Please excuse this frivolous post and the slightly misleading title.
I have found that it is very easy to get into a rut with what I’m listening to on iTunes. When it is so easy to play only my most favourite songs or my most played songs, that’s often what I listen to. It’s not a good idea to listen to only favourites for a lengthy period of time – it means that I get bored of these great songs and take them for granted
One solution is to sometimes play only the songs that I’ve rated 3 or 4. The problem is that I haven’t rated systematically rated my entire collection. I do this more on a ad hoc basis, otherwise it would be a huge chore. I never rate a new CD until I’ve had it for at least a month, except for those tracks which really leap out as being particularly good or bad.
Here’s one solution which cures this sort of ennui. Morgan’s eclectic sampler playlist.
I use the word sampler in its traditional sense, that this playlist will give a reminder of the breadth of your collection, remind you of the sorts of things which you have.
This playlist has two main guidelines:
1. The idea is to choose only one track from each album. Each album’s representative should ideally be your second or third favourite track from that album.
2. Never choose your favourite tracks – then this playlist would become a just another favourites variation.
Of course, rules are made to be broken. Maybe you’d like to slightly over-represent newer albums, so you can get to know them better. Sometimes you might choose not to represent one-track wonders at all, if you really regret that one track you purchased from that album and don’t view it as representative at all.
The downside is that this playlist takes a bit of work, especially for selecting the second and third-best tracks of albums you haven’t listened to in a while. But that work can itself be enjoyable and illuminating about your collection and how you yourself have changed since adding particular albums.
The other thing is that this playlist is meant to help you escape from your iTunes ruts, don’t let it become a new rut in itself. If it’s a short list, don’t listen to it for more than a few days at once. Even if it’s a really long list, it will have definitely served its purpose after a week. Then leave it for a while and move on, hopefully to some tracks which the eclectic sampler playlist inspired you to rediscover.