I’m sure other people had the same beef with iOS 10 when it came out.
Before iOS 10, the music app let you rate each song with 1-5 stars. It even let you create special playlists and filters based on star ratings and play counts. It was powerful and awesome.
I had developed this elaborate system of listening to my music at the gym. I would get on the cardio machine for 500-calorie burn sessions. While doing that, I would read and listen to music. At any given time, I would have 500 songs on my iPhone. Bear with me here, because when I said “elaborate,” I meant it.
I had 100 songs at each star level from 1-5. This is where it gets nerdy. For the first 1-30 calories I burn, I would listen to a random 1-star song from a smart playlist that had my least-played 25 songs on it. Once I hit 30 calories, I would move on to the next song until I hit 60 calories burned. Once I hit 60 calories burned, I would proceed to the next song in the shuffle until I hit 90 calories. From 90-100 calories, I would wipe some sweat off my head and switch to the 2-star smart playlist, where I would listen to three songs in the same way. I’d do this for each star level until I hit 500 calories.
Now I go to a super-geek degree of nerdiness. If you’re familiar with the process baseball players go through to get to the Major League level, you know about the minor leagues. There are different levels of minor leagues. AAA is just below Major League level. AA is before that. A is lower than AA. Then you have levels even lower than A, like A-, Rookie, and Instructional. I looked at my music playlists in the same way. 5-star songs were Major League level. They were what I listened to when I just wanted to hear good music. 4-star were AAA. 3-star were AA. 2-star were A. 1-star were Rookie class.
So for each set of 3 songs I played at each star level, I would demote one song and promote one song. If I demoted a song from the 1-star list, I would delete it from my phone.
Every month, I would buy a new music album. I would set any singles or hit songs from the album to immediate 5-star status. All the rest I would set to 3-star. Then when I workout and listen to music, I would gradually normalize the star ratings in the songs using my system mentioned above until I got the even ratio of 100 songs per star level.
I could write pages more about this system. There are many other nuances. And you will fall asleep… if you haven’t already.
Got this far? Great. Keep reading. I promise it will get less boring.
So iOS 10 came along and took away the star ratings. They might have also taken away smart playlists too. I don’t know. I uninstalled iTunes on my computer.
Now the only way to rate a song is with “Like” or “Dislike.” It’s ridiculous. If I dislike a song, why would I have it on my phone? I would delete the sucker. Of course I like every song.
The only reason I can imagine why you are still reading this is that you also had a star rating system for listening to music that you were fond of.
So here’s my solution.
Apple simplified their Music app. Now you have to simplify your music system.
What I did was create a new playlist called “My Music.” I dumped every song on my phone into that playlist. Without stars, there is effectively only one level of music. So I treat it that way.
I shuffle through the playlist and listen to groups of three songs as I always have. But out of the three songs, I will delete my least favorite one from my phone. I’ll do this until I reach 24 hours of music, or about 300 songs (remember, I buy a new album every month).
Maybe I’ll cut it back even further. I’m thinking of keeping only my favorite 100 or 200 songs on my phone. I don’t know. Minimalism. Or something like that.