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Arranging DVDs non-alphabetically


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#1 of 28 Bob McLaughlin

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Posted April 29 2009 - 03:11 AM

I currently have my DVD collection arranged alphabetically, but this system never really worked to my satisfaction. A significant number of my DVDs are sets that contain multiple movie titles, so there is no accurate way to arrange them alphabetically. Also I hate having to move around all my movies so I can squeeze in another letter "S" or "A", you get the idea.

I thought about the pros and cons of different categorization methods:
Chronological
MPAA Rating
Language
Genre

I realized that when I look for a movie to watch, I am usually in a mood for a particular genre at the time, so I am going to take a stab at sorting them by genre. Originally I thought of going with the broadest categories, such as what you would find in a video rental store, but somehow this turned into about 20 categories.

Comedy
Drama
Horror
Sci Fi
Fantasy
Silent
Film Noir
Animated
Television
Action/Adventure
Music
Musicals
Sports
War
Westerns
Documentary
Shorts
Children
Suspense/Thriller

The problem is that a lot of these movies can overlap into other categories. This is also part of the fun. For example, Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas could be considered a Musical, Animated, Children's, Fantasy, or Horror. I'd have to make a decision that I would remember later when looking for the movie.

Has anyone tried this? What categories did you use? Should I have less categories or more? Did I leave out any obvious categories? I'd like to hear from anyone who has arranged their DVDs non-alphabetically.
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#2 of 28 Ockeghem

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Posted April 29 2009 - 03:36 AM

Bob,

I arrange all of our DVDs and VHS tapes alphabetically within genres, and they remain separate with regard to their respective formats. We have categories such as children's films, family films, home movies of our family, musicals, mysteries, sports, television shows, etc.

When I encounter problems such as multiple movie titles in one and the same set, I use the series or uniform title (if there is one). For example, I have a three-film collection of Hitchcock films, the titles each beginning with a different letter. Rather than split them up and file them in three different places (although they would still be under the same genre heading), I file them under (in this case) the letter M ("Montage of Mysteries"). The Vincent Price horror collection is filed similarly, rather than split up and filed individually.

That being said, I have made one 'out of order,' if you will, decision regarding our DVDs and VHS tapes. I file all of our Star Trek DVDs (all series) together, under television shows. (The films are filed with family films, under 'S.') That way, Enterprise is right next to the other Trek series, rather than shelved under the letter 'E.'

Addendum: We also have a section for oversized VHS tapes (those that were distributed in larger casings). These follow the same alphabetical and genre ordering described above, except that they reside in their own special (oversized) collection.

#3 of 28 Michael Warner

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Posted April 29 2009 - 04:24 AM

I've always arranged by genre and then by sub-genre if applicable with movies in a series or by the same director being put together.

Asian Films
Comedies (Monty Python, 80s Flicks)
Drama
Action/Adventure (Swashbucklers, Historical, Military)
War Movies (Chronological by Conflict)
Fantasy
Sci-Fi (Superheros)
Horror (Universal Horror)
Family/Kids (Not organized at all since the kids would just mess it up)
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#4 of 28 Malcolm R

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Posted April 29 2009 - 05:16 AM

I also arrange alpha within genres, though I probably don't get as specific as some. My categories:

Drama/Action (also includes Foreign)
Horror/SciFi
Comedy
Family (includes animated)
Collections (box sets and studio "series" like the Fox Studio Classics)
Music/Concert
Television
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#5 of 28 drobbins

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Posted April 29 2009 - 05:43 AM

Our are arranged by, my movies, my wife's movies, and then my daughters movies. We don't have that many though.

#6 of 28 Will_B

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Posted April 29 2009 - 06:48 AM

The first movie is alphabetized by the first letter in the title. The second movie is alphabetized by the second letter in the title, and so on, looping back to the beginning if the title is shorter than the number of letters needed. This system has the advantage of being impossible.
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#7 of 28 SteveA

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Posted April 29 2009 - 06:49 AM

Autobiographically, like John Cusack's LP collection in High Fidelity?

#8 of 28 Bob McLaughlin

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Posted April 30 2009 - 03:16 AM

Thanks for the input! I've decided that a lot of my original categories can just be included in other genres. For example, foreign and animated movies are going to be comedies, dramas, horror, etc. This gives me larger categories but that should make my filing decisions a lot easier.

Borrowing heavily from Malcolm R's categorization methods, I have boiled it down to 7 categories:

Drama
All non-fantastical fiction such as romance, drama, action, noir, thrillers, war, westerns, sports movies, etc.

Cinefantastique
Horror, fantasy, sci-fi, alternate reality. Even though a lot of horror is non-fantastical I thought all the horror should stay in one category.

Comedy
Most comedies are actually dramas, quests, or mysteries dressed up with laughs. But if the primary purpose is to make you laugh, I'm calling it a comedy. So Woody Allen's "Bananas" would go here, but "Annie Hall" would not because I'd consider that to be a drama with comedic elements.

Family
Anything rated G, aimed at children, appropriate animation. Technically, most of these would already fall into the above categories, but I wanted to keep a separate section that my kids could safely peruse.

