Ranking Albums & Creating End Of Year / Month Lists

Hey folks!

I’ve been taking a web development course, and as an end-of-course project I’m looking into creating a web app that helps people rank the releases they listen to and create end-of-year / month lists of their favourite records.

Before I get too stuck in it’d be good to get an idea of how people actually put together their lists currently, and how they track the releases they listen to. If you’re the sort of music nerd like me who is super into this stuff, and have 5 minutes to spare, I’d greatly appreciate if you could fill out this quick google form to help me collect some of that sweet, sweet data

(Apologies in advance for the terrible form and leading questions, I’m not a statistician.)



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Cheers! Appreciate it :pray:

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Done :+1:

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& @spicer thank you!

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filled it out as best i could. i keep a running list but don’t rank anything. think there’s been a bit of a move away from ranking thinkings in end of year lists in some publications this year which i think is a good thing.


Cheers, appreciate it!

I completely agree with this… it’s all a nonsense at the end of the day (music being subjective and all that!) and especially big publications declaring a ‘best’ record looks a bit silly. But I think on a personal level (e.g. contributing to the end-of-year polls on this forum) there’s still fun to be had!

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Done also! I log all my music, but never feel like I have enough time to try and properly rank them due to all the new music always arriving.

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Thank you!

Done. I have a Spotify folder for each year e.g. 2021 and then I add albums to that playlist. I’ll generally add any album that I think I might like before I listen to it. If it turns out I’m not going to listen to it again because it’s too meh then I will probably delete it. I’ll also add albums I haven’t heard before that were release in previous years to that folder if I consider them “new to me”.

At the end of the year, I’ll probably have around 100 albums in there, and I use Excel to try and come up with a top 50 list, although my list is actually top 50 songs rather than albums, with a max of 1 song per album. But it generally follows the order of how I rate the album, so if Punisher is my favourite album, I’ll pick my favourite song from that album. I then create a Top 50 songs of the year playlist, called “Best of 2021”, and listen to that quite a bit in January. I’ll also listen to “Best of 2020”, “Best of 2019” and so on throughout the year. This playlist may include a few really good songs that didn’t feature on any albums, but I’ll put them in anyway.

There’s so much good music being released all the time, it can be hard work to keep up. But the effort is worth it. Without being organised, I’d forget about great stuff and never listen to it.


Thanks for filling out the form and sharing your methods!

It’s tougher with Spotify because you can’t order by year of release. Traditionally I’ve only ever done these annually as my faves of the year released that year.

In the old days I’d boot up WinAmp and just reorder by year of release descending then that would be my master list.

I’d order roughly by feeling but also look at Last.FM to see if I had clearly liked an album more than I expected. I’d also have to take account of albums my wife bought and played a lot I’d liked.

Last was tricky of course because they go by plays, so a 30 minute punky album of 12 songs played through once ranks 6x as highly as that 4-track, 60 min post-rock album over the same hour long period.

I did create a whole section of my website linking into the Last.fM API to pull in all my data and incrementally update. This could use Last’s data to work out the number of tracks on an album so I could prorate the scores. Obviously there’s no timing there.

This did work pretty well but still had problems. For one thing Last’s data kept altering. Albums would keep generating new guids and I’d have to merge stats.

On top of that I could never really work out if there was an algorithm to account for when an album was released in the year vs the plays it got.

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The thing I created is still there but I believe their API has changed so it doesn’t work any more


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This is all really good info, cheers!

Want to try and do something fun with the Last.fm and Spotify APIs, it’s the next bit of the course so we’ll see how it goes

APIs can be annoying to work with. Particularly as my experience of sites is they like the change them which is kind of not what should happen but there you go.

Coding in PHP as I was doing is also tough as it’s not really made for this stuff in the way I think modern things based on Node.JS like Angular are, so probably if you tried it with those you’ll already have really good frameworks to let you work with them.

There’s a whole admin section for linking and updating the albums behind the scenes:

So you can see I tried to make it as easy as possible to update track numbers and years for albums. And there’s the linker, although annoyingly it has to default to the first name of the linking albums so often I’d need to go in after and update that particular album.

The Google and Discogs links are generated automatically from the album’s title and artist and open in a new tab so you got this


say which allowed me to quickly get a year of release and number of tracks.

It’s actually pulling in data now so that’s a surprise.

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Hello folks!

Been working on this on and off throughout the year and have a basic first version up and running!

It’s quite basic in terms of functionality at the moment, just a list you can add to and filter. Next up I want to try and get some more funky things in there like import/exporting lists, pulling data like artwork from somewhere else, and other ranking tools to make the whole thing a bit more useful. Also some styling that isn’t just black, white and grey. But it’s a start for now!

I’m keen to hear any feedback or thoughts, however negative, so let me know how you get on with it!

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My initial thoughts are:

I would like to see a release database underpinning this - would be good if I could type a partial artist or album name and have it suggest the database item and then auto fill the details from that - would be inefficient for every user to need to populate the release date of every item individually as one example why a database would be of benefit.

Also if its free-form entry for all fields then you wouldn’t be able to guarantee that I populate album X with the same details as the next person, in which case you can’t do analytics by album, which would be a pretty essential feature I think.

Think I’d like to have genre tags and album art visualisation options too.

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