Music is a universal language. Regardless of where you life, how old you are, what car you drive or clothes you wear – music is probably a part of your life. We’ve seen an evolution of music formats over the past century from live radio broadcasts to vinyls, and CDs to digital music. For some of us music buffs, records and CD’s are collectible items that we continue to purchase for our ever growing music collection. In order to keep our collections organized we may turn to a tech-savvy music cataloging software. With so many options, how do we choose which one is best? Here is a breakdown of the top five music catalog software options.
CD archiver is a free music cataloging program with over a dozen supported file formats like ZIP, RAR and TAR; over a dozen supported music formats from WMA to APE and a slew of other video and audio formats. It has a relatively easy to use interface, allowing the user to quickly upload albums to the system and then it just as quickly creates a hierarchical tree with the CD’s metadata information – also retrieving information from Internet sources like Amazon, iMDB and Google. You have the option to manually enter data but otherwise the program is not very customizable.
This program is a bit more sophisticated than CD Archiver. Music Collector allows you to scan the barcode on the back of your CD case to automatically import the details of the album instead of having to manually enter them or rely on possibly faulty Internet resources. Music Collector also has a more modern user interface which allows you to browse through album covers as you choose which music you would like to listen to. The program also offers to scan your hard drive to find music hiding in folders and then analyzes it, catalogs it and makes it super easy for you to access. To top it off, you can upload your music collection to friends by using the iPhone or Android app. Try it for free or buy it for $29.95.
JB Music Collector
JB Music Collector takes music catalog software up a notch. Not only does it catalog your CD’s, it will catalog your MP3’s, LP’s, and tapes making it the one-stop-shop for music cataloging. If you’re at all familiar with the Windows Media Player, you may also be familiar with changing the “skins” of the player. Essentially, WMA gives users the option to fully customize the way their music player looks and feels. JB Music Collector to a page from their book and gives users the same range of options with it’s built in music player. It has a reminiscent feel of iTunes with the left-hand panel displaying an alphabetical listing of all the artists cataloged so far.
You can easily add a new artist or album with the click of a button and you can enter as much meta data as you want. No detail is left out, it gets down to the nitty-gritty like release year and even the re-release year where applicable. Yes, these details mostly need to be entered manually, but that just gives you complete freedom over what information is put in the database. Export the database to PDF, Excel or Word. Download for free.
My Music Collection
Nuclear Coffee offers their own version of a music catalog software called simply: My Music Collection. It’s a free download and has convenient features like the barcode scan and a loan library (this helps you keep track of what CD’s/cassettes/vinyls may be on loan out to friends or family). A loan library may not seem necessary in the average music collectors house, but at a radio station, this could be a crucial option. My Music Collector will gather all of the pertinent album information from the Internet and upload the details when the music itself is uploaded to the computer (or added to the catalog if the music is already located on the hard drive). If you’re adding a cassette or a vinyl you will have to add the information manually (probably) and choose the corresponding album cover. The software has a well-built search function which allows you to search for music by year, song title, album title, artist, and music category. Print catalog reports or export them in over five different formats.
Arguably the most popular music cataloging software and music player, iTunes has earned it’s place amongst the high-quality programs available to music lovers. iTunes is considered an Apple software application but it’s universally used across all platforms. It has the most intuitive user interface imaginable (just think about the rest of Apple’s products) and it has more features than you’ll know what to do with. Want to create a playlist with only a sub-category of 90’s alternative rock? Done. Want to listen to more music that sounds like the last song you heard? Just turn on the smart playlist. Want to browse all of you albums by cover image, release year, genre or artist? Easy. You can also select “find music” from the menu and have iTunes search your computer for hiding music files. iTunes is free and is primarily compatible with Apple’s iPod and iPhone.