Rate Your Music

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Type of site
Database and community
Available inEnglish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish
OwnerHossein Sharifi[1]
Created byHossein Sharifi[1]
Alexa rankIncrease 3058 (April 2019)[2]
RegistrationOptional and free
LaunchedDecember 28, 2000; 18 years ago (2000-12-28)[3]
Current statusActive

Rate Your Music (or RYM) is an online collaborative metadata database of musical and non-musical releases and films which can be catalogued, rated and reviewed by users.

History and features[edit]

Rate Your Music was founded on December 24, 2000 by Seattle resident Hossein Sharifi, whose corresponding site username is "sharifi."[4][5][6] Unlike Discogs, focusing on electronic music, Rate Your Music was in its beginning more rock oriented,[7] before gradually integrating every other genre. The main idea of the website is to allow the users to add albums, EPs, singles, videos and bootlegs to the database and to rate them. The rating system uses a scale of minimum a half-star (or 0.5 points) to maximum five stars (or 5 points).[8] For example, Irish rock band U2's album Songs of Experience is rated 2.62 out of 5 stars or points,[9] while the American boy band NSYNC album Home for Christmas has 1.43 stars out of 5.[10] Users can likewise leave reviews for RYM entries as well as create user profiles.[11][12] Rate Your Music is generated jointly by the registered user community (artists, releases, biographies, etc.); however, the majority of new, edited content must be approved by a moderator to prevent virtual vandalism. Rate Your Music has a userbase of nearly 600,000 and indexes over 3,700,000 releases by over 1,255,000 artists.[13] Browsing and registration is free and a subscription plan is available with additional features as expanded chart metadata.[14]

RYM 1.0, the first version of the website, allowed users to rate and catalog releases, as well as to write reviews, create lists[15][16] and add artists and releases to the database. Over time, other features were added, like cover art, a community board (forums) and private messaging.[1] On August 7, 2006, RYM 2.0, a completely new version of the website was launched, introducing features like the possibility to add track lists, labels, catalog numbers, concerts and venues.

As a result of rising expenses, the website ceased relying solely on donations in 2006 and began receiving revenue from other sources. Namely, the two changes were commission-based links to online music retailers, and Google AdSense links (which registered users can elect not to view).[17][18]

In May 2009, Rate Your Music started to add films to its database.[4] RYM 3.0 development was announced in July 2010,[19][20] with an RYM 2.5 release appearing in July 2013 that included updates such as a 'works' feature for classical music compositions, separation of DJ mixes and mixtapes, and split album support.[21] January 2014 marked an announcement that RYM 2.5 and 3.0 would be worked on simultaneously, of plans to split the music and film side of the site into unique domains, and that RYM would be incorporated into the company name 'Sonemic'.[22]

In November 2015, Rate Your Music launched an IndieGogo crowdfunding campaign to fund "three new sites devoted to discovering music, films, and video games",[23][24][25] Sonemic, Cinemos, and Glitchwave respectively. The fundraiser was 122% funded on December 30, 2015, with $67,552 raised. As of December 2018, the sites are in the fourth stage of beta,[26] available to be browsed publicly and accessible to test for members who have joined Rate Your Music before July 11, 2017.[27] Rate Your Music's data will be fully synced with Sonemic when the latter site fully launches;[28] "Sonemic is the next version of RYM, with a new name, new logo, and hundreds of new features/improvements/bug fixes."[29]

As of April 2019, the top rated album on the RYM charts was Radiohead's OK Computer,[30] while the bottom rated album Tom MacDonald's Deathreats.[31] In 2014, the second highest-rated album was English rock band Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon.[8] According to RYM, Canadian experimental music collective Godspeed You! Black Emperor's Slow Riot for New Zero Kanada "the greatest EP of all time."[32]

RYM has a list of the best albums of all time. This list has 1,000 albums.[33][34] Many of the albums include those by English rock bands The Beatles, Joy Division, Pink Floyd, and The Smiths.[33][8][12] In a list of albums covered by American rock band Phish, all but Waiting for Columbus are in the top 700.[35] Other lists can include "best albums of the year," "favorite trap rap songs," and "Odd-Time Library: A List of Songs in Odd Times" (dedicated to distinctive time signatures).[15][36] Tonedeaf's Al Newstead described user rockdoc's list on American artist Andy Warhol's album covers both "exhaustive" and "comprehensive."[37]

Japanese psychedelic rock band Acid Mothers Temple's album La Nòvia (2000) ranks highest of the Acid Mothers Temple discography on RYM.[38] American singer-songwriter Anita Baker was the most consistent R&B singers of the decade 1980s.[39] The highest-rated song by the English rock band Blur is "The Universal."[40] In 2016, American singer-songwriter Johnny Cash's cover version of the American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails song "Hurt" ranked #9 on Top Singles of the 2000s list.[41] Canadian heavy metal band Infernäl Mäjesty album None Shall Defy is listed as the 73rd best album for 1987.[42] Albums like South Korean folktronica artist Mid-Air Thief's album Crumbling gained attention through online music communities like RateYourMusic,[43] where it was 17th on the user-determined list of best albums of 2018.[44] On the same list, Haru Nemuri's LP "Haru to Sharu" achieved 39th.[45]

