Using the ART technique - filling the EAR Card

The EAR card provides us with three essential elements: a track ranking for each track, a play list, and an album rating.

1) Ranking Most reviewers rate overall albums as in complete, but relate to only some of their tracks. The EAR system in fact and in addition, ranks every single track that's on. Individual track rankings provide an accurate insight view of the albums content. Our ranking definitions are commonly sensed arranged, and easy to follow:

     Poor. Useless and annoying track, not to be taped, saved, or played. Definitely a track to be skipped.

Fair. A so-so track, not special at all, that would only have our attention if we may find special interest in this artist/performer. Not to be taped or saved, but could be played sometimes if we are in the proper mood.

Quite good. Meaning it's just a touch away from being good. These are the average tracks and the main substance of most albums. Entry level for music to be taped saved and played.

Good. No doubt. Tape, save and play it always.

Very good. Exciting and stands out over regular good music.

Excellent. The best. Cream of music.

 MP Master Piece. Creation of God. Perfect and phenomenal.

2) Assembling a play list, and placing tracks Occasionally we come across albums that do not have a natural flow in their song arrangement. However, these albums could deliver substantional improved performance with some re editing. Meaning, the unexciting tracks get removed out of the play list, and the remaining tracks get repositioned.

a) Removing "fat" out of albums All "unexciting" tracks that are ranked as “Poor” and “Fair” are to be left out of play list. All better tracks ranked as “quite good” and over, shall be placed in the play list.

We now have a desired group of selected tracks, ready for re arrangement.

Fitting selected music into a play list How do we fit our selectable tracks into perfect order? The answer is, experimenting, and following these guidelines:

*     One should never start up with the strongest track of the album. That may be good for hit albums,       and teenagers gum pop music. Start your list with a nice good track. It requires some trials and       retrials until the right track is found. You will know when you hit it right on.

*     Selecting follower tracks should pursue a scheme that needs to overall build up our musical       excitement, with possible softer tracks placed in between.

*     Closing up the play list, it would preferably be advised to place the stronger tracks available, peaking       at the end.

*     Depending on content, we could alternately end up with a quiet relaxing softer track, closing our list.

*     Important tip: use the random (shuffle) option on player, and keep note of tracks that match       naturally. Listen to passages between tracks. Many good matches are bound to be found. Mark them,       and make use in assembling the play list.

*     When the correct matching order can not be found, the given album should be left aside for a while,       waiting for better times.

*     Where there’s a doubt, there is a need for additional trials. The play list will be final when there is no       doubt, and approved when we can enjoy a complete ride of listening throughout the full list.

3) Album rating – putting ART into work

Album rating is the absolute measure for the quality of any given album. It is used for comparison, selection, and organization of music collections.

As mentioned earlier, our system employs time factor for rating music. Each track rank is given an amount of points per minute. This track rank is then multiplied by the length of the track, producing a "track rate". Adding up all track ratings, sum up to our precious desired, exact album rating.

Album rating is simply the total sum of all track ratings in a given album.

Let's check out in detail, how track ranking converts over time to a track rating.

Quality over time – track rating

The big boom of commercial music was in the sixties, when music was available on vinyl LP's and singles. Running play time on LP's was limited to just over 20 minutes on each side, with overall of approximate 40 minutes to an album. Forming up the EAR system, we figured out that a 40 minute album with all tracks ranked "Good" (+), should be rated 100 points. That would lead to a value of 2.5 points for each "Good" minute. Meaning (+) = 2.5 pts. For practical reasons, this figure has been shifted to 3 points. This was the basics of the EAR system – ranking over time.

Track rate = rank (value) X by its length (in minutes).

Each rank has its own value of points (per minute) as follow: (Note the Accelerated Ranking highlighted).


RANK VALUE (in points per minute)
0 points.
Quite good
Very good
Master Piece

As an example, a track ranked + (good) running over 3:50 minutes will be track rated as 12. (3:50 min considered as 4:00 min for practical and ease of use).


Time is a key factor in determining the overall quality of an album. Maintaining quality music over a longer period of time, is rewarded in our system.

This concludes our explanation of system’s technicality.

Managing music collections with the EAR system

Concept of EARs