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How to organize a collection of JPEG's stored on a hard drive, floppies, tape, CD or distributed over a number of these, usually about a common topic such as porn, cartoons, anime, animals, food, sports or some such. This is just one way of doing it for a large part of your hard drive.

One Way of Organizing a JPEG Collection

Part One: A Basic Hierarchy

Let's say the collection consists of anime pictures from various series horked off the net. The "key" here is the series name. Now some anime series have more than one name, an English and Japanese name and maybe more than one name in both languages. So if I start with a small collection, I might start with a modest set of series names organized under a home directory called "anime":

And in each of the series directories I'd put the images for each series.

Part Two: Unsorted Images, Links

Now, this is fine if the collection is small. But any modest amount of collecting will add images that are from series I don't know or can't remember. So I'd want an "unsorted" directory to put those in. I call my unsorted directory "__unsorted" to put at the top of the list.

Gunbuster has the Japanese name "Toppo o Narae", and Evangelion's full title is "Neon Genesis Evangelion". So I might want to add directories called "Neon Genesis Evangelion (see Evangelion)" and "Toppo o Narae (see Gunbuster)" that are merely placeholders. On Linux, you can make a symbolic link to them. So my hierarchy would look like this:

  • anime
    • __unsorted
    • Armitage III
    • Card Captor Sakura
    • Evangelion
    • Gunbuster
    • Neon Genesis Evangelion (see Evangelion)
    • Slayers
    • Toppo o Narae (see Gunbuster)
    • Vandread

Part Three: Alphabetic Organization

After a while I had images from more than a few dozen series, and wanted to be break up the number of sub-directories to make things a bit more manageable. So I decided to split them based on alphabetical order, keeping the number of sub-directories in any directory around 6.

  • anime
    • __unsorted
    • a_to_f
      • a
        • Armitage III
      • c
        • Card Captor Sakura
      • e
        • Evangelion
    • g_to_m
      • g
        • Gunbuster
    • n_to_s
      • n
        • Neon Genesis Evangelion (see Evangelion)
      • s
        • Slayers
    • t_to_z
      • t
        • Toppo o Narae (see Gunbuster)
      • v
        • Vandread

The general format of a directory path in these scheme would look like:

anime\a_to_f\a\Anime Title\*.jpg

or

anime\a_to_f\a\an\Anime Title\*.jpg

Part Four: Extending to different subject areas

You can extend this system for sports, and use countries as a higher level key and individual athletes or teams as a second key. For gymnastics I use the following scheme:

gymnastics\t_to_z\u\usa\g_to_m\g\gy\Gymnast, A\1998\usn\fx\*.jpg

In this case I have so many gymnasts listed I need to split the alpha hierarchy 3 times, into quarter-alphabets, then letters, then the first 2 letters of the last name so all the directories between the emboldened directory names are just placeholders. Then I use the year, a competition code, and an apparatus code to further divide the images into manageable subsets. I also place __unsorted directories liberally wherever I need them. I also use _soc for those pics that aren't of competitions, and within that _portrait, _pose and _art for wallpapers and drawings.

For MP3's I use the following scheme:

music\n_to_s\r\ru\Rush\albums\2112\*.mp3

if possible, or

music\n_to_s\r\Rush\*.mp3

Part Five: The Generic Alpha-Based Scheme

topic name \ 
(a_to_f | g_to_m | n_to_s | t_to_z) \
(a|b|..|z) \
(a|b|..|z)(a|b|..|z)? \
custom topic based scheme

Part Six: Coordinating Different Subject Areas

Now it gets much more difficult as you have so many ways to chose the directories that hold the subject areas together. I could use a subject based approach like Google does:

  • myroot
    • __unsorted
    • arts
      • anime
        • ...
      • music
        • ...
    • sports
      • gymnastics
        • pictures
        • videos

or a media-first organization, but I've found that more difficult to use.

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