X out of 5 stars

I have the technical skill to publish a database of my entire music collection online, but I don’t have the inclination to spend that much development time doing it. So instead, I’m letting Rate Your Music do it for me.

I spent the last few days pretty much putting everything online, including albums I don’t even own anymore. I even went so far as to include vinyl and cassettes, the latter of which I sold off nearly four years ago. As of this writing, 1,273 albums are listed in my profile. Yeah, that’s small beans compared to hardcore collectors.

It was incredibly easy getting started. The RYM database is already a number of years old, so I got (from my guess) half of my collection listed in a day. I had to spend a bit more effort with classical music and soundtracks, since no music-themed site can adequately handle the minutia of that metadata.

I wasn’t very impressed with the Musicbrainz integration. The "Guess tracks" feature in the release addition interface could be more convenient if it made smarter queries to Musicbrainz. I know for a fact track listings were available for such artists as eX-Girl and ACO — because I contributed some of those tracks — but RYM was inconsistent on how it retrieved them.

I do like the "go!" feature. Searching and rating all on one screen is quite convenient. You do have to be quite vigilant about the search results you get — you might end up rating a pressing of the album from a country you don’t live in. I managed to rate a number of Swedish pressings for albums.

Oddly enough, it’s the option to list an album as something I once owned that attracts me the most. So far, the only such history I have is the Musicwhore.org archive. I’ve had to sell quite a number of albums over the years when cash got tight. I developed a bad habit of deleting those albums out of my personal database.

Filling in that backlog — especially the cassettes — gives me a sense of history. I had to cringe at some of my more rash decisions as I flagged them. (I knew Matthew, My Vitriol and Powderfinger were dead ends when I got them, but did that stop me? Oh, no.) What does it say that 1/3 of the stuff I list in my profile are things I no longer have?

Probably that I have unreliable taste in music. Maybe it’s an indication of my listening maturity. Perhaps it’s a sign of the general mediocrity of music. Or it just doesn’t say anything at all.

I’m having fun with Rate Your Music. And I’m sure you’ll have fun making fun of what I still have on vinyl.