Favoriting Music

There are a lot of things on the web where favoriting makes sense. Photos on flickr, blog or twitter posts you like, youtube videos. And doing that helps the services understand you better and give you more of what you like.

But favoriting music doesn’t make sense. I don’t favorite songs in last.fm, I don’t rate songs in iTunes. I’d prefer not to favorite songs in the new Hype Machine either.

Favoriting is kind of arbitrary. You do it if you think of doing it, if you have the inclination. It takes work. But I am sure there are many songs you love that you’ve never favorited or given five stars in iTunes. And so the data isn’t perfect.

Fortunately there’s another way to figure out what you love. It’s called “most played”. It could be most played this week. Or most played this month. Or most played forever. Or maybe you set a threshold. If I play this song more than 10x in a week, it’s a favorite. If I play it more than 25x in a month, it’s a favorite. If I play it more than 50x no matter what the time period is, it’s a favorite.

I mention this because I want to put my last.fm listening feed into my lifestreams on Tumblr and FriendFeed but I don’t want to link out to every song I listen to in those streams. That would overwhelm the lifestreams. FriendFeed just made a switch to only posting songs I favorite on last.fm. First of all, I often don’t do my listening on last.fm, I do it on iTunes or Rhapsody and I don’t favorite on those services. So I don’t favorite songs on last.fm, or I rarely do.

But last.fm knows what songs I’ve listened to the most this month. They know if I’ve played a song more than 5x this week. They can and should publish a feed of my favorite songs. They should set a default way of calculating it. But let me change it if I want to.

That would be a valuable service. I hope they do it.