An old stack of records sits in front of a shelf full of vinyl in a local record store.

How to properly file your vinyl (according to me, anyway.)

[This was my weekly column for – AC]

If you jumped into the vinyl resurrection over the past few years, I’d say there’s a 50-50 chance that you have a pile of records somewhere on the floor that isn’t organized in any coherent manner. “I’ll get to filing/ordering them when I have the time,” you say to yourself. With the pandemic lockdown, that time is now.

Judging from the number of emails I’ve received on the subject of the care and feeding of vinyl collections recently, a lot of people have finally decided to get things sorted. But there are some recurring questions about how to do things properly.

Getting your library in shape requires a little bit of planning and thought. But you don’t have to go this far. (Note the tiny bit of NSFW language here.)

I’d admit that organizing records according to your personal autobiography is intriguing, but it only works if you have a good memory. Plus, anyone else who wants to look through your collection would be completely lost.

Chronological ordering is a more manageable method but requires that you’re up on your music history. It can also be tedious to search labels, liner notes, and Wikipedia pages for release dates.

Me? I prefer the old-fashioned and (apparently) highly non-hipster way of filing my records: alphabetically. But you need to know more than just your ABCs in order to do this right — at least according to me.

Continue reading.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38427 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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