RYM posted an entry claiming the Canadian indie rock band Arcade Fire would release the song "Everything Now" 1 June 2017.[46] English drum and bass band Rudimental song "Sun Comes Up" listed it as "drum and bass," "liquid funk," and "deep house."[47] The Coals album Tamagotchi (2018) was categorised as "chillwave" and 12th in that genre.[48] Rate Your Music indicates there is only one known copy (a 1927 78) of Long 'Cleve' Reed & Harvey Hull's "Mama You Don't Know How / Original Stack O' Lee Blues."[49] Also, American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan's The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan is estimated to be worth $20,000-$30,000; British punk rock band the Sex Pistols' "God Save the Queen/No Feeling" $12,000-$20,000; and American punk rock band Misfits' Horror Business $2,500-$10,000.[50]

As of April 2018, it had over 40,000 user-created lists ranging from "popular lists" to "ultimate box sets," which can comprise music genres like Belgian techno, neoclassical dark wave, and mumble rap.[16]

In December 2011, there were approximately 370,000 user accounts on Rate Your Music.[51] Around one half of the people visiting the website come from the United States, the United Kingdom or Canada, the other half primarily comes from Western Europe (especially Scandinavia and the Netherlands), as well as from Poland, Russia, Mexico, Brazil and Australia.[1]

Music projects[edit]

From 2004 to 2016, Rate Your Music allowed a select number of unsigned artists to host their MP3 files of recordings on the main server. Members of the site's community released several tribute/cover albums as free downloads.[52]


RateYourMusic has been received generally favourably. In a review for American musician Yves Tumor's album Safe in the Hands of Love, The Brown Daily Herald's Katherine Ok associated plunderphonics with "crate-digging, list-obsessed “Rate Your Music” users."[53] Centuries of Sound founder James Errington said "[he consulted] websites like Rate Your Music and Acclaimed Music to pick top hits" for his year-by-year mixtapes of the 20th century.[54] The Daily Star's Deeparghya Dutta Barau called it "one of those hip sites that offer functionality over aesthetics."[55] Evolver.fm's Eliot Van Buskirk recommended to "Keep a wishlist on rateyourmusic.com."[56]

Flashmode Arabia staff commended RYM as "a fantastic way to discover new music" but critiqued its user experience.[57] Hypebot staff found Rate Your Music "it’s snobby and multilingual and people come to show off their various incredible music collections. I’ve loved it for ages."[58] JamBase's Scott Bernstein noted it "compiles fan ratings."[35] Covering the Japanese band Fishmans album 98.12.28 Otokotachi no Wakare, The Michigan Daily's Sayan Ghosh opined the "classic music lover’s past-time of perusing through internet boards such as Rate Your Music."[59]

M.O.V.I.N [UP]'s Maurício Angelo praised RYM as "the best guide to discovering new music, in all styles, of any tempo."[24] Newonce staff was critical stating "Extremely ugly visually (its creators like the consistency: RYM has not changed the layout to this day), but quite useful."[60] In a retrospective on the American rock band Duster, Noisey's Brian Coney described their discography "a muted legacy of life-changingly Good Music that has rewarded bummed-out indieheads with a penchant for Soulseek and RateYourMusic genre lists in the intervening 17 years."[61] Pigeons & Planes's Adrienne Black favoured the forums with "if you haven't already spent half your day exploring the above, there are the highly active, engaged threads to dive in to."[15]

Selecting "Logan Rock Witch" from Richard D. James Album as their favourite Aphex Twin track, The Quietus's John Doran remarked "this should result in something that sounds like a mad man’s breakfast of kooky cacophony. (And a quick look at Rate Your Music reveals that plenty of self-professed AFX fans actually do see it this way."[62] Radio Wave's Karel Veselý enthused about Rate Your Music and Discogs as "[t]he cult music portals."[63] In an interview with PopMatters, American electronic musician Skylar Spence answered he would use Discogs and RateYourMusic to find "a lot of cool, old, hidden treasures that way."[64] In response to Swedish symphonic metal band Therion's album Beloved Antichrist, Stereogum's Ian Chainey figured "extremely fickle user bases of Rate Your Music, Encyclopaedia Metallum, and Prog Archives all rate Therion’s albums highly."[65]

Appraising Kairon; IRSE!'s album Ruination, Stereogum's Doug Moore saw that the band "built a big following on Rate Your Music by combining the slightly heftier variants of prog and pysch (sic) with shoegaze."[66] While detailing the history of the band Lightnin 3, Stereogum's Nick Patrin found "Rate Your Music, exhaustive as its user-built catalog is, comes up empty for the band and the label alike."[67] Likewise, Patrin found Australian electroclash artist Dsico's entries on RYM and Allmusic are "incomplete ghost pages."[68] In a piece concerning Mark E. Smith, Patrin declared This Nation's Saving Grace "the album that Rate Your Music still ranks as their best by a sliver as of less than 24 hours after Smith’s death."[69] Commenting on the release of Retribution Body's album Self Destruction, Tiny Mix Tapes's Lijah Fosl pointed out "a reminder that “dark ambient” is more than just a random rateyourmusic.com categorization.[70] Wired's Andy Baio deemed it "quirky."[71]

See also[edit]


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External links[edit]