What is the best way to name your file/folders?

I realize this has probably been asked/answered before but I couldn’t find an answer to these specific queries…

I am about to embark on properly classifying my music collection. This involves both tagging the audio files and creating a neat folder structure.

Tagging seems straight forward and the Roon faq (https://kb.roonlabs.com/File_Tag_Best_Practice) on that is very useful.

What I can’t work out, is the best way to do the folders for the physical files.
Does it even matter? (i.e. does Roon read any folder info, or does it just read metadata from tags?)

The questions I have and wondered what people think are:

  1. What do with Artist/Albums which start with ‘The’ or ‘A’. Should they named ‘The Doors’ or ‘Doors, The’?
  2. What do with People names, Firstname Surname or Surname, Firstname? e.g. ‘Roger Water’ or ‘Water, Roger’.
  3. If there are multiple people, how to separate their names? command and &s? semicolons?

Just curious what others do, and why?

I believe folders are only used when it can’t figure out anything through metadata. So, if the files have the correct metadata you can put them in one folder. I think most people still follow some form of artist>album structure.

Perhaps use something like mp3tag (or Mac equivalent) which will create the folder structure based on the tag values.

If you want help with the tagging and reorganise then songkong may be of use.

1 Like

Personally, I use a folder tree of Genre / Artist / Album, but it’s for me, not Roon, so I can either manually find things and/or use the files with another player software. Roon relies on the file tagging.

Beatles, The or The Beatles, personal choice. Roon will do it’s thing, I personally prefer The Beatles outside Roon, but it means I have a lot of folders under T.

Multiple artists, again Roon will do it’s thing. Often, there is a main artist so I use that. I just had this with „Neil Young and Bluenote Café“… I put it in the Neil Young folder, not under a separate artist called „Neil Young and Bluenote Café“.

1 Like

Our music is organised in folders, primarily by artist, with sub folders for each artists’ album. The exception being Various (artist) albums.

Within each album are the tracks and a cover image which we name Folder.jpg. Each album folder can also contain one or more PDF files for album booklets or other information.

Various (artist) albums are in sub folders off a Various folder and are usually named by album title. We put single artist compilations under the artist folder and not in the Various folder.

The folders are then strictly alpha-numerically, so The Clash are under ‘T’ ( The ), 10,000 Maniacs would be before Abba and the Various folder after Vampire Weekend.

Naming stuff is of course very hard, but my advice would be do something that makes sense to you and more importantly be consistant!.

Although this makes little difference to Roon (if it has the metadata), it does mean we can use the same music folder with other programs like Audirvana, iTunes etc. It is a little bit more of a pain when adding new music, but it make your music more portable so you are not restricted to one system.

Hope this helps…

1 Like

Not much of a curator, I guess.

I take the default structure that is used by in most ripping programs. I.e. Artist/Album.

Worrying about folder structure seems a little retentive to me. After the rip, I never again look at the resulting music folder.

Roon doesn’t care and the ripping default is good for any other media app you might use…

1 Like

The reason I thought it would be useful to do, is if using other apps or preparing stuff to go on portables etc


My structure is Artist and then Album. I do not break it down by genre in the folder structure because it is baked into the tags.

I do use different folders for different rips, even for the same artist and albums.


WAV DVD RIPS - 24 BIT - 5.1 CH


MP3 - 16 BIT 128
MP3 - 16 BIT 160
MP3 - 16 BIT 192
MP3 - 16 BIT 320

I also keep my digital purchased rips separate for my home made rips.



I use Artist/ Album as many others do. This includes a Various Artists folder too. I use ‘The Apples In Stereo’ rather than ‘Apples In Stereo, The’.

Also, I replace non-standard characters and system characters with an underscore, and use square brackets ‘[…]’ to denote release information, which also shows in the Roon Album Browser.

Sometimes an album doesn’t follow the right format–see Magnolia above–so I change these when I spot them.

I do it differently for rock & Classical


A —-Z
Artist then Date - Album Name

Skip Articles so The Beatles is under B not T


Composer - Genre -Album - Artist

After that let the software do the grunt work :money_mouth_face:

I, too, use genre specific formats for organising files and folders. Jazz gets the structure:


while classical is simply


because artist is often hard to choose.

Multi-artist jazz compilations get Various Artists as the artist name. I use the Auto-Organise tool in Media Monkey to organise the files. In all honesty, I have no good reason for doing all this. Neither of the programs I regularly use (Media Monkey for syncing to classic iPods and USB sticks for my truck and for editing tags, roon for playing at home) need folder structure; like what I consider a proper music player, both use tags to organise the tracks in the player. And I also use iTunes, but only to transfer files to an iPhone or iPod Touch as I use Onkyo’s HF Player to play flac files on the iOs devices which doesn’t sync in the usual way.

I use the following

Artist / Date - Album / Track - Title.ext

I have also a few special folders like Collections, Classical and OST to put the albums that don’t match the above.

Also when I have doubts about a name I always consult Wikipedia for the correct name. So it’s “The Doors” and not “Doors”.

And finally I HATE VARIOUS ARTISTS. There is nothing like that. When you go to the store and buy something you ask for the album title and not various or 2 songs from each artist. It’s a single album. That’s why I still have Roon and I have not migrated to Plex Pass + Tidal.

Not at Taz Records in Halifax/Bedford/Dartmouth. Their list of new acquisitions regularly has Various Artists listed as Various Artists.

Box sets may need some care if Roon is going to recognise them as such. It’s in the documentation somewhere (reading it last week which is why I now can’t find it… ) but if I recall correctly Roon is looking for files in separate (sub) folders, or ‘disk 1’, ‘disk 2’ in the file name or tag, to try to make sense of it. I guess many box sets include disks that are also available individually or in smaller sets, so it needs to be able to discriminate.

I’ve not spotted Roon having much issue with my library… but I tend to the view that if the artist didn’t think it was good enough to make the album, it’s probably not worth listening to!


This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.