Here's my organisational method, hopefully it helps build a method of your own!
Alright, this is how I manage my digital music collection, first of all, I let iTunes manage the folder structure behind my music collection. Here's why:
- I always look at music through iTunes or RekordBox, I've never looked for music through the file system.
- The OS X finder (when opening/importing anything) has a really nifty media browser (bottom left of the Finder Window) which lets you browse your iTunes library (including playlists) without ever looking directly at the file system.
- If something changes in iTunes and so the filename changes, RekordBox has a really nifty tool that will scan for missing media, and will then let you select it's new location. And guess what, it will let you use the media browser mentioned in point 2.
So now lets get down to business with it, what I do is create two playlist folders within iTunes, call one of them Purchases and the other one Promos, I've also started a third folder recently called Mashups & Bootlegs, but that's option. Now in each folder create playlists for each month my suggested format is like so: 2011/08 August. This way they're in chronological order, and you can clearly see the year and month, if you like you can create one for each week (eg. 2011/08 August Week 1, 2011/08 August Week 2), I tend to only do this for big purchase months though, tends to be overkill for most months.
Now as you import music, drag and drop to the relevant playlist under your Purchases/Promos folder and bob's your uncle.
Now all you need to now is import your two folders Promos and Purchases using the Bridge function in RekordBox, and it will keep the very same structure we've just setup.
Few other things:
What I also do (And this is optional) is stick the label into the Grouping Field, 3 reasons:
1. I've always been one to search for music via label rather than the artist
2. It allows me to create smart playlists in iTunes for each label (I have a folder called Labels full of smart playlists, this doesn't get imported into RekordBox though)
But most importantly
3. Under the RekordBox Preferences Bridge Tab, you'll find another nifty feature: Convert iTunes "Grouping" To Rekordbox "Label"
I still say anyone can paint by numbers, and DJs should be able to use their ears and not rely on their eyes, but 10 years ago we all said the same thing about BPM counters, and now they're on every CDJ and player out there, so moving on.
If you do use Mixed In Key, there's the option in Preferences to 'Update custom "Initial Key" mp3 tag". Enable this option and let it scan your library (Again, to import media you can use the OS X media browser in point 2... Or drag and drop directly from iTunes), once done in RekordBox if you click on the Info pane (you can select as many tracks as you want, but I recommend one or two to start with, just to test) and hit the reload button (Looks like a browser's refresh button, two arrows in a circle), which will reload all the info from the ID3 tags.
And there you have it.
I don't see the need to create playlists based on key or any other field than the Purchases/Promos, because in RekordBox Preferences, under the Export tab, you can select exactly which info you want to display and sort by on the CDJ, and all this gets exported to your USB drives as well.