Ratings Redux

I’ve written about the five-star rating system built into iTunes before, and have offered several revisions of my categories for rating. I’ve recently observed that the significance of the stars in itunes operates less as a personal evaluation of critical quality — “By St Anthony’s whiskers, this is a five-star jingle indeed!” — and more as a marker for how often (or under what circumstances) I would like to hear a given selection. In principle, I might regard a particular composition as truly exceptional; if I want to hear it only rarely, though, I shouldn’t assign it five stars, because that will make iTunes think I want to hear it more often.
So I’ve adopted a different system:
   ★★★★★ — I love this selection and want to hear it very often
   ★★★★ — I enjoy this selection a lot; whenever I hear it, it delights me
   ★★★ — I recognize this selection and think it’s pleasant
   ★★ — Either I don’t recognize this selection (new acquisitions) or I recognize it but am not moved to hear it again
   ★ — I recognize this and want to hear it only rarely, when I’ve deliberately sought it out (perhaps it’s a comedy monologue, or a particularly scabrous ditty that I don’t want popping out of speakers uninvited, or a poor recording of a performance I might otherwise enjoy)
    (no stars) — I would prefer not to hear this, and it would probably make sense to delete it altogether if I weren’t a dreadful pack rat.
So, until I devise some other basis for rating, I will return to other tasks.

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