Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Organizing Songs - File Names

Here is an easy way to CREATE UNIQUE FILE NAMES for each new song's supporting files.  I'm up to at least 250 songs on the Web now (see www.DianaDeeOsborneSongs.com) --This method that  I developed 3 years ago REALLY eliminated filename confusion

When you copyright songs (see earlier blogs), you will probably want the following file types for each song:

1.  LYRICS - Contains song words in a word processing format (like .DOC).

2.  MUSIC SHEET  (sometimes called a LEAD SHEET) - Contains notes information (but not music staffs with note symbols) to show chords (and possibly notes) that fit the lyrics which are also included

3.  SCORE  - Traditional music on a staff, with no lyrics (unless you choose to add them).  If the song has a special score for flutes (for example), just create separate files that list each instrument.

4.  AUDIO  -MP3 format usually, which has a small file size and works well for copyright office.

HOWEVER-- whether you post files to the Web or send them to the Copyright Office (LINK for U.S. office), you need a non-editable PDF file format rather than DOC files that the recipient can change.  SCORE files automatically print from programs that way.  But you will need to have TWO file types for your Lyrics file and Music Sheet file.

It is also EXTREMELY helpful to add the filedate within the file title of paper copies; you don't want to do this for the audio file because people will see that in their iTunes or QuickTime (etc) when they download your audio file.   On the web, it is also helpful to add a TAG that puts the filename with date in the Title field so that you will always know whether you have updated a web file with your newest version.

So here is a summary of file names for my song example entitled "Albino Spiders."  Notice that there is one space after the final word of the song's title, then the dash, then the letters that identify what type of information is contained in your file.  Listed in the order above.

FILES TO POST ONLINE   and with the Copyright Office:
Albino Spiders -LY 12-23-2011.pdf
Albino Spiders -MU 7-20-2012.pdf
Albino Spiders -SCORE  PIANO.pdf
Albino Spiders -SCORE  SAX.pdf
Albino Spiders.mp3
(It's helpful to keep an ARCHIVE folder on your computer with copies.)

FILES TO KEEP ON YOUR COMPUTER  for future updates
Albino Spiders -LY 12-23-2011.doc
Albino Spiders -MU 7-20-2012.doc
Albino Spiders -RESEARCH.doc  (supporting info you used for lyrics)
Albino Spiders.band    (your studio's project, from which you create SCORE files)

Songwriting is SO much easier when your files are well organized .... and more fun creating new songs knowing your strategy is already worked out for filenames.  Much joy in more efficiency as you write the songs in your head!
©2012 DianaDee Osborne;  all rights reserved