The Code System (Library Organization Method)

I came up with this method of organizing music (and consequently music videos) in 2005 and it has been adopted and adapted by numerous DJ’s over the years to fit their individual needs. I use iTunes to tag all my files, but you don’t have to. It’s very important that you have as many fields (information) filled out in every song or video as this will help you immensely when trying to narrow a search. I try to have all my Year fields filled out for every single song. Also, it is worth mentioning that if you use iTunes like I do, you can use scripts to facilitate entering codes into large batches of songs. Also, there are other programs out there like Media Rage (for Windows) that can help you as well.

The Benefits | Sorting through your library during your performance is enhanced by using a code or combination of codes in the search box. This gives you the ability to search more efficiently which also means being able to locate your music faster. You can then eliminate crates and sub crates completely or you can create crates and sub crates and even smart crates that update automatically with ease. If you use the code system to eliminate crates and sub crates, you will have a cleaner library. Also, all the codes are saved within the file metadata so this provides an extra measure of protection when something malfunctions within your library (no more lost crates and sub crates). This also eliminates the need to have your files sorted within your hard drive. Additionally, you will eliminate conflicts on someone else’s library if you connect your library to their laptop while using an external hard drive or storage device. But, the biggest benefit is that now you’re creating virtual crates and sub crates that you can navigate through without actually having these crates and sub crates. It is impossible to navigate through actual crates and sub crates at the same time, but not with this method.

From Rane: Having massive amounts of Crates and Subcrates can limit the amount of music files you can have in your library and requires more information to be written to the Serato databaseV2 and individual crate files. In addition, this puts more stress on your CPU, as it has to index/search for each individual file, and increases the overall size of the databaseV2 and crate files, resulting in greater virtual memory usage.

The Code | A code can be anything. It can be a word, a set of words, a number, initials, acronyms, etc. I use a combination of initials and complete words within a set of parenthesis in the song Name field. However, in the Grouping field, I use a combination of words within a set of brackets.

Code Location | I enter my codes in two locations. The first set of codes is entered in the (song) Name field as I like to see them when I load a track. The second set of codes is entered in the Grouping field. I’ve seen many DJ’s place their codes in the comments field. It’s entirely up to you. The amount of codes in the (song) Name field is fairly minimal and it should be as there is only so much room to display that information. The amount of codes in the Grouping field can be as many as you want. The more codes an individual song has in this field, the better the results when searching.

The Codes | Here’s the list of the codes I use in the (song) Name field. Again, yours can be anything you’d like.

Within the name of the song.
(CE) = Club Essential
(Clean) = Clean
(Inst) = Instrumental
(Acap) = A Capella
(MS) = Mixshow aka Extended Intro
(Remix) = Self Explanatory
(OSE) = Old School Essential
(HHE) = Hip Hop Essential
(RE) = Rock Essential
(PE) = Pop Essential
(RGE) = Reggae Essential
(RGTE) = Reggaeton Essential
(LE) = Latin Essential
(DE) = Dance Essential
(OD) = Oldies Essential
(SE) = Sample Essential
(WE) = Wedding Essential

For video, you just add a V to any code.
(VCE) = Video Club Essential
(VOSE) = Video Old School Essential
(VHHE) = Video Hip Hop Essential
(VRE) = Video Rock Essential
(VPE) = Video Pop Essential
(VRGE) = Video Reggae Essential
(RGTE) = Reggaeton Essential
(VLE) = Video Latin Essential
(VDE) = Video Dance Essential
(VOE) = Video Oldies Essential
(VWE) = Video Wedding Essential

Codes In The Song | This is how you will see my codes within the name of the song.

