RSVP for Jul 28 Livestream
Home » Forums » The Big OT » Confessions of an Editor

Confessions of an Editor

permalink   Sat, Aug 9, 2008 @ 12:41 PM
Hi. I’m one of the guys that gets the privilege to make Ed Picks here. I thought I’d come clean about some self imposed rules I follow when I choose a song for Ed Picks. This may not interest you but hopefully will explain certain mysteries to some.

These are my rules. To my knowledge other Eds do not know about this. We all have different standards.

1. I’ll start with the obvious, I pick tracks which I believe represent the best of the most accessible music. eg if the music is experimental, I may love it personally but I won’t pick it. (Sorry jaspertine, anchor, fireproof & others)

2. I try to pick new people instead of the same people over and over. I also stay away from people like fourstones, Gurdonark, narva9 and some more because I don’t feel I can listen to them objectively.

3. I tend to not pick remixes of the same song. So if I pick a remix of a song, even though a better remix of the same song may come around, I won’t pick the newer one. If it’s really, really good I hope that one of the other Eds will. (sorry shannon, kaer, trifonic & others)

4. I listen to everything here. Remixes, samples & pells to check for violations. I look for stuff to Ed pick at the same time. This may explain why my picks are sometimes inconsistent in the view of others.

5. Sometimes I pick based on comments by others. When someone like Songboy3(FHCarter3) says it’s an Ed Pick, I’m going to listen to him.

6. I’m not sure how to emphasize this without sounding like I’m bragging but… I like lots of different music. Lots. I pick tracks to make site as accessible as possible to the largest audience. I find it hard staying consistent day to day with changing mood, weather, diet & whatever.

7. I believe the picks are for listeners more than a prize for remixers and talent.

8. Yes I know I’m doing it wrong. ; )

If you have any suggestions or comments please feel free to email at:

(nah I’m kidding) Please leave a comment here. Thanks. : )
permalink   Sat, Aug 9, 2008 @ 1:53 PM
if i don’t feel it, i don’t pick it. It might only be ten seconds in the middle of some unholy mess but that can be enough.

Its nice to be picked but i don’t look for or expect it. And feel no one else should either.

I mix for me and the vocalist only in the hope someone else may like it too.

I don’t care if its predictable middle of the road, pop or dance or whatever . In any case i like to hear someones thoughts integral
to their work and their skill .

Indulgent experiments are a waste of my listening time. Throwing shit against the wall hoping it will stick for me is not making music.

Words/ phrases i cant stand in relation to music: `Its Art … He / She is a genius.

I said once somewhere else many moons ago…. “music is just maths and soul nothing else.”
permalink   Sat, Aug 9, 2008 @ 4:02 PM
I pick seldom. And I try not to pick remixes, which are already well under way to the top of the right hand column “What’s hot right now” in the ”picks” tab. And with a couple of early exceptions, I disqualify myself from picking a small group of people, where it might be perceived as being too circular. Or remixes from people, who have gotten a few picks over the preceding little while. Which unfortunately eliminates some of the very best remixers here. And I refrain from ed. picking genres that I just understand too little, even if I may like a piece a lot.

I do have relatively old fashioned ideas of things being mostly in tune, of chords being somewhat related to the melody, and of the instrumental accompaniment having a genuine relationship with the vocal track (I’m less picky about lyrical content being mismatched).

And I only pick stuff that (in my subjective opinion) is quite accessible to the general public.

Add to that remixes I’ve plainly missed (although I give at least a partial listen to an awfully high percentage).

So that just doesn’t leave all that much to be ed picked by me. Sorry :-(

However a bunch of stuff ends up on my various playlists, where the criteria are more varied and liberal.

And I’m even more liberal with my () recommends.

So that’s the status quo - but I’d be very interested to hear additional or alternate ideas, suggestions or view points.

To be quite honest, the “power” to ed. pick, while clearly a privilege is also quite a pain in the neck, because I feel compelled to listen to a lot more stuff with more attention than I otherwise would. If I was relieved of this power/duty I wouldn’t shed a tear.
permalink   spinmeister Sat, Aug 16, 2008 @ 2:51 PM
addendum: I’m more motivated to leave comments for people who leave comments for others, and more motivated to leave recommends for people who recommend others.

Not an ironclad rule - just a general likelihood. :-)
permalink   spinmeister Mon, Sep 1, 2008 @ 11:43 AM
mmhh - if ed picks are more for the benefit of new ccM visitors/listeners than for the remixers, we may want to ensure that some of our consistently superb remixers don’t get shuffled too far off the top of the list (assuming they keep making great new remixes).

I think that implies amending my above mentioned self imposed rules a bit. :-)
permalink   Sat, Aug 9, 2008 @ 5:05 PM
To paraphrase spin from another time: a thread about edpick criteria - what could go wrong?? lol

Well, I do use artistic merit as a criteria and if a new genius shows up at the site, you bet I’ll do my best to reward them in the hopes they get encouraged to post again (assuming the music merits it - I hope everybody knows that’s the top line). There’s tons of great music on the web with solid playing chops but if you can demonstrate a creative, yes, accessible use of the CC sample pool then you will definitely get my attention.

