Cataloguing my Vinyl Collection


29. Sep. 2009, 3:40

I've spent the last few months creating a database for my records. The experience has proved to be quite enjoyable, and has yielded more fruit than I'd predicted.


I decided to use a simple Exel Spreadsheet for the task. This allows sorting by multiple fields which is very useful. I didn't limit myself on the number of columns, figuring that I would do this once and might as well go all the way. Some of the columns proved too much bother and didn't seem worthwhile as I entered them.

The full list is:

Artist, Album, Label, Year, Genre, Sub-Genre, Producer, Rating [1-10], Level of Conformity, Paid?, Listened?, Gatefold?, Import?, Condition? Complete?

The last five columns were rarely filed out. Generally, if I could put in nothing for rating or genre, it meant I hadn't listened to the record. (I sometimes obtain a crate of records which I keep to build a library, not necessarily because I specifically want the records. Accordingly I now have lots of unlistened to WIngs and Elvis Costello records, but they may prove useful one day. Plus, they were free.)

Going through the collection I would sit at the computer and plug in artist and record and then usually put the album into the all-music website. I hyperlinked to the allmusic page for each album - instant track listing, cover art and description.From there, all of the rest of the information was readily available, except producer. This meant a search of the record itself. Although time consuming, this was fun. It made me examine the liner notes and artwork more closely.

I had fun thinking of genres and sub-genres and especially rating the records. The system I chose was this:

1The worst thing to ever happen
2The worst thing to ever happen to music
5Lame but there is some reason to own
6Some or one songs I like - a keeper
7Great song(s) or classic artist /group, but not generally enjoyable
8Good album all round
9A masterpiece
10A holy grail of music

I rated the albums in conformity in five grades from A to Zappa:

A - No inkling of moving off centre. why rock the boat when you're Roger Whitaker?
B- Highly Conformist
C- Medium
D- Medium Low
Zappa - Purposefully stirring shit up.


Generally to help me organize and find my records. I have an eight-sectioned shelving unit. Each can hold up to about 80 records comfortably. For example, the database tells me that section one can take 10 CC to Kate Bush.

It will also allow guests to easily browse the collection on the computer screen, without having to squint. If they want to know if I have "Takin' Care Of Business" I may not know, but we can soon find out.

I didn't take the ratings, or anything too seriously. But it now occurs to me that the rating system will be useful for when... if my record collection becomes too big and I need to downsize. All I need to do is sort by rating and get rid of everything under a 5. Or whatever.

I've also made a version which I can keep on my mobile device to avoid duplication when buying records.

Its also fun to sort by producer. This yielded some fun facts like Steve Hillage produced eighties soft rock combo CockRobinand that metal producer Mutt Lange produced a Foreigneralbum ("4", their best).

Finally, it allows me to post my collection here. Beyond being vital information for all humanity, this allows people who want to buy brotherlog a record to avoid duplication too.



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