Organize Your Music with Digital Catalog Software.
Organizing your music with a high-quality Digital Catalog Software helps optimize your music file management & provides great options for storage, downloading, sharing & streaming.
JRiver Media Center
JRiver Media Center is our top choice for many reasons including the ease of adding your cd's to the software, the superb sound quality, and high-quality graphic interface. Find, sort, add & organize your music collection by Artist, Album, Files, Genres, Panes, 3D Albums, and Connected Media Partner Sites plus play videos all in one software.
Customer support is excellent too for JRiver. In online forums, the CEO & executives answer questions directly on updates or changes needed or recently added to the software. We've added some Pros & Cons below.
- Simple, Intuitive User Interface (for basic use)
- Excellent graphics: includes Album Artwork
- Bit Perfect Sound Quality
- Compatible with Mac & Windows
- Sorting by Artist, Album, Files, Genres, & more
- Can Bitstream DSD to high-end DACs
- Includes optional audiophile-grade crossfeed for headphones
- Metadata can be edited
- Real-time DSD output conversion
- Links to HD Tracks (one of their Connected Media Partners)
- Cannot connect to directly to Apple iDevices
- Disabling unused features can be a little tricky
- Advanced settings difficult for the average user
- Learning Curve for software is a bit involved
- Cannot rip CD's on Mac yet
A JRiver interface screen looks like this. The albums are sorted by Genre.
Media Monkey is another software option for organizing & storage of your digital media collection. It has an intuitive user interface with friendly graphics, navigations and a windows style format. However, it does depend on iTunes as its core processor so it can experience technical issues with each iTunes software update. With multiple iTunes updates per year, there can be a lag time on fixing the issues in Media Monkey which can lead to some frustration (when syncing with Apple iDevices only). Unless you can stand to live without syncing your music on your Apple iDevices for a few days, you might want to use another software in addition to Media Monkey.
- Intuitive, User Interface
- Easy to rip & catalog your music
- Works with Apple iDevices
- Album Artwork
- Uses iTunes as its core processor
- Cannot process DSD or AIFF files
- Only available for Windows
Audirvana is our choice for software when using on our Macbook or Apple computers. The sound quality is superior and the interface is intuitive, simple to add to, organize & it includes album art too. However, we do not rip CDs on our Macs. We rip our CD's in Windows (as the only way to rip cd's on a Mac is with iTunes. iTunes will only sync with Apple iDevices so if you want to load music to your Astell & Kern or Calyx M media players, this is not an option. JRiver should be an option in the future for Macs but it is working out the kinks on ripping right now.
- Great sound quality
- Customization is not possible in a cataloging format
- MQA Support
- The interface is too basic
- Album Artwork is only on the display screen
You cannot tag album artwork to WAV files in iTunes unless that album is sold by iTunes. Honestly, the newer the download of iTunes software you are using, the least amount of flexibility you have. iTunes continuously wants to drag you into Apple's world, they strongarm you into their software limitations, etc. Dragging & dropping music to your iDevices is no longer. You can only choose Playlists or an Artist's Entire Collection without creating a complex playlist to do this. Therefore, we do not use iTunes for adding CDs to our digital music collection since we prefer WAV format. iTunes will also not add album artwork to the digital file and the interface is limited. There are plenty of bugs in the software and with each new release, there are kinks to be worked through which causes pain & suffering for those who use it.
- Connect your Apple iDevices directly
- One stop shop for buying & listening to Music & Movies
- Manual workarounds
- Constant updates to the software
- Bugs with each software release
- Album Artwork cannot be tagged unless sold on iTunes
In summary, we experience our music collection the most when we can see it, view it, and touch it virtually just like anything we love to feel. We enjoy and like to flip through our digital music catalog with our senses so if we scroll through our music collection with none of the album artwork, it's not the same experience.
In addition, when we see the album artwork, the artist's face or band imagery, it adds to our experience. Let's face it, record companies don't spend thousands of dollars on photographers, artwork, photo shoots, models and clothing without good reason. It enlivens our senses and our emotional experience which is after all, why we are passionate about music and why we LISTEN, isn't it?
Music is so relational, emotional, and it allows us to experience life through our emotions, the nostalgic memories of our first kiss, date, or dance, or the emotions that each song appeals to at the time they capture our heart & wallet. What captures our heart is most important in life, isn't it? We certainly believe so!
Bottom Line: Best Digital Music Catalog Choices
1. PC's - JRiver Media Center or Media Monkey.
2. Macs - JRiver Media Center or Audirvana.