Music
Includes musicals, concert DVDs, music video compilations, etc.

Television
If it was originally a TV broadcast, it goes here.

Documentary/Miscellaneous
I hated to tag on the "Miscellaneous" category but I have a few DVDs that are hard to categorize, such as my Edison Film Collection, Avante Garde shorts collection, Spalding Gray monologues, etc.

It should be interesting to see which category I have the most of. I'm guessing Cinefantastique, given my tastes, but Drama is such a large category it might win.

Now the real fun, going through nearly 700 titles!
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#9 of 28 Scott Merryfield

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Posted April 30 2009 - 04:39 AM

I've always sorted my collection first by genre, and then alphabetically. My categories are:

Action/Adventure
Drama
Comedy
Sci-Fi
Suspense/Horror
Classic (filmed before I was born is my loose definition)
Animated/Children's
Musicals
War
Westerns
TV Shows
Non-Fiction (documentaries, etc.)
Concerts
Foreign language
Silent Films

I will occasionally use sub-genres, too. For example, all my Bond films are grouped together under Action/Adventure, all my Hitchcock films are grouped together under Suspense/Horror, and all my Spaghetti Westerns are grouped together under Westerns.

The above system works well for how I look for a film to watch depending on my mood (or my wife's, if we are watching together).

#10 of 28 Malcolm R

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Posted April 30 2009 - 05:41 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob McLaughlin
Borrowing heavily from Malcolm R's categorization methods, I have boiled it down to 7 categories:
Posted Image Posted Image

My biggest category is "Drama" since I do include the action and foreign pics as well.

Also, if I have a franchise collection of similarly titled films (like the Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, Friday the 13th,or Alien box sets), those box set collections go within their respective genres. My "Collections" section is for themed but variable title sets like the Bette Davis collections, Warner Gangsters collections, Film Noir boxes, etc.
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#11 of 28 Bryan^H

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Posted April 30 2009 - 06:28 AM

I've always stored my dvd's(about 700) by studio. It looks great, and the cases match up... like WB's cardboard cases all together.

It may not be the easiest way to find a movie, but I have memorized which films are from a certain studio(MGM, Columbia, Paramount etc.).

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#12 of 28 Martino

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Posted April 30 2009 - 12:45 PM

I have a Disney animation collection, and I arrange them by release date - I have the cases numbered so I can tell when my wife lends one of them out.

#13 of 28 Lew Crippen

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Posted April 30 2009 - 01:18 PM

I arrange by director. In the case of (a very few) multiple director DVDs (e.g. Criterion's double set of The Lower Depths, I catalog by the lowest director in the collating sequence.

This solves the multiple genre problem and still maintains some order.

To be sure, I tend to consider directors first, so my choice would not be to everyone's taste.
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#14 of 28 Nate Anderson

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Posted April 30 2009 - 04:40 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveA
Autobiographically, like John Cusack's LP collection in High Fidelity?

If someone didn't mention this, I would have.

That said, I organize alphabetically, keeping various collections together (such as Criterion, etc.), with box sets TV sets in a seperate spot. Seems to be working so far. I like the organizing by genre idea. If I get bored some weekend, I might try to tackle that.
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#15 of 28 Bob McLaughlin

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Posted May 01 2009 - 02:01 AM

I have this strange notion of organizing them by running time within the categories...these days I have to think about how much time I have to watch a movie. I'm half serious about this!
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#16 of 28 Bryan^H

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Posted May 01 2009 - 03:41 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob McLaughlin
I have this strange notion of organizing them by running time within the categories...these days I have to think about how much time I have to watch a movie. I'm half serious about this!
LOL! That's awesomePosted Image

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#17 of 28 Rob Willey

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Posted May 14 2009 - 11:03 PM

I segregate all those god-awful Warner snap-cases from the rest and within those two groups sort by the color of the spine (seriously). It makes for a very aesthetically pleasing collection.
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#18 of 28 Bob McLaughlin

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Posted May 15 2009 - 01:14 AM

I realized if I am to rearrange my DVDs by genre, I need a new shelving system. Don't you love this hobby, always a new excuse to spend money! I had been stacking up DVDs horizontally on top of the top row of DVDs (the horror!) because I had been running out of shelf space anyway. Rather than buy something expensive I am just making my own. Nothing fancy. I am keeping it pretty utilitarian and I have about a 6' x 6' area of wallspace to work with.
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#19 of 28 sirbeal

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Posted August 20 2009 - 12:12 AM

I organize my movies my case style and then by  Movie studio.


#20 of 28 Ed Moxley

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Posted August 20 2009 - 12:59 AM

I just arrange them all alphabetically. Sets, like Star Wars, I just put them all together under the "S", for Star Wars, even though the individual movies would be listed differently alphabetically. All the Bourne movies under "B", all the Underworld movies under "U", etc. To me, they're just easier to find that way.

I have all my dvds on shelves, in their cases too. Using the "book" type storage things, were too much of a problem, to add new movies in alphabetical order. But on shelves, it's no problem at all. When you collect over a 1000 dvds like I have, the problem becomes having enough shelf space. I've slowed down on my collection now.

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