I touched on this in the Teo Torriate HD Mix thread in the Serious Discussion Forum, but I thought I'd expand on here because I'm curious how other fan organize their collections.
I own all the Queen albums in at least one physical form, though mostly two (generally in CD and LP form). Each Physical medium I naturally keep together. The CDs I have in order of release by album and collection, followed by singles, followed by bootlegs.
On my computer, where I have everything backed up and where I have, in some cases (many demos) no original physical medium (though they are backed up on another drive and CDs for safe keeping), things are much for precisely organized.
The folders I have are:
First, each studio album, Queen to The Cosmos Rocks, each with the original track listing plus non-album tracks related to that album. "No One But You" is in with MIH because there was no where else to put it. The 46664 tracks have their own folder as well, though it isn't numbered along with the albums because they were never really released properly.
Next I have a folder for their live album album (and I also the digital copies of the live bootlegs I have in there too).
After that, the folders are in alphabetic order by title (because Windows just does that on it's own). They look like this:
This covers the 24 tracks made for BBC radio, and now includes the 2011 version of SWAFIB as well.
Queen and Solo tracks done by other bands, organized by Queen album.
This fold predates the "Queen+" lampshade, but is basically just that, Queen and other artists, either via re-records or remixes (Wyclef...Vanguard...etc.)
EARLY DAYS & DEMOS
Because some of the early days are demos, I decided to group the Larry Lurex, Smile, De Lane Lea and subsequent demos and outtakes all together in one folder. I've since thought about splitting the Pre-Queen material up, but then then the LL tracks were done after De Lane Lea, so no, they'll stay this way for now.
These are the Original 12" Versions, Extended Versions and Extended Mix, though all are what I call Secondary Mixes (see below).
Any deviation from the Album Versions whereby no other musical elements not recorded for that track are introduced (no artificial drum beat, sampling, etc.), including editing, extending or re-arranging original elements. In some cases, the track appeared previously in an alternate mix *before* the album version, but is still considered secondary or equal to the album.This category covers most Single Versions (Fat Bottomed Girls, Keep Yourself Alive, I Want To Break Free, etc) and most original 12" Versions. Also, things like "A Kind Of Magic" Highlander Version fall into this category. Personally, I put the HD Mix of "Teo Torriate" in here too.]
Basically all the audio tracks from the Japanese CDs and DVDs. There were so many they earned their own folder for the sake of simplicity.
These are what I call the Third-Party mixes (not done by Queen or their staff, or done much later...see below).
Variations on the Album Versions where new musical elements are introduced by and from a third party, including sampling, new instrumental work or vocals.The Hollywood Records remixes, "You Don't Fool Me" remixes and most others fit here.]
SINGLES AND ALTERNATE VERSIONS (1973 - 1979); (1980 - 1989); (1990 - 1999); (2000 - 2009) (2010 - 2019)
Each decade has its own folder, each containing those single versions, single edits, non-album live versions, compilation edits and mixes, and promo versions. The songs are organized by year of the album they're originally from, so the 2011 standalone version of "Ogre Battle" lives in the '70s folder.
The Singles And Alternate Versions folders are probably getting the most messy these days as more and more such edits and versions are appearing. I may re-organize these tracks, but I haven't decided on how best to do so. Should I give each album a corresponding folder of related versions? Or should single mixes be separate from edits of 12" mixes? It's something I'm thinking about. I may or may not do anything about it.
Like the Karaoke Mixes, there were so many they earned their own folder, just because I could be bothered sorting out edits from instrumentals. Are a labelled as to what they are ("Instrumental," "Edit," "Loop," etc.).
Anyway, I'm curious about how everyone else catalogues these tracks.
As for the other alternate versions, I classify them thusly...
Any deviation from the Album Versions whereby no other musical elements not recorded for that track are introduced (no artificial drum beat, sampling, etc.), including editing, extending or re-arranging original elements. In some cases, the track appeared previously in an alternate mix *before* the album version, but is still considered secondary or equal to the album.
This category covers most Single Versions (Fat Bottomed Girls, Keep Yourself Alive, I Want To Break Free, etc) and most original 12" Versions. Also, things like "A Kind Of Magic" Highlander Version fall into this category. Personally, I put the HD Mix of "Teo Torriate" in here too.
Variations on the Album Versions where new musical elements are introduced by and from a third party, including sampling, new instrumental work or vocals.
The Hollywood Records remixes, "You Don't Fool Me" remixes and most others fit here.
Re-recordings And Duets:
Any song re-recorded in full or part by the band either with or without a guest artist involved.
The "Another One Bites The Dust" Wyclef versions, Queen+, "I Can't Live With You" 1997 Re-Take, "Keep Yourself Alive" Long Lost Re-Take, "Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy" TOTP Version and others fall into this category.
Demos And Outtakes:
Recordings of a song made prior to the final Album Version and songs recorded during or between album sessions not included on the original album or singles.
Here are the De Lane Lea Demos, the Hot Space Demos, "Feeling Feelings," "Dog With a Bone" and the others
Any released track not included on the original release of any studio or live album (excluding collections and compilations), including B-sides, Non-Album singles and other tracks granted unique, individual titles (whether or not they'd otherwise be considered Secondary Mixes)
Here we'd find "See What A Fool I've Been" B-Side Version, "I Go Crazy," "Blurred Vision," "A Kind Of A Kind Of Magic," "Stealin'" "Chinese Torture," "Rock In Rio Blues," etc.
The songs recorded for, in full or in part, or intended for, the broadcast on BBC Radio.
This covers the 24 tracks made for the BBC.
After that, I keep the Karaoke Mixes and The eYe remixes in their own category, as there are so many of each and as such earned their own separate folders. It's easier for me to keep them there, rather than break them up and 'muddy the system' as it were.
Otherwise, that covers most of the alternate versions for me. If I'm in doubt, I classify it by whichever best describes it. Sometimes I have to arbitrarily decided between two equally valid descriptions, based solely on my gut feeling.
I think it's as good a system as any and feel free to use it, everyone.