I have used many different methods of cataloging my collection, starting with 3x5 index cards. In the summer of 1985 I manually entered all the index card into an Apple ][ program called PFS:filer. No tracks, just the basic info (Artist, Title, Label, Catalog No, Year) and this was stored on several 5 1/4 floppies.
After that I migrated all that data to dBase 2 on the IBM. What a headache! I wasn't able to find a translator that allowed the migration electronically, so I printed out the entire collection using a high quality daisy wheel printer. I then used OCR to scan and then recognize all the data that I just printed into WordStar on the IBM. From there it was a simple process to get it into dBase, but all that OCRing was not pretty!
After I had the collection in dBase for a couple of years I discovered AudioLibrarian by TurboSystems. I was able to migrate all the data from dBase into AudioLibrarian. I then went to work adding all the tracks. I even had help from some friends doing data entry. I believe it was about 2 years before that job was complete. But is it ever complete?
By this time Windows 95 was out and so was Microsoft Access 2.0. AudioLibrarian was starting to fall out of favor because the programmer wasn't responsive enough to fix bugs and quirks. And I could only access my data through the program. Being an amateur programmer I wanted to access my data directly, whether to create reports or do mass updates, I needed my data!
I discovered Sound Librarian by Five Points Technology. They don't exist any more so don't bother looking but Sound Librarian used Access 2.0 as its data engine and with it I could access my data directly. After a couple of stumbles I was able to transfer my Audio Librarian data to Sound Librarian! After about 5 years the company closed its doors. I was off on another search!!
It didn't take long for me to find my current cataloging software. It also uses Microsoft Access as its database engine which meant the database was still accessible if I wanted to connect directly to my data. Actually, I had looked at it prior to my purchasing of Sound Librarian but it did not have the right feel for me at the time. But in the summer of 2001 I had seen screenshots for the soon to be release version 5 of CATraxx by FNProgramvare. I was hooked!
Along with the companion software V4C, which sadly is no longer available, I am able to catalog my collection at a much faster rate than I had in the past. I have pretty much cataloged all the LPs except for the compilations and soundtracks. And when I say catalogued I mean, down to the songwriter for each song. A huge undertaking but I enjoy it!
If you have a large (or small) music collection please do take a look at CATraxx. While it can be overwhelming at first because of all the options, in time, and with patience, you will discover the power of this cataloging program. Also, check out the other CAT programs of which I use the Video and Book versions.