No offence taken Chai. I do listen to music all the time - virtually all of it is digitised and Windows Media Player is great at doing randoms. So I'm relying on serendipity to find great and/or interesting stuff. That stuff I 'label' so I can find again.
The main driver is a fear that there is a song out there that will give me an eargasm
that I will never hear - so I hunt them out. That means downloading and listening to a lot of stuff (from every genre and any country). Fortunately I like listening to stuff I haven't heard before, I realise most people have a small group of things they love to listen to and new stuff is added after a rigorous entry procedure - somewhere along the line I lost that mode.
So I have a shipload of blogs I track through netvibes, and anytime someone namechecks something I don't know or have there or A2K, Twitter, Facebook, reviews et al - I check out, either through a download or facebook.
My main mode of filtering new stuff is to play 'unrated' items in WMP. Then I rate them:
5 star - eargasm
4 star - definitely want to hear again
3 star - not awful but will never be a 4 star
2 star - I do not need to hear this again
1 star - track quality dodgy, find another download or re-rip
The non-metadata cataloguing process is is weirder and changed a couple of years ago.
So I still add everything I own to the Access DB - but to keep track of the downloads (to avoid duplication) I started adding them to my discogs collection. Only the best of downloads is added to the Access DB (although there are only a few things my Access DB is better at than Discogs).
I'm using MP3Tag
to quickly fill out and improve metadata via the discogs API, then customising it for my own purposes (like geolocation of artist, 'mood/theme', genre (once based on Allmusic now more like discogs).
So when I'm not 'random' listening I can easily queue, say, all 4 star rated acoustic ambient tracks from French artists since 1980.
So the plan is to listen to everything once, and the good stuff more than once. I think the cataloguing aspect is like a engaging hobby that produces something (unlike computer games) - I listen to random while I'm doing it, and I find it relaxing and gets my head out of 'work brain' without getting bored - and there's always the chance I might catch a salmon.
Pardon the waffle - but you made me think about what and why.