Making A Sharable List Of Tunes

This page describe some of the various ways to make a list of tunes you can offer in trade to other members, including a number of directory tools, for Mac, for PC, and for LINUX machines.


For the most part, members keep their PDF charts in one folder (also called a directory), or in a series of cascading folders. Many of the tools and methods described here will read these directories and create a list you can share with others. The biggest problem with these lists is that they are only marginally organized, and are frequently difficult to read. Many of the PDF charts are not named well, making it difficult to know what they contain. For example, "String of Pearls.pdf" is virtually useless as a filename; "String Of Pearls (GMiller) 5444.pdf" is much more helpful.

Listing Your MAC Directory

If you're on a Mac, go to list view of your "folder", open all the sub folders, "select all" (cmd-a), copy and paste in to a text editor (not an email) and, lo & behold, the names of files in the directory become a text listing.

If you try to paste to an email, it will try to attach all your files to that message, don't do it.


No need for software, free or otherwise, just the system "finder" and the apple text edit app. (Thanks to Bob S)

The Best Windows Directory Listing Program We've Found So Far

A recently-found utility that lists the contents of a specified directory, and optionally all subdirectories, is DIRHTML.


This utility is extremely customizable, allowing you to specify the output file, the file names or file extensions to include OR exclude, the folders to include or exclude, the sort order, and many other options. When done, it formats the output into an HTML file that seems to be much more readable than the text files created by the above methods. It's certainly much more visually appealing.


These files can also be easily searched when launched in IE, Chrome, Firefox, or Safari (don't know about Opera) by using the Ctrl-F "Find" feature of these browsers.


This utility also comes in a portable version, so you do not have to "install" it on your machine or add anything to your registry. This is a big thing if you want to keep your machine clean and fast, and allows you to carry this utility with you on a USB key.


The program is free, and can be downloaded at (Writeup by DM, updated July 2015)


A Quick And Easy Way To List A PC Directory Using DOS

Open an instance of Windows Explorer. The shortcut keystroke for this is WindowsKey-E.

Navigate so you can see the folder containing your charts.

Shift-RightClick on that folder; from the context menu that appears, select "Open Command Window Here."

In the command window, type  dir *.pdf /s >charts.txt then press ENTER.


EXPLANATION: This old DOS command still works. dir tells DOS to list the directory of the folder you're in. the *.pdf section tells it to show only those files with the .pdf extension. (*.* would list all files.) The /s parameter tells it to list the contents of subdirectories also. You don't need that parameter if you don't have any subdirectories, but it won't hurt to include it. the final >charts.txt parameter tells the command to send the output to a file named charts.txt in the same folder, instead of to the screen. If you wanted to send it to a different location, for example, if your USB key was your G: drive and you wanted to call the folder BigBandList, you would change the last parameter to >G:/BigBandList.txt.


Thanks to Al Lowe for this great tip!

An Older Way Of Listing Your PC Directory

(Most of what follows in this section is Thanks to Arnie.)

I now use a FREE directory list utility by Karen Kenworthy (she has her own website with LOTS of very useful items). The program has enough options to keep even this jaded ex-programmer happy. The output is identical to my original "Q&D" method. Here's the link: (this link is deprecated, use one of these:) or

(links updated July 2015)


If you're interested, here's what I used to do:


The easiest way to build a list on a PC is what I call the "Q&D" method (quick and dirty).

In the 80's we all used DOS, and it was easy to just type "DIR C: /s >titles.txt". That would list every file on the hard drive (C:), including a subdirectories (/s), now called "folders", in a text file called "titles.txt".

It's a little harder now, especially with Vista and Windows 7, but it can still be done. Click on the start orb, and type "Command Prompt" (without the quote marks). This will open what is essentially a DOS window. From there, you can use the DOS commands above.


For example, if you keep all your BBChart PDFs on your D: drive in a directory called Music/PDFs, then you would type "dir D:\Music\PDFs\ /s >titles.txt" and presto, you'll have a text file containing all the listings in that directory and all subdirectories. You can see the contents of this file in your command prompt window with the command "type titles.txt", or you can open the file with any text editor program, like Notepad. The easiest way would be to open an Explorer window, find the file, and double click on it.

From 2002 until 2007, I had my entire collection keyed into a program I wrote myself (using QuickBasic 4.5) which hooked into Excel to create a very usable index. It was possible to find almost anything easily through a number of sorts. BUT in more recent years, especially with the advent of internet chart trading, it grew so totally out of hand that I had no interest in ever trying to create a readable library list again!

I do still have a list - it is a raw directory dump. Since the filenames contain all of the pertinent data, this has proven to be a viable alternative. Anyone who requests my "list" gets this dump - so far no one has complained!!! :+)

An example:  "Summertime (Mason) FV-Eb 4324" - would indicate title, arranger, female vocal and key, and instrumentation ONLY if the chart is NOT 5444.

I will occasionally add other items to the filename, but only if it is particularly unusual information. I use shorthand that (probably) only I would understand ("-TSx4,D,G" means the 4th Tenor, drums and guitar are missing), but at the very least I can find any chart I have within seconds by simply doing a text search on the dump file.


To list a directory for a LINUX machine, from the command line, use cd to change to the directory where you keep your charts, then enter ls *.pdf -R > dirlist.txt (the first two letters are LS in lowercase) and press enter. This will produce a listing of all the files that have the .pdf extension, in the current directory and all subdirectories, and will redirect the output to the dirlist.txt file.


CAUTION: LINUX filenames are case sensitive, so using the above command (with a lowercase file extension) will not list any files that have uppercase characters in the file extension. If you have both upper and lowercase file extensions, simply leave out the *.pdf parameter, and the command will list all files.




More to come as we receive well researched and well-written submissions.



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