Friday, November 9, 2007
Posted by David Tucker in "Zune Talk" @ 07:33 AM
I understