This next post is not as much a lesson as a confessional. Did you know you can combine music and statistics? iTunes has so many labels and tags that can be added to your music and the database that it is possible to evaluate this music with statistics. (Whatever that can be labeled can be measured and whatever that can be measured can be tracked with statistics).
I am a huge statistical geek (an obscure soccer league, political elections, band ratings, etc) so the idea of analyzing the music I listen to in new ways is like combining peanut butter and chocolate.
First of all here is the best page with links to great software that can help analyze your iTunes library. It is located at TuneQuest. Check it out…
I have tried two different programs. The most polished one is called SuperAnalzyer and it is pretty super. It creates some wonderful statistics and graphs.
The other program is not listed on that page but is courtesy of a fabulous little script written by Scott Yanff.
Now these statistics were taken late December 26, 2009 of my personal library. It is a snapshot of a year of iTunes use and listening. I was using iTunes before December 27, 2008 but it was on that date I decided to make a concerted effort to begin organizing my entire music collection after that date. I began reimporting everything with a deeper bit-rate and deleted my old, original collection. I did not use iTunes to listen to music, instead using it to create MP3 CDs to listen to at work and in the car. That all changed July 21, 2009 when I purchase an 8GB iPod Touch. Now I started using it to not only listen to music but to track my listening habits. A new OCD habit was formed and geekdom attained. 😛
I am listening to and then rating music in the same order I imported it. It is not a reflection of a particular bias. I love the New Wave stuff of the 1970s and 1980s but I imported that stuff much later and it is in my queue to listen to and rate. What is great about this method is that I am (re)discovering some great artists and songs. Creating new favorite lists of songs, albums, and artists is a brand new way to enjoy and appreciate music.
I am thinking that I will make it an annual ritual to do a statistical update of my listening habits with these two programs. It will be interesting to see how my musical tastes evolve.