rating tracks - is it worth it?

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Re: rating tracks - is it worth it?

Post by thebrady »

I've gone through several different revisions of how I use ratings. Each time I change my mind I do a mass deletion of saved ratings on songs. I think I've finally found my final method of rating songs.

I rate my songs to easily aid in the creation of a few different auto playlists.

1 Star = Any very mellow / tranquil late night kind of music. Good for either late nights on the computer or even when listening to music in bed.
2 Stars = Any good mellow/chill song that is worth listening to often. More upbeat than the 1 star songs.
3 Stars = My all-time favorite mellow/chill songs. Often I'll mark something 2 stars, then over time upgrade it to 3 stars.
4 Stars = Any good upbeat song that is worth listening to often.
5 Stars = My all-time favorite upbeat songs.

This way I can create these playlists:

Sleepy = All 1 star music.
Chill = All 2 and 3 star music.
Chill+ = All 2, 3, and 5 star music. This way it picks up the beat a little bit with some more of my all time favorites
Upbeat = All 4 and 5 star music
Upbeat+ = All 3, 4, and 5 star music. Mixes in some of my favorite more chill songs.
Awesomesauce = All 3 and 5 star songs. Just a shuffle of my all-time favorite tracks.

I don't bother rating anything not worthy of a playlist, those songs will get their play when I listen by album.
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Re: rating tracks - is it worth it?

Post by mcow »

I like ratings but I don't live or die by them. When I'm just looking at entries in MM, I'll give ratings to the songs I remember well, which usually means four-to-five stars (or two, if the song is memorably lame).
When I'm listening, I'll periodically bring up the MM window and look at what's unrated in the songs recently played. Some of them remain unrated, because I haven't heard the song enough to have settled on an opinion, or I wasn't paying enough attention while listening. Otherwise, if I remember hearing it but no more than that, and it wasn't annoying, it gets three stars; if it had a decent hook or other memorable feature, it'll get 3.5.

4.0, 4.5, 5.0 are the cream, and it's a bit of a die-throw exactly which rating a really good song gets. 2.5 songs are weak or have some problem (run on too long, or someone singing off-key on an otherwise good song); 2.0 and less are not good. The 0-to-1.5 range is unnecessary but some stinkers get those ratings anyway. 98% of the music in my library consists of ripped albums, and I don't delete tracks just because I don't like them. Sometimes you need to play a bad one for a friend just to demonstrate how bad the song is.

The ratings do change; often they'll get nudged by a half-star in one direction or other. Ratings are set in context of the artist; nothing Amy Winehouse has done is as good as the best of Björk, but a couple of Amy's songs still get four stars because they're fun and good to listen to.

Interestingly, songs on last.fm that I "love" aren't all five stars, and not all my five-star songs are "loved." Even on a given album by a favorite artist, I might "love" a four-star track but not a five-star one. I think this because the rating includes technical considerations, but on last.fm the "love" goes to songs with an emotional punch.

Songs with less than three stars get excluded from AutoDJ and mix-lists for the portable, but I also have a playlist called "nomix" which gets songs that I don't want to pop up randomly, such as ones I prefer to hear in album sequence.
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Re: rating tracks - is it worth it?

Post by Sizzly »

I use the Last.fm DJ script (in reverse of why it was designed) to find new music. Ratings are required to make that go. Here's what I did for it: http://djsizzly.com/content/finding-coo ... ediamonkey

I also concur with all the other thoughts on why ratings are handy.
DJ Sizzly
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Re: rating tracks - is it worth it?

Post by GeraldB »

Lazy me... I've never entered ratings (or genre, date, track number, composer, etc., and I've never missed any of these). As I recall, I didn't want to make the effort and felt that if I had some cuts with low ratings I would never play them. However I do somewhat the same thing by having "hits" playlists, i.e., Bluegrass Hits, Doo-Wop Hits, etc., to make it easy when I want to find my favorites. Suits me fine.
Can't afford a signature.
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Re: rating tracks - is it worth it?

Post by BlackRip05 »

I played a few times with a couple of rating systems however I had a hard time to find a rating system that suited me. So this is what ended up doing wich is pretty simple and basic but makes a whole lot sense for me and adds a new dimension to the autoplaylist and all the different combinations that are possible.

I rate 1 cd at a time, start with the 1 star and work my up to 5 (I don't use the bomb)

1 Star - Usually songs that not only I don't like but if it starts playing I actually have to run and skip it!
Not many songs but there are some out there, more than you can think of

2 Star - Songs that don't do it for me, don't like or don't care (but I don't get upset if I have to listen to it)

Obviously 1 and 2 are not considered anywhere in any playlist but I don't want to delete them since they are part of an official album (my ocd side)

3 Star - Everything else that is not a 1 or 2, at this point is should be all good songs.

4 Star - Identify the top 3-4 songs as "Best of", just like if I was creating a greatest hits cd

5 Star - The masterpiece of the album, it's usualy one of the 4 stars above that becomes a 5 stars. Although I have to admit that sometimes it is difficult. I usually ask myself the question if I had to listen to only 1 song on that album which one would it be... but sometimes I do have 2....

It's pretty easy when you do it on your ipod and sync it back to your library. I try to do 3 cd's a day on my way to work/home. I am about 75% done after 6 months but then again I only have about 15,000 songs....

Another tip I read once I think on this forum but I am not sure.
I use the grouping field to identify the rating. So for all 5 stars I indicate a "5" in the grouping field and so on.

There is 2 purpose for that:
1) if for some reason my rating gets deleted or someone messes it up, I can identify/isolate the proper rating via that field.
2) if I need to use another program that does not recognise/support the rating system, I can also use that field to identify and reset my rating system in a matter of seconds.
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Re: rating tracks - is it worth it?

Post by Aff »

I use ratings to manage my collection. My portable players are able to set ratings, so I can listen and rate the music everywhere.

My 5 star system:
0 (unrated) - Standard, not yet listened to or nothing special.
1 - Awful, can be deleted. Once in a time I check those tracks in MM shortly and mostly delete them.
2 - Bad sound quality or damaged. Once in a time I check if I can get a better version (e.g. from another release).
3 - Mediocre. Not good, but I will possibly keep it.
4 - Quite good.
5 - Outstanding, great music and sound quality.
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Re: rating tracks - is it worth it?

Post by jqueeng02 »

I also just ignore the rating thing. BUt now that I know its uses, I think I'm gonna rate all my songs now! Thank you for this thread.
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Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 11:03 pm

Re: rating tracks - is it worth it?

Post by sukelis »

This has been interesting to read through. My library is in flux ATM so I'm interested in other views. I do use ratings because they are the key to auto-playlists, and I've found that auto lists are the key to variety. Otherwise I listen to the same things over and over. :-?

What I have been doing, being an amazingly lazy person, is rate everything as 3 stars, even if I haven't heard it. Then when listening individual tracks will get bumped up or down, if needed. Anything below 3 is never included in an auto-playlist, so going below 3 is a lot like deleting it. A 2 is a track I don't like and a 1 is a track that I hate (and would delete if it weren't for the OCD need to keep albums together). The 4's and 5's are basically used to narrow the field for portables or real faves.

This is a very simplistic system but it let me tap into the advantages without having to put in much effort. :wink:
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