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  #1  
Old 11-06-2007, 03:02 AM
David Tucker
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Default Do You Love Your Music?

<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://www.zunerama.com/articles_023.php#071104_zune_story' target='_blank'>http://www.zunerama.com/articles_023.php#071104_zune_story</a><br /><br /></div><em>&ldquo;We're less than two weeks before the Zune 2 launch, and our forums are flaring over upcoming changes in how Zune users rate their music tracks. Currently a five-star system is used to rate your Zune music - a time-honored system used by iPod, Netflix, hotels, car safety tests, and Zagat guides everywhere.&rdquo;</em> <br /><br />So there&rsquo;s been a lot said about the <a href="http://www.zunerama.com/articles_023.php#071104_zune_story">new rating system by Microsoft for the Zune</a>. Zunerama&rsquo;s forum users obviously don&rsquo;t like it. I know several people here don&rsquo;t like it. On one hand, I understand everyone&rsquo;s frustration. You&rsquo;re used to a five star system and now you have to totally rethink the way you rate songs. I think a year from now no one is going to notice anymore. <br /><br />Personally I think it&rsquo;s GREAT. A major complaint has been &ldquo;Who would have music on their Zune they don&rsquo;t like?&rdquo; That&rsquo;s a fair question. I do, for one. I often load several albums on at a time and may not have listened to any music from the artists or maybe just heard a piece and thought it was good. And found out it&rsquo;s not. Obviously the music will be coming back off but at least now I know never to get that again. <br /><br />And who keeps music that&rsquo;s a 1 &ndash; 3 on the rating scale anyway? A 3 is maybe mediocre at best. Do you groan when your songs rated 3 stars pop up? &ldquo;Oh man, not this one again.&rdquo; If I&rsquo;m rating a song a 3, I can&rsquo;t imagine wanting to hear it ever. At best, it&rsquo;s just a song I&rsquo;m ambivalent about and wouldn&rsquo;t bother giving it a rating just to give it a 3. And if I like it, well, I can distinguish between my favorite songs and songs I just really like. So I can give it a 4 or a 5 easily enough. But either a 4 or a 5 is a great song that I&rsquo;d be happy to hear. <br /><br />So really, I think the new rating system makes more sense. If I hear a song that I dislike, I just give it the &lsquo;hate it&rsquo; rating and can ditch it next time I sync. If I hear a song I love, I can make sure to give it a heart. And if it&rsquo;s just mediocre and I really don&rsquo;t care one way or the other, well, I just can choose to not rate it. Is this starting to make sense to anyone else?
 
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Old 11-06-2007, 04:57 AM
pocketDragon
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I’m firmly entrenched in the “I don’t know yet” camp.
I currently use the five star system extensively:
  • FiveStars: are songs that I always love to hear and I usually get a little emotional kick from them
  • FourStars: are basically my favorite songs to hear. Usually by myself or with close friends.
  • ThreeStars: are songs that I don’t mind listening to shuffled in the player, or with larger groups of people, or at a party or gathering. Lots of variety, something for everyone.
  • TwoStars: are songs that I may like, but I generally don’t listen to them with others. “They might be giants”, some of my anime soundtracks, and my movie soundtracks fall into this category.
  • OneStar: are songs that I expressly don’t like… but my friends might. So I keep them around “just in case”.
I use these because I like to travel with my entire library, and it makes it both very easy to set up playlists for a variety of situation and to make rating changes on the fly. When you have multiple thousands of songs it’s not unusual to make rating changes “on the fly”. And hey… tastes change.
I think the new system, as much as I know about it, would fit much better with a limited flash device. There you probably would not waste space with song you don't like, or just might want to hear. I know that If I eventually choose to get one of the smaller zunes, I'll fill it first with 4 and above, and then shuffle on as many 3s as can fit. At least If I still can.
I’d love to hear one of the Zune team members discuss this. Particularly their thoughts on how people who currently use the feature will make the transition. My concern is how this will affect my current library. Zune isn’t my only hardware player, and Zune software is not my only computer player. I’m also hoping that they haven’t broken any of the auto playlist functionality for the sake of simplicity.
I’m really hoping they follow the photo team’s mantra of keeping the metadata safe and untouched within the file.
 
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Old 11-06-2007, 02:40 PM
Brothernod
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IMHO the huge flaw in your logic is that you don't distinguish between mediocre songs and unrated songs.

I like having my songs rated, dymanic playlists are hot. But I have a HUGE collection that I built before song ratings existed.

I need to be able to build a list of all my unrated songs, otherwise how can I screen out the like/loves/hates?

I think it needs to be a 3 star system. Hate It / Like It / Love It cause honestly there is a difference between those 3 feelings that I think everyone can grasp. I like scrapping the 4 and 2 stars, well I mean it doesn't make me tingly, but I totally get it, and I think it'll make life easier... but I think they went a star too far, and it's going to hurt the usefulness of the system.


Of course people who like the 5 star system will just make my same argument against me, saying that I'm oversimplifying... but those people are just too anal... <3
 
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Old 11-06-2007, 08:07 PM
Jason Dunn
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I think the problem here is that Microsoft is flying in the face of what the ENTIRE INDUSTRY had standardized upon, including their own Windows Media Player product. I think it's a bad move, though honestly I don't care all that much because I tend not to rate my music very often.
 
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Old 11-06-2007, 08:25 PM
possmann
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I'm in the camp of "I'll rate my music every now and again" and it ain't that often so this seems to make sense - I like it, I could care either way or don't want to listen to that again...
 
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Old 11-06-2007, 09:25 PM
David Tucker
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Hmm, maybe we should start a poll "How often do you rate your music?"
 
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  #7  
Old 11-06-2007, 11:58 PM
Jason Dunn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Tucker View Post
Hmm, maybe we should start a poll "How often do you rate your music?"
If only we had the functionality to do polls! That's still missing from our current setup.
 
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  #8  
Old 11-07-2007, 01:21 AM
David Tucker
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How about a straw poll?
 
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  #9  
Old 11-07-2007, 04:50 PM
Zunerama
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You make a good point in your post. (I linked to your post in today's blog.) We just may find that a three-level system (like it, don't like it, and unrated) works. I think the answer to having a more finite level of detail on it could come down to playlist management. For example, an "All Time Fav's" playlist.

We will see!
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