Music – Rating

One thing that I constantly find myself doing is rating music. For some reason, it never seems to end, most likely because I’m always scoring new music. This probably won’t be a problem in a little while, as I won’t have money to burn anymore! But I found some ways to tackle the issue.

1. Labels – Make sure your tracks are correctly labelled. If you have Unknown Artist – Track 01, it is never easy to find a track that you may have recently listened to that you liked/hated and you wanted to rate it later. Having incorrectly labelled music leads to all sorts of issues which I will discuss later.

2. Genre – This is something that I always find interesting. If you are using iTunes, then this becomes something of a minefield. At times the automatic grab of album data will insert some interesting genres, which you may or may not agree with. Having your own ideas about the genre of the music really helps in organising your music for both creating playlists and rating purposes. I find that it’s easier to generalise with genre, rather than try to be really specific. Really, when you get right down to it, how often are you going to listen to a selection of trip-hop or Hoomii? These songs are going to be absorbed by your other, larger genre groups. If you are going to rate large amounts of songs in one hit, you need to think up some standard groups – dance, rock, pop, r&b and easy listening for example. Whatever your music taste, cater for it with your genre selection so that they are diverse, but not so diverse that you end up with more that five or six genres.

3. Rating – The actual process of rating music is interesting. It’s very easy to get sidetracked because you end up listening to whole songs. This is fine, but if you ever want to finish rating all your songs, you have to draw the line and switch to the next. The way I go about this is to firstly listen to the start of the song. Some times you can get a feel straight away about a song, either good or bad. If you aren’t sure, skip ahead 30 – 50 seconds and listen again. This is usually during the build-up of the song, so you can get a good indication of what shape the song is taking. If you are still unsure, jump into about the 1:30 – 2:00 mark and listen for about 30 seconds. By now you should know what rating you would give the song. Once you have decided on a rating, MOVE ON. Don’t continue listening, as you will never finish all the songs!

Eventually you will get to a point where your ears will be saturated from listening to songs that you haven’t heard before and you will get confused with what rating to give them. When this happens, either turn the music off for a while, or switch to some of your well-known tracks. It acts as a purifier, and allows you to refocus on the music.

What other tips and tricks do you employ to rate your music?