The Process for Ranking Music

Ranking the Songs


I will be using iTunes as my main platform. As an early adopter of Apple products, I have been using iTunes and iPhones for over a century. All of my testings have been using iTunes standards for metadata.


  1. Song Name
  2. Artist Name
  3. Rating

Other fields are used and completed but each sone will have to have the four main fields addressed.

Cleaning Up Data

I will use MusicBrainz as a primer for all metadata. This should keep all artist name and song titles consistent. 

Song Name

The title of the song should be self-explanatory but often titles include unnecessary details. The following will be taken out of all song titles:

  1. Live – Demo – Alternative Take
  2. Featuring additional artist/s

Artist Name

Artists names will try to remain consistent from album to album and song to song. If another artist is performing in the song, the song should be duplicated and attributed to the other artist (as well). 


Each song will be graded independently and is strictly subjective. I am not a musician and will not rate based on merit or expertise. I will rate on a scale of 1-5 based my preference to hear the song again. 

Rating: 1

I do not want to hear this song again – in my life. 

Rating: 2

This song should not have been included on the album or is such poor quality that I prefer to never hear it again. 

Rating: 3

The song is perfectly acceptable and would be fine if playing in the background or not possible to skip – but not my personal preference to play frequently. 

Rating: 4

Deemed as a greatest hit or a song that I would like to include on my playlists for frequent playback. 

Rating: 5

Must have songs.


The drawback of iTunes is the inability to create good tags. The comments section is the best solution for tagging music. This will be used to disqualify songs from ranking. The following types will be identified and eliminated:

  1. Alternate versions, remixes, instrumentals
  2. Live versions
  3. Duplicate songs 
  4. Strict Holiday Songs
  5. Rare, Demos, or versions only released for box sets
  6. Spoken Word, speeches, and dialogue
  7. Movie Scores attributed to the artist (not composer or orchestra)

Cover songs will be indicated but will be rated unless another factor disqualifies song.

Other Disqualifying Factors

Artists without a minimum of 10 songs will be disqualified from ranking.

The Algorithm

Net Promoter Score

The principle of NPS will give a score to each song. This modified version gives more flexibility but is still based on the basic premise that a song is a promoter, detractor, or neutral. 

  1. -1
  2. 0
  3. 0
  4. 0.5
  5. 1

Greatest Hits

The most influential feature of an artist is how many greatest hits they have. These would be considered ‘5 Star’ songs. The number of 5-star songs usually reflect your overall judgment on an artist.

Score (v1.0)

The first public version takes NPS*Hits and gives a percentage.
Current Version: 1.0

The Best Song by an Artist

Single Elimination Tournament

In order to find the best song by an artist, all 5-Star songs will be placed into a single elimination tournament (no particular order). If there is an odd number of songs, songs will be subjectively given a bye. This format should indicate the best single song by the artists.

Round Robin Tournament

This could take place if I would like to have a ranking of the songs by an artist – but is not taking place at this time.

Ranking Albums

In the event that I would like to rank the albums, the same version for calculating artist score will be used. All comments will be lifted and ranked. The following types of albums will be disqualified from rank:

  1. Complications, Greatest Hits
  2. Live Albums