Name Of Song (CE)
Name Of Song (Clean) (CE)
Name Of Song (Inst) (CE)
Name Of Song (Acap) (CE)
Name Of Song (MS) (CE)
Name Of Song (MS) (Clean) (CE)

Or, you might see this:

Name Of Song (OSE)
Name Of Song (Clean) (OSE)
Name Of Song (Inst) (OSE)
Name Of Song (Acap) (OSE)
Name Of Song (MS) (OSE)
Name Of Song (MS) (Clean) (OSE)

Or, you might see a combination of several codes

Name Of Song (CE) (OSE)
Name Of Song (Clean) (CE) (OSE)
Name Of Song (Inst) (CE) (OSE)
Name Of Song (Acap) (CE) (OSE)
Name Of Song (MS) (CE) (OSE)
Name Of Song (MS) (Clean) (CE) (OSE)

And for video, a “V” is added to any code.

So in my library, you will see the following for a music video.

Name Of Song (VCE)
Name Of Song (Clean) (VCE)
Name Of Song (MS) (VCE)
Name Of Song (MS) (Clean) (VCE)

The Codes Within The Grouping Field | Here are some of the codes I use. Again, yours can be anything you’d like. I’m going to list them in a way that makes sense. In other words, it’s usually a genre, then it breaks into sub genres. Or, it can also be just a word reminder of what you would have in a crate. Think CRATES AND SUB CRATES when creating these codes. A couple of simple rules to remember are: If you used to have a crate for it, you will need a code for it. If you used to have a sub crate for it, you will need a code for it.

For example, in Hip-Hop you’d have something like this:

[HIP HOP] = Hip Hop
[RAP] = Rap
[CRUNK] = Crunk
[WEST] = West Coast
[HYPHY] = Hyphy
[EAST] = East Coast
etc.

In R&B you’d have something like this:

[R&B] = R&B
[R&BCLASSICS] = R&B Classics
[SOUL] = Soul
[GOSPEL] = Gospel
etc.

Then, after going through a breakdown of every genre (crate) and sub genre (sub crate) you specialize in, you can go into specialty codes (crates).

[CLOSER] = Closer songs
[TRANSITIONS] = Transition tracks
[SATURDAY] = Songs with the word Saturday that you might only want to play on Saturday
etc.

HOW TO USE THE CODES WITHIN A SEARCH | These codes make it super easy to search for specific content you may want while you’re performing (or just listening at home). You enter a code or set of codes + any other information to narrow your search, and there you have it. NO NEED TO NAVIGATE THROUGH INDIVIDUAL CRATES, SUB CRATES OR SMART CRATES EVER AGAIN… unless of course, you want to or need to.
Various Examples:

This example shows the use of codes in the Grouping field.
1. While performing, you want to play a classic West Coast Rap set from the 1990’s. You type the following in the search box:
[WEST] + 199

Explanation:
[WEST] is the code for West Coast Rap
199 represents every song from 1990-1999.

This example shows the use of codes in the Grouping field but also in the song Name field
1. While performing, you want to play a classic West Coast Rap set from the 1990’s. But, you also want to only play videos. You type the following in the search box:
(VCE) + [WEST] + 199

Explanation:
(VCE) is the code for Video Club Essential
[WEST] is the code for West Coast Rap
199 represents every song from 1990-1999.

This example shows the use of codes in the Grouping field but also in the song Name field (same as above) BUT also while breaking it down a little more.
1. While performing, you want to play a classic West Coast Rap set from the 1990’s. But, you also want to only play videos. Also, you only want to play clean, extended intro versions. You type the following in the search box:
(VCE) + (MS) + (Clean) + [WEST] + 199

Explanation:
(VCE) is the code for Video Club Essential
(MS) is the code for Mix Show or Extended Intro
(Clean) is the code for Clean versions of a song or video
[WEST] is the code for West Coast Rap
199 represents every song from 1990-1999.

As you can see, the more codes you enter into the search box, the better the search results will be. Think of it as crates vs sub crates. But, the biggest advantage (as I mentioned before) is that now you’re creating virtual crates and sub crates that you can navigate through without actually having these crates and sub crates. It is impossible to navigate through actual crates and sub crates at the same time, but not with this method.

Does it all make sense? I hope so. Feel free to contact me if you need help or if you think something can be modified to be made easier. Questions and comments always welcome!