDs, the story is the same. Once your collection exceeds a certain number, you won’t remember what titles you own. This is why a movie/video organizer is a good tool to have on your computer.
- Delicious Library – Free Trial / $25.00
- DVD Profiler – Free Trial / $29.95
- Blu-Ray & DVD Database – Free Trial / €24.95 / €39.95
- EMDB – Free
- Griffith – Free
- Videonizer – Free
Apart from pictures and videos, most of us have lots of music tracks on our computers, and we know that these are pretty hard to find. By using a music manager, you can quickly search and find the file you are looking for.
- MediaMonkey – Free / $24.95
- MusicBee – Free
- Best Music Organizer – Free
- Jaangle – Free
- foobar2000 – Free
- AIMP – Free
- Helium Music Manager – Free / $29 / $49
With these tools at your disposal, you will definitely have a clean media library, where all the files are in the right place and you will be able to find them easily. If you use other digital media organizers and you are pleased with how they work, do let us know.