Right now I have a lot of music, and I primarily interact with it via playlists.
I have a cronjob that generates, and populates, ~/Playlists/ every night. I generate playlists on multiple criterion:
Playlists for specific artists & albums are probably self-explanatory, but the others might be interesting.
For every unique songtitle I have a playlist. In most cases that means there is a playlist called "Song Title" having one entry. But, as an explicit example, I have a playlist called "Under The Bridge" with two entries:
All Saints/Under The Bridge.mp3 Red Hot Chili Peppers/Under The Bridge.mp3
Similarly I break each song title into words, and generate one playlist for each distinct word discovered.
As a matter of randomness I have:
(e.g. Songs containing "girl" in their title: "Madonna:Material Girl", "Amy Whitehouse:Hey Little Rich Girl", "Garbage:Stupid Girl"..)
There are times when I want something specific and my playlist approach doesn't work. For example "All songs which are 2 minutes long, and happy". I guess the problem is working out which meta-data is worth searching/storing, and then working out how to jump from that data to a playlist.
Today, whilst walking into town to buy some new pies, I wondered "How many songs do I have that end in a chuckle, or laughter?"
If I wanted an "ends in laughter" playlist right now I'm screwed. Yet no system I've ever seen allows you to add that level of detail. (To be honest I'd probably give up even entering it.)
In conclusion, my music collection is vast and various, and dealing with it is sometimes harder than I'd like.
How do you handle the music on your computer(s)? (When it comes to mobile-music I just use an ipod telling it to play all, randomly. If a song comes on I don't like I just skip it.)