I've had an iPod since they came out, and iTunes to go with them. I've loved them lots and lots. But I just recently started to rate my music; five little stars to tell me all kinds of things that I never took the time to notice about my music.
That's how my Rating category has always looked -- empty. I never knew why people would rate their music. If I was a DJ or something, it might be different, but as I am not, it just seemed like a waste of time.
Enter the Smart Playlist. Smart Playlists make sense of the world for me. They're just short of a Star Trek scene, where the Captain says, "Computer, make me a playlist that blah blah blah blah!" and the computer instantly complies. (Actually, I think Siri does this now, on iPhones? Goosebumps.)
I have gotten into a rut of playing the same four or five CDs, so I made a playlist of all my unplayed songs (I have played them, but maybe in the car on a CD, or on anather device). I had about 4.6 days of them. Then I had it take out Spoken Word, Holiday, Jump Blues Shows, and a few others, and that brought it down to 4.1 days. Then I set it to random and started listening while I knit.
I noticed that I really liked some songs, and really hated others (don't drunk-buy a whole CD, let it be a lesson). I thought, I wish I could remember which songs I hated, and which songs I loved ... and that's how the Ratings all began.
This is how I rate my music: one and two stars for "non-effective" music, i.e., music that I don't like. I give one star to pieces of shit, or pieces that disturb me for some other reason known only to me. I give two stars to pieces that I don't like too, but they're merely boring or bad, not disturbing. Three, four, or five stars are given to "effective" music, music that I like. Three-star music is just plain old music, it's good, it makes me smile, but there is nothing special about it, other than I like it. I give four stars to music that has some feature that I really like, such as a guitar riff that I like, or clever lyrics, or mandolin playing unexpectedly, or a good drum solo, or a singer who can actually sing. It makes me smile a little bit more than a three-star piece of music. I give five stars to the cream of the crop; these are songs I just love. I want to hug them and kiss them and call them George and marry them and bear their children. Maybe they're just really, really good, or maybe it was the circumstance when I first heard them, or maybe they remind me of a time or place or person that was special. Mostly, I took my rating from the old Maine Educational Assessment grading matrix that I used the times I graded the writing part of the MEA's, and transferred it to music. Ta Da! Instant rating system.
As you can see, I have a long ways to go, but I will eventually have all my songs rated. Then I can make really GOOD playlists, good for me, anyway, hehe.
Today I have an assistant helping me:
Who let the cat outta the bag??