"The recent Zune Update a month or so ago added the ability to track your listening habits and reward you for them. Think of achievements on the Xbox 360, except not pedantic ones like listen to every artist that released a single in 2003. These badges are actually quite nice, and display on your Zune Card if you do whatever it is enough times in the previous month. A thousand plays isn't all that hard if you're sitting at your desk all day like us. No cheating, cause we know you'd just leave your player on repeat and turn your speakers off."
It's nice to see some transparency on what obscene amounts of single-artist/album listening triggers the badges, or how much time you need to spend trolling the forums in order to grab the bomb/powerstar rating badges. It's also a nice indication of where the badges are heading. As much as it seems that the badges could only become more obnoxious (especially as the "trivia" feature gains ground), I think it could also be pretty cool. Little treasure hunts ("listen to every song featured in the 'You Don't Mess With the Zohan' soundtrack", or "listen to five songs that feature the Amen break" ) would be a neat distraction from the game of building up playcounts to your favorite artists and songs.