The Importance of Properly Naming Karaoke Song Files

It is very important that you properly name your karaoke song files from the beginning. Being consistent is the key to avoiding future nightmares. Choose a naming convention and always stick to it. Never add any songs to your collection that are not properly named. Okay, I guess that point is made so here comes the why.

I receive emails all the time from people who say they have thousands of karaoke song files on their hard drive but many of them don't have proper names like Song Title - Artist but instead just have generic titles like SONG-8976 or similar. Now they're looking for an easy way to properly name all these song files. Or maybe they ripped the songs from their CDG disc collection but only named them by song title and left out the artist and now want to add the artist name to the songs. Perhaps some songs are named with Disc ID - Song Title - Artist and others only Song Title - Artist. There can be numerous scenarios.

Unfortunately, I have to break the news to them that there is no easy solution. Unless they are MP3+G files, and someone added this information to the mp3 ID tag of each file pair (which is extremely rare), they are left with no choice but to manually name each song. This is what I refer to as a nightmare. Imagine going through thousands of song files manually naming each one.

A naming convention is simply a system of naming song files. For years the standard naming convention was DiscID-SongNumber - Song Title - Artist Name

An example would be SC8050-06 - Kryptonite - 3 Doors Down Notice the use of the dashes. File reading software reads SPACE-SPACE as a column separator. This example song name would produce three columns.

Column One Column Two Column Three
SC8050-06 Kryptonite 3 Doors Down

A nice feature of karaoke file managing software like Pilot Song Book Creator is that once you have your files named properly you are able to arrange the columns in any order you prefer without renaming the song files themselves. You can even choose to eliminate a column. This means you can organize your song database, and ultimately create songbooks, by Disc ID, Song Title, or Artist.

In this age of computer karaoke where songs are stored on a hard drive, and easily added to a searchable database, locating the song you want can be accomplished very quickly. Most times you merely need to type in part of the song title. In many cases this should eliminate the need for the DiscID in the song file name. A Song Title - Artist Name naming convention should be enough. This is especially true for the home user.

Some karaoke hosts still like to pass out song books for their customers to browse through. Many also still set out song request forms for the singers to fill out and turn in. It is much simpler for the singers to enter a song ID on the request form rather than writing out the song title. Under this scenario the naming convention will need to include a DiscID. This can be the manufacturer's ID or one of your own design. The manufacturer's ID would be best if you are planning to include duplicate song titles by assorted manufacturers.

CD+G disc ripping programs like Power CD+G Burner and others will connect to FreeDB online databases to automatically name the song files. These are user created databases and there are no standards in place which is to say that various naming conventions will be found as well as other errors like misspellings or even the wrong song title or artist. You need to keep a close watch on how the files are to be named and make adjustments where necessary. At times this will mean manually naming the songs.

The best advice I can offer is for you to name your song files properly right from the beginning no matter how much work you have to put into it. It will definitely end up being time well spent.

Article by Richard Wise. Follow me on Google+

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