I've been using the iTunes rating system (0 to 5 stars) for all my music ever since I started using iTunes.
I have a variety of complicated playlists. My main one combines songs I haven't heard lately with songs I've heard more often but like more (see below for details).
There's a much simpler playlist called "Highest Rated" that consists of all my 4- and 5-star songs. There are nearly 500 songs on that list, but only about 30 of them have 5 stars. There are a lot of songs I love in the 4-star list, but the 5-star list are my very favorites.
So I decided a while back to put together an entry listing them. (Though it's a little odd to see that several of my favorite performers aren't on the list at all, 'cause many 4s don't add up to a 5.) Took me a while of now-and-then spare time to put together a satisfactory set of links, and I still haven't added annotations, which are probably essential to this sort of thing if it's to be of any use to anyone. But I don't want to make a Project out of it, so I'm just gonna go ahead and post what I've got.
Links attached to song titles go to the songs in the iTunes Music Store. Unfortunately, only about a third of the songs are in the iTunes Music Store, so for those that aren't, links attached to performer names go to performer web pages. Links attached to album titles go to places where you can get info about or purchase the albums; in some cases, there are audio clips available on those pages.
Here's the list, in alphabetical order by performer:
- Chester Nimitz Oriental Garden Waltz (Austin Lounge Lizards, Highway Cafe of the Damned)
- If I Had $1,000,000 (Barenaked Ladies, Gordon)
- Dick's Maggot (Bare Necessities, English Country Dances)
- Video Killed the Radio Star (The Buggles, The Age of Plastic)
- Fast Car (Tracy Chapman, Fast Car (Single)) (also on Tracy Chapman)
- The Galway Rover (Cherish the Ladies, New Day Dawning)
- Blessed (Lui Collins, Moondancer) (RealAudio clip)
- Two Pterodactyls (Lui Collins, North of Mars) (lyrics by Jane Yolen)
- Wildflower Song (Lui Collins, Baptism of Fire)
- Fiddler's Hymn / Yankee Reverse (Cross Country, Never Grow Old)
- Cold Missouri Waters (Dar Williams, Lucy Kaplansky, and Richard Shindell, Cry Cry Cry) (written by James Keelaghan)
- Brown Gal (Echo's Children, A Dancing World)
- Common Things (Echo's Children, A Dancing World)
- Low Among the Roses (Echo's Children, A Dancing World)
- Ain't Life a Brook (Ferron, Testimony)
- Cold Is the Night (Kallet, Epstein, Cicone, Angels in Daring)
- Down to the River to Pray (Alison Krauss, O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack)
- I Will (Alison Krauss, Now That I've Found You) (link may be to a slightly different version) (I much prefer this cover to the original.)
- Can't Help Falling in Love (Lick the Tins, Some Kind of Wonderful soundtrack) (also on A Blind Man on a Flying Horse, but that may be a different version) (I much prefer this admittedly odd cover to the original.)
- And From Now On (Mariposa, First Light of Dawn)
- Wish You Goodnight (John McCutcheon, Nothing to Lose)
- This Island Earth (The Nylons, Happy Together)
- I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) (The Proclaimers, Benny & Joon soundtrack) (link may be to a slightly different version)
- Smoke in the Air (The Short Sisters, A Planet Dancing Slow)
- Our Town (Jody Stecher and Kate Brislin, Our Town) (I much prefer this cover to the original Iris Dement version)
- Morning Has Broken (Cat Stevens, Classics Volume 24)
- Shut De' Do' (Talisman A Cappella, no murmurs, no zealots)
- Arrow (Cheryl Wheeler, Circles & Arrows) (MP3 clip)
Details of my "Non-Recent + Favorites" list, in case anyone cares: It's a live-update list, with the criteria being: songs that haven't been played in the last 30 weeks or that have a rating of greater than three stars; limited to 1000 songs, selected by least recently played. At any given time, that generally results in a list of 20-50 recently acquired songs that I haven't listened to yet, 800-900 two- to five-star songs I haven't heard in a while (I uncheck one-star songs, so they don't go on the playlist), and 50-150 four- and five-star songs that I've heard slightly more recently. I put that list on random shuffle; keeps me from getting bored with anything due to overexposure, and tends to result in my hearing most of my 5000-song music collection over the course of a year.