How I Rate Music


One of the things I am doing right now is trying to rate all of the music I have sucked into iTunes from my CD collection. The main reason: I want to be able to make playlists based on my ratings. However, I have a couple thousand tracks and, quite frankly, I don’t want to listen to them all.

iTunes lets you rate tracks with 1 thru 5 stars. The theory is that 4 and 5 star tracks will be listened to a lot, 3 stars occasionally, 2 rarely, and 1 not at all. There are Applescripts on the net that should help in generating those playlists.

Anyway, back to rating. Some of the tracks, of course, are very familiar and I can make a pretty good judgement within a few seconds of listening. Or I can just continue to listen to the track. The problem is that there are a lot of songs I don’t know know so well. This is what happens when you buy a CD for a couple of songs. Do I really want to listen to it all? Of course not.

What I’ve been doing is listening to the first 30 seconds or so and clicking through at various parts of the songs to get a feel for the song. If there is some sense of familiarity, I will assign it an appropriate value. Otherwise, I try and make a quick judgment about whether or not I will tolerate the song. It seems like I’m just making a half-assed guess in all cases. I have no clue.

I guess it boils down to a couple of things:

  • Is it a familiar song that I like? 4 or 5 depending on how much.
  • Is it a familiar song that I kind of like? 3.
  • Is it a song I don’t mind listening to once in a while? 2.
  • Is it a song I never want to hear again? 1.
  • Is it an unfamiliar song that I might want to listen to again? 3, else 2.

For giggles, here’s the 10 most recent songs I’ve rated 5 during this project. Note I use the term ‘album’ below instead of CD, only because that’s how I’m used to referring to them. It’s like how people of my grandparents generation refer to “Dinner” as what we now call “Lunch” and “Supper” as what we now call “Dinner.” Don’t like it? Too bad!

Anyway, here’s the list:

  1. There’s No Way Out of Here off David Gilmour’s self-titled album
  2. Hotel California (Live) off Hell Freezes Over by The Eagles
  3. Conquest of Paradise off the 1492: The Conquest of Paradise by Vangelis
  4. Girls on Film on Decade by Duran Duran
  5. Polka Your Eyes Out off Off The Deep End by Weird Al Yankovic
  6. One Of These Days off of a Pink Floyd ROIO of the Pulse tour.
  7. The Ballad of Dick and Jane off Live by Pinkard and Bowden
  8. Joe’s Garage off the Frank Zappa album of the same name
  9. After The Thrill Is Gone off of One Of These Nights by The Eagles
  10. The Kids In The Hall theme off of Televisions Greatest Hits, Volume 7

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