I’ve been meaning to speak about this for a while. Namely, this: If you have music you don’t enjoy in your iTunes library, why?

Is it that you bought it before you realized it was not your thing and now feel like deleting it would be throwing money away?

Is it because it was a gift and you feel like deleting it would somehow dishonor the thought?

Do you have your music on a shared system with your spouse/significant other/family/roommate and you have different or only slightly overlapping musical tastes?

I don’t claim to have the answers to any of these. In fact, I’m likely just a guilty as anyone else. Especially if you have a large music library, it can take a while to go through it all and decide what to keep and what to delete.

That said, this is even more of a reason to turn on shuffle from time to time and let the random happen. And, while the random is happening, take the time to rate each song as you hear it. It only takes a few seconds and can prove invaluable for separating the wheat from the chaff. That way, even if you don’t or can’t delete the music you don’t like, you can at least focus in on the stuff you do. How? Well, with Smart Playlists of course. Here are a few that I use:

Here is the stuff that has never been played in your library. Start here. I limit mine to a manageable and not overwhelming amount. I play these and rate them as I go along.

Here is new stuff I have added and not yet played. Once again, I take pains to rate this stuff as I listen to it so that I can do the work up front.

Once again, a manageable chunk. No need to give yourself more pressure. Rate a few and a few more will be there when you are ready to get back to it. Do it enough and you will know where everything in your library stands.

Because then… Then… You can do stuff like this:


You now have the greatest playlist in the world filled with stuff you at least like more than average. Every single song will be great.

You can also do this:

These are the things you should ask questions about.