Organizing Music

One of the key things that I use my iPhone for is rating my music collection. While I could obviously do it sitting in front of the computer, the iPod interface makes it quick and easy and the portability of the iPhone allows me to do it even during those little spaces of time between doing other things throughout the day.

If you’ve never bothered to rate the songs in your own collection, you really don’t know what you are missing. The system that I use helps me to organize my collection and is especially helpful in ensuring that the precious space I have on my device isn’t wasted on things that I don’t like. As an added bonus, I can also use those ratings to queue up just the songs that I really like… it’s like listening to an ad free radio station where every song that comes on gets you to exclaim “I love this song!”.

Unfortunately, Apple doesn’t believe in finer grained ratings, so there are no half stars like you’d have if you were using Amarok or pretty much any other music collection program besides iTunes.

The way I’m currently using my allotment of 5 stars basically goes like this:

  • 0 Stars – hasn’t been rated yet (obviously)
  • 1 Star – junk, delete it from both the iPhone and the hard drive (this is also for repeats, where I already have the song. This happens sometimes with “The Best Of” collections)
  • 2 Stars – it’s a fine tune, but not really for me (alternatively, this also puts it on the chopping block as I go through these occasionally and reassign them as 1s or 3s)
  • 3 Stars – I like it so if there’s room left over, squeeze it in
  • 4 Stars – I really like it
  • 5 Stars – Epic goodness, I can listen to it all day

It’s too bad that iTunes itself sucks. Not only does it have to be one of the worst user interfaces ever designed, it sorely lacks many of the features that are basic in almost every other media collection manager that is out there. Advanced features I could see them missing due to the difficulty in implementing them or issues with Software Patents (another stupid thing), but there really is no excuse for them to be lagging behind on basic ones. (Of course, they are answering to two masters, Big Media and their shareholders, so the only places where they seem to really try to be consumer friendly are the ones that involve dipping into our wallets)

Add to that the fact that it doesn’t run on Linux and I’m forced to keep XP around in a virtual machine just so I can sync my iPhone and you just know that  I’m not happy.

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~ by ghendar on April 11, 2009.