Your not going to get advanced features like what you want without some kind of bloat. I don't see why your against WMP or iTunes. They both have all of the this functionality already built in and are really quite fast at doing database quieries like what you suggest. Both also have support for dynamically created playlist so you could do what you want without even having to program an interface, just create an auto playlist. IMHO the database implemented in both programs is far better for music management then what could be implemented on top of a regular SQL database and more robust and probably faster then anything that would be created by most efforts from scratch. Both programs have SDK's so you don't need to use any of the functionality you don't want and both startup almost immediatly since they only search for music files or read ID3 tags when you specifically tell them to reorganize the music. Why reinvent the wheel?