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Tips & Tricks Tuesday: Keeping track of new music

Tuesday, January 29, 2013 by Andrew Conkling

If you try to keep up with new music, you know it can be a lot of work! Not to worry: in this week's tip, tom.vanbaarle shares a thorough and simple method for keeping up with new recommendations, and for knowing what to buy.

Bob loves listening to music

Besides using RTM for classic task management, I extensively use it within my music evaluation flow. I buy quite some music and try to avoid any buying mistakes by listening to music upfront, rather than just buying on impulse.

How do I go about this?

  1. I get my music recommendations from three main sources:
    • offline reviews, radio, talking to friends, …
    • online reviews (websites, blog posts, etc)
    • last.fm activity (what are my friends listening to)
  2. How do I transform these sources to actionable RTM items?
    • as for the offline stuff, I just send a mail with the name of the artist and album in the subject line to my private RTM address. I do this as soon as I get the recommendation, in order not to forget about it later on.
    • online reviews and listening activity (in the form of RSS feeds) get routed to my Google Reader account. On a daily basis, I check my Google Reader account and browse/read all new items. If I stumble upon something that I (might) like, I send the RSS item to the same private RTM address. Whenever relevant I already add some tags: who recommended the item, where can I listen to it, etc.

    I do this either on my computer at home, or on my iPhone. When using the iPhone to register the item, I do not add many tags at this point of the process.

  3. I regularly review my RTM Inbox, which I really use as a inbox (in a sense that I want it to be empty after I had a look at it): I add some more tags if not done yet, assign a priority and transfer the item to my listening list.
  4. Once a week, I open the listening list, check the item at the top of the list (which is sorted on priority), look at the tags to find out where I can listen to this album online, I listen to it (just once or several times if needed) and decide whether I want to buy this album (electronically or physically). Based on the 'recommender' tag, I sometimes also read the review again while listening. If I do not (sufficiently) like an album, I mark the item complete to remove it from my list. If I do like it, I move it to the appropriate list (buy or download). In some cases, I add some more tags, like the name of the online shop where I plan to buy it. Then I move on to the next item.
  5. Whenever we go out for an 'entertainment shopping spree' (or whenever I feel like ordering online), I look at my buy list (which i can also access on-the-go via the RTM iPhone app), get the listed albums and check them off my list.
  6. Done, enjoy the music.

Thanks for sharing this tip, tom.vanbaarle! You're our Tips & Tricks Tuesday winner this week.

Do you have a suggestion for our weekly Tips & Tricks post? Got an interesting set-up or idea? Head over to the Tips & Tricks forum, add a new topic, and let us know how you use Remember The Milk. Each week we'll give away a 1 year Pro account to the user whose idea inspires the Tips & Tricks Tuesday blog post for that week.

Posted in: Tips & Tricks