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I spent the morning using my workout mix to help me clean. I technically didn't get to the actual "cleaning" part, but I did get rid of about 8 tons of trash, so I count it as a win. I also got to jump up and down on a pile of excess bubble wrap for a good ten minutes singing "NUMA NUMA YAY".

I wanted to send forth a music recommendation to all you Camper Van Beethoven, Bonnie Prince Billy, and Iron & Wine fans out there: The Sadies. They share a label with Neil Finn's son Liam, who also by the way is releasing a new album that will rock your socks this year. Anyways, their album is a nice quiet respite of very mild weirdness. You can get it through emusic for a very fair price. If you just want to get a track and see, "Anna Leigh" and "The Trial" are good.

There. Enough with the plugging.

While in the car thinking about posting this, I realized that I need very badly to recalibrate all my iTunes ratings.

See, right now I have a schema that works like so:

1 - Pure hate and scorn.
2 - Milk distaste or shame, like a really bad pop song that I am being a completist about, or something I just don't hate as bad as a 1.
3 - I like it. It is solid and listenable.
4 - Great song! Wheee!! Or I just like it! Or something! Or it is part of an album I consider classic.
5 - Really good to perfection, depending on my mood when I rated things.

You can see that things get a little vague when you get into the liking stages. Tons of things are rated 5 despite being not perfect. The line between three and four is blurry and confusing and arbitrary. Since I base many playlists on ratings, this makes for some confusion: "This isn't a five star song! What the fuck I only wanted to listen to THE BEST!" Yet I feel guilty giving anything by Genesis less than a five. Signing up on goodreads opened my mind to a less symmetrical scale, where there is only one spot for dislike and four levels of like. Let's face it - who cares how much you dislike something in this context? So now I'd like to recalibrate to:

1 - All kinds of dislike. Includes "bad song I feel I must own anyways".
2 - Lacks active dislike but barely notches any active liking.
3 - A fine song. Contains something I can tell you is good about it.
4 - Above and beyond. Skill, good beats, moving lyrics, extremely fond nostalgia, makes me actively happy.

This frees things up a little and makes it so that the scale is more evenly distributed. I can acknowledge that there are some really really good songs that aren't the best songs. Of course, whenever I get a few days off that I feel I can devote to this project I'll get right on that... :(



( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 13th, 2008 07:56 pm (UTC)
I also got to jump up and down on a pile of excess bubble wrap for a good ten minutes singing "NUMA NUMA YAY".

That just SCREAMS you tube video!
Jan. 14th, 2008 03:22 am (UTC)
Yeah, I was wearing my halloween pajamas. Nope, no one will ever see that scene but Jack.
Jan. 13th, 2008 07:59 pm (UTC)
See, to me the whole rating system is based on own opinions alone...I could care less whether TECHNICALLY something is a good song or not, although I'm sure that has something to do with whether I like it or not. To me, a 5 on the rating scale would be something that, basically, were my entire musical library wiped out by some horrible disaster, given a limited amoutn of fund, these are the ones I would have to replace FIRST, the limited (on a desert island) listing. eVErything else is just a degree of my own particular musical desires.
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 14th, 2008 03:23 am (UTC)
It's the simple pleasures.

I guess since you are starting your last semester I can't get you for lunch anytime soon???
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 14th, 2008 10:08 pm (UTC)
I use stars in an entirely different and somewhat unorthodox fashion.

One star means "delete this."
Two means "fix this."
Three means "edit dead air out of this."

Right now those are the only classifications I'm using.  I need to spread the two-star category into at least two separate categories, though -- one for bad sound (reimport this/find a better file) and one for bad info (typo in file info, bad image).

The thing I love about this is it gives me a way to tag things (via the ipod UI) for later action.  I might end up using the five-star rating more traditionally, where anything other than five stars means I like it enough to have it on my ipod, and five stars means "MADE OF AWESOME."
Jan. 16th, 2008 01:26 am (UTC)
This entry has given me serious food for thought since you wrote it. I once had an all or nothing system where 5 stars meant I Like It and no stars meant Whatever. But then I lost all my ratings when I transferred my account to my new computer.

I have a 7 hour car ride coming up. I think I will expend my computer's battery rating songs using the system you have provided. Although really shouldn't "pure hate and scorn" be no rating at all, since you would never make a playlist full of songs you hate and scorn??
Jan. 16th, 2008 01:27 am (UTC)
But my main point is I like a distinction between I Like It, I Really Like It, and GOD'S OWN SONGS ONLY.
Jan. 16th, 2008 04:41 am (UTC)
It makes lots of sense not to have 3 be the middle point of non-interest. It leaves so little wiggle room in the "like" area.
Jan. 16th, 2008 04:40 am (UTC)
I confess I do keep songs I hate and scorn because once they are in, I worry I'll need them for something. Like Olivia Newton-John singing "Hopelessly Devoted to You" which is about prostrating yourself to a no-good loser. I don't know... what if I'm at a wedding and someone requests that terrible song? Do I want to be the guy who helps, on the principal of being the guy who has EVERY SONG? Or do I want to force people not to listen to it by its absence? Basically as long as I have space I won't delete things that have 1 star. And there are about 4,000 songs with NO star because I haven't rated them yet so I need the distinction.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )


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