All my music is on CD. What's the best way to sort the shelf of CD boxes so I can find what I'm after quickly? By artist? By album title? What do you do with compilation CDs? As the collection grows it's getting harder to find things...
Record shops tend to sort CDs by genre, then within that, by artist name, with a 'various artists' section at the end of each genre for compilations.
the path of least resistance for popular music, as suggested by Johnny Bones above, is sorting first by artist, then by release date.
however, this approach falls over in several cases. with classical music, you may care more about the composer than the performer; when a musician joins several groups in succession, their work won't fall together; collaborations can only be filed under one artist's name; and there is no way to grab all the music of a certain genre, or from a certain country, or a certain year, etc. you need a faceted database like that of discogs or musicbrainz to answer these questions.
You won't be able to arrive at a sorting allowing all searches to be easy. My proposal: find a somewhat decent sorting (e. g. by main artist/year, but possibly simply by date of purchase) and maintain a database (including the physical placement) for more complicated stuff.