It is fun to get outside and record, but I often have to get super motivated to edit and catalogue a bunch of my recordings. My blog has helped me with that, but I'm curious how folks catalogue their sounds and what library tools they are using.
On Windows I use Basehead and totally fits my needs. The next option would be Soundminer, but Basehead works well for me for now... On Mac I use AudioFinder and like it a lot. MY main machine is on Mac, so it's a program I use all the time.
Also, recently West Latta published a nice article on "library organizing" at Audiotuts... Check it here: http://audio.tutsplus.com/articles/general/the-good-librarian/
Throwing your sounds into a library program is easy, it's developing and sticking to a meaningful naming scheme that's hard. Some common conventions are:
• Use an alpha-numeric code derived from the project as a prefix, such as SW001 for Star Wars, recording session #1; then add a short description afterwards (SW001 Laser Shot 06).
• Your initials as a prefix so you can immediately find your own material amongst others, such as JWJ02 Laser Shot 06.
• Code your sounds by catergory, such as TRAF_Pacific Coast Highway Busy (for Traffic), or CRWD_Shopping Mall (for Crowd).
• Or skip coding all together and just use a concise description of 3 or 4 words, such as Expressway Traffic Busy, or Dog Barks Distant Night.
(As a sidebar, I believe the coding techinque was most valuable when sounds were stored on film or tape and the "library programs" were nothing more than 3-ring binders. Also when computers had a max file length of 31 characters.)
Regarding library software, I use Soundminer exclusively and find it to be not only and excellent for that express purpose but also as a sound design tool. (There is a thread addressing that topic on the SSD site.)
The most important aspect of file naming is so that you can find the material later... & possibly much much later ie decades.... I have a chronological library so as I record new material it just gets added to, and then I add additional copies of material as I clean it up & master/output it... so the original recordings will more likely be tagged with the location or recording session but the main naming is as per Sepulchras ie broad term -> specific... I also sometimes name files with a short abbreviation at the front eg AMB for ambience etc..
I use SoundMiner to access the library, which works well (although I wish they would keep developing it) and use it to add metadata to files, especially if the sounds were used in a specific film eg I usually transfer all the ambiences from each film back into the library as a self contained section & tag it with the films name, as that can be a quick way of finding something....
Basehead is currently in Beta for Mac. I've been playing with it, and it seems quite nice and affordable. I can't really tell fully because not all the features are yet implemented in the beta.
The guy Steve, has been super friendly and responsive with email -- that's always a good sign. I just wish I could run plugins or re-wire directly from within Basehead, unless I can and I haven't yet found how. You can open a wave editor but it's not the same as running a batch process or running a standard plugin directly from the software.
I use Audiofile Engineering's Sample Manager. It is designed great, but at this point has become almost useless. It must have a hard time managing very large banks of soundfiles. Prior to lately, I have loved it for cataloging and batch processing.
You can always go the simple route and maintain an excel sheet. Columns for category, sub-category, filename, title, description
Name each file beginning with a sku and brief title
That's what I do to manage about 4,000 sfx and it works well
In a perfect world, I name them with my initials, then a code, AMB, FOLEY, VEHICLE, HORR, PAD, Perc, ect. Then a Short description of the sound, and then I go ghetto style and drop the sounds into itunes and add a better meta-data. I also keep my Commercial library's in the same place.
Unfortunately, for many of my projects, I just have a project folder with Hundereds of sounds organized with in subfolders. The folders are named well, but the files often get named too generic. I. E. ControlPointStart001.
I currently use this scheme:
General to specific for example:
Tank, M60, Treads, Close, Away
As of now I am just using the finder on my mac, and I'm adding metadata with Sound Devices Wave Agent