Many people have asked me how I organize my songs in iTunes, so I decided I would give you a tour. My method of organizing my songs has evolved a lot since I first started using iTunes in early 2006.
In this video, you’ll see my earlier method as well as the method I’ve transitioned to about four or five years ago. Early on in my iTunes years, I categorized my songs more by the Spinning® Energy Zones (Strength, Endurance, Interval, Race Day) and by listening to the energy and feel of the music. I have since transitioned to categorizing them more by the beats per minute of the songs, which is what tells me the terrain (Climbing or Flat Road/Endurance). Of course, I still use the energy of the song to determine the intensity; for example, songs that have a high energy to them will go into a general playlist for HIT, and the lower-energy songs into a general playlist for recovery songs.
Since I have categorized my music by bpm, my life has changed as an instructor! That sounds drastic, but it really has. It’s easier and less time-consuming now to create my playlists, and it seems to make more sense, both intuitively as well as logically. I’m not saying that it’s the only way…I had twelve very successful years teaching without a whole lot of thought to the bpm (except perhaps with climbing songs), including presenting at major conferences. People loved my music, I loved my music, and I did just fine coaching to it. So the truth is, it is how you coach that is the most important.
However, when the coaching and the beat of the song match…that is what has been transformative to me.
But now I look back at my old playlists and wonder how on earth I ever rode a fast flat to a song that is 130 bpm, or how I put songs that are 90 bpm into my climbing profiles!
If you are hesitant to teach this way, then I suggest you give it a try for a few months. If it doesn’t work for you, no problem! Simply go back to what works best for you. You will be more authentic with your teaching.
Yes, it takes more time initially to use this method, since you have to determine the bpm of every song and then categorize the songs. But believe me, the number of hours you will save once this is done will continue to add up, ultimately bypassing any amount of time you spend initially setting it up. You will see in the video that I still have thousands of songs for which I have yet to determine the bpm. Therefore, this is a work in process for me; I know my general playlists will continue to grow over the coming months and years.
Tom Scotto has some different ways to organize his music and will give you a tour of his iTunes as well in an upcoming video. You may find you prefer one or the other, or that you take a few ideas from each one. We hope you will have an “aha” moment while watching these tours of our iTunes!
In addition to Tom’s iTunes tour, you can expect two more video trainings on organizing and categorizing your music. One will be on how to use MixMeister BPM Analyzer and insert the bpm of your songs into iTunes; and in another, you’ll see me create an entirely new profile and playlist in less than 20 minutes!
Hopefully there are some tips in this video that you will find useful. If you have any other methods, or questions on what you see in this video, please leave them in the comments below.