As of today, my active library contains 15,601 songs. Of those songs, 7,501 have been given star ratings, leaving 8,100 unrated. So, just as I spent last year listening to every song in my library, I will spend the rest of this year working to completely rate my library and assign stars to as many songs as I can.

The effort I’m putting into this is substantial, but not as all-consuming as the tunequest was. I’ve got plenty of audio to listen to without devoting huge swaths of time to this project. Hopefully, I’ll break the 10,000 mark by the end of the year.

I’ve got my playlists ready; first up: all unrated songs from before 1980 (1332 songs. 3:07:58:26).

Off I go!

2 thoughts on “RatingQuest

  1. I’ve given up on trying to rate all 10,000+ songs of mine, so I’ve resorted to this.
    5-star = classic
    4-star = excellent
    3-star = good (used rarely, most often with artists like the Beatles, who have an abundance of 4 and 5-star songs).
    2-star = flag for future review. Used most often for songs/artists I’m not too familiar with, but meriting a closer listen.
    1-star = flag to add song to my running playlist.

    3-5 stars are actual “permanent” ratings, whereas 1 and 2 star songs are collected in smart playlists and dispositioned appropriately. (e.g. I regularly check my 1-star smart playlist, move those songs to the running playlist, and clear out the rating (or change it 3-5 stars as appropriate.))

    My rationale is that I’m unlikely to make playlists (smart or otherwise) of songs that I don’t think are very good (i.e. the traditional 1-star = poor and 2-star = fair, or even the 3-star=good). Increasingly, I’ve been making my smart playlists as consisting of only 4&5-star songs or just 5-star songs + whatever other constraints I’m interested in (i.e. genre, year, artist, etc.).

    When I have time, I’ll pro-actively work in iTunes and rate songs, but I actually do most of my rating in the car during the commute. I set the iPod to shuffle songs and rate them as they come up. Most often, this means giving 4-stars, 5-stars, and the occasional 1 or 2-star flag. I love the fact that the ratings done on the fly sync back to iTunes.


    tunequest Reply:

    Hi Jeff

    I see we have a similar frame of mind when it comes to star ratings. My thinking has consistently been: “why bother keeping songs i don’t like?” So like you, I reserve 1 and 2 star ratings as flags.

    2-stars are potentials for deletion. A song doesn’t stay a 2-star for long; it’s either upgraded to 3 or removed from the library.
    1-star is used to segregate what I call “special audio.” It takes those songs out of regular circulation and makes them ineligible for smart playlists. Includes things like comedy albums that I don’t need to listen to regularly (but are great for road trips) as well as songs whose tags need to be fixed.

    See this old post for a more detailed explanation of my rating system.

    And yeah, ratings sync is a godsend. I do most of my ratings at work while listening to my iPod. Trying to do that in the car would be deadly in Atlanta traffic.


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