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Documenting my vinyl LP collection


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So, I want to continue using Evernote for everything in my life, which includes my vinyl LP collection. Now, I do use discogs.com for cataloguing my collection, but, they don't have everything I have. Yes, I could submit missing titles to them, but it takes time, so I'll save that for rainy days.

This brings me back to my vinyl collection. What's the best way to enter it into Evernote?

The jackets are too big for my scanner. Should I just take a picture of the front and back of each jacket and then merge relevant notes? I don't think it would take too long, with a family assistant, to run through my entire collection and take a photo of each.


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I'm wondering if there's some possibility here for other relevant data to make its way into your process for future collectioning. Location purchased would be pretty sweet, but you'd have to institute that as part of your uptake rather than what you're trying to do now. I'm probably thinking more along the lines of release date, etc. If you make your Title's hardcore enough you can probably sort by release date, title, artist, etc.

I think you have the right idea as far as taking shots of the jacket. I'm a bit of an audiophile, so I'd probably want my jackets framed correctly in the photo with the right kind of lighting so you get a clean, clear shot of the jacket. You may want to set up a space where you can quickly and easily slide them into frame (no fingers and thumbs showing) and snap a pic, flip, snap a pic. Front/back/the record itself.

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Lol Jeff!

A couple of tips for the photos.

Make sure you get some kind of stand that allows you to angle the albums to catch the best light possible while at the same time keeping your phone's shadow off of it.

Get an app that can help you clean up your snapshot. There was an article on Jotnot integration with Evernote for example. You need a tool in case you are at a slight angle - the album won't be square.

I think the merged notes may be a good solution. Make sure to let us know how it turns out and what you learn as you do it.

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I hate to say it, but this sounds like one of those things for which Evernote might not be the right tool.

I imagine you'll want to be able to sort and manipulate the information about your collection in many different ways. You might want to sort by one (or more) of title, artist(s), date, producer, genre, condition, original price, current value, etc. You might want to have sortable lists of individual tracks, by any or all of the above criteria.

You might want to do custom searches: How many rock albums do I have? What's the earliest/most valuable Byrds album I have? How many different recordings of "Hey Jude" do I have? What's the chronological order of all my disco albums?

For that sort of thing, you almost certainly want dedicated database software. I suppose you could replicate some of the same functionality in Evernote by using highly specific tags (i.e. one tag could be artist=nnnnnn, another releasedate=yyyy). They you could search for something like tag = artist* [sorry, I don't use Evernote scripting for searches so I don't know the syntax]. But entering all that would get old pretty quickly, plus the inevitable typos (i.e. aritst instead of artist) would make some records inaccessible.

For cataloging anything with discrete fields that you'll want to search/sort singly or in combination, database software is usually the best option.

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Hi. For easy photography, I recommend a tripod + coat hanger + digitial camera. I prefer the Canon PowerShot series for ease of use and portability, and the newest one looks nice (Canon PowerShot ELPH 110 HS 16.1 MP CMOS). However, hardcore photographers will wisely recommend something with a detachable lens. I just find that impractical in my case. Here is a website showing a nice setup. I've used something similar (without all of the fancy lights) to photograph thousands of documents.


As for Evernote as the repository of information, nothing beats database software for sorting, because databases are custom built for that kind of thing. However, they have all kinds of drawbacks, and I would think Evernote would be more than sufficient, not to mention portable, syncable, accessible, easy to use, etc. You could do several things to tweak the notes.

1) Title the notes with the artist so that you could arrange everything alphabetically.

2) Tag everything with genres, years, and so forth so that you can easily search.

3) Use index notes full of note links (http://www.princeton.edu/~cmayo/evernote-organization.html) to arrange things in various sort orders. For example, instead of creating a tag for years, you could just arrange them by years in an index note, so you'll have your own personal wiki.

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