But all that’s secondary. I listen to several podcasts and try to pick music that will fit directly into their sets to save those folks digging through the rest of the site.

I try my darndest to avoid buddy picks but I too take my playlists extremely seriously. If your track is on my playlists consider it a pick by me.

To the other eds, I know, I know - it really is a lot of work (I’m not being facetious) and I for one am really, really grateful. No one is doing it wrong and seriously, you can take a break any time. spin now that you have the little ‘admin’ label you can always, er, relieve yourself (wow that came out wrong…:)

permalink   Doghouse Riley Sat, Aug 9, 2008 @ 8:13 PM
Thanks to all of you for yor cogent explanations :-)
permalink   spinmeister Sat, Aug 9, 2008 @ 8:20 PM
Quote: fourstonesyou can always, er, relieve yourself :-)
permalink   Songboy3 Sat, Aug 9, 2008 @ 9:21 PM
Quote: spinmeisteryou can always, er, relieve yourself :-)

*giggle!* He said ‘relieve yourself!’ ;O)
permalink   spinmeister Sat, Aug 9, 2008 @ 9:32 PM
I think he remixed the lyrics from the staple singers :-)
permalink   Songboy3 Sat, Aug 9, 2008 @ 9:38 PM
Well, Spin — anything is possible…LOL!
permalink   Sat, Aug 9, 2008 @ 9:42 PM
Quote: teru
7. I believe the picks are for listeners more than a prize for remixers and talent.

I think that’s a great reason to make the choices you’ve made. Excelsior!!!
permalink   Sun, Aug 10, 2008 @ 12:21 PM
I developed the belief that a detailed review may be more fun for the artist than an editor’s pick. I honed that belief further into a fun experience for me when Loveshadow made the great suggestion to write reviews which evoke the place or mood that one experiencs while listening.

I think that the editor’s pick is a very valuable thing for the listener, particularly the listener who may be newer to our site. Yet even though I hold this belief, I tend to make few such picks. I have several reasons for this, including a mild mistrust of my own ear for technical matters.

One reason, though, is that I want to encourage listeners to join the process, sift through the material, write reviews if they wish, and interact with the music.
Even if a listener is neither a musician nor a maker of assemblage,
the listener knows what she or he “picks” in music. I do not argue for the abolition of editors’ picks, because I think there is a ton of objective evidence that uses off mixter are substantially influenced by the editor’s pick.

For me, though, I think that editor’s picks, while important, are less important than encouraging a more participatory experience for the listener at the site.

I like our current “recommends” and review regime, and I like that tons of great mixes don’t get editors’ picks. What I want to continue to encourage is for listeners to join the collaborative spirit of the site, by reviewing our work both here and on their own sites and weblogs.

As for my own work, I like kudos as well as the next person, but I really think that editors’ picks are beside the point as to my work, even if I thought, which I rarely do, that any of my recent work deserved one. People interact with me and my music, both listener and particpant here, and who could ask for more?
MC Jack in the Box
permalink   Sat, Dec 1, 2012 @ 3:05 PM
I thought it might be good to re-ping this thread, as I became aware of some behind the scenes backlash over the “ed picks” and how they are selected (names redacted).

Ed Picks are a way of filtering the large volume of music submitted to ccmixter. If ccmixter was a radio station, one that allowed open submissions of music to highlight and play on it’s station (website), the editors would be the DJs, the people that spend countless hours listening to all the various submissions, and selecting the best (and yes often times their favorite) tracks. ccmixter editors spend a lot of time, volunteered time, taking this role seriously. Or as Victor used to say, the editors are like the employees at a bookstore, where you go in and there’s a table in the front with the employee’s picks on it. Are there other great books in the store? Of course! But the employees are tuned in to what’s new and interesting (at least to them, and their opinion obviously counts for something…they work there!)

I’ve been a member of this community for a long time, and an editor for a long time, and this discussion about the validity of ed picks (and the people that pick them) goes all the way back to the beginning. We used to have a star system here at ccmixter (1-5 stars) which after much back and forth haggling was changed to a “recommend” system (predating the Facebook like! Anyone remember the big thumb?) at my suggestion. People were being accused of nepotism with rating each others tracks. “Hey, Victor gave me a 5 so I better give him a 5, or next time he won’t give me a 5” . It’s a vicious cycle! People are always going to be accused of playing favorites. It’s human nature.

I haven’t made an ed pick since April. I haven’t been around much, or had much time to listen. But I have the utmost respect for those making the picks, because I know they take their role seriously. It’s a pretty thankless job.
permalink   Snowflake Sat, Dec 1, 2012 @ 9:51 PM
Thanks for weighing in Steve. All you give and have given ccM is truly appreciated. Great analogy on the employee picks on the table of the bookstore.

Peace and gratitude.
permalink   Sun, Dec 2, 2012 @ 9:54 AM
I think you guys do a great job. I don’t expect anything different really. The stats don’t lie, but neither does the content they reflect. I think the fact that Loveshadow and Speck are both on the top ten for most ed picks is proof of the balance amongst the editors. The vast diaspora of creativity here is rather well represented, and I feel we maintain a particularly lively, vibrant, and evolving community. Keep it up. I don’t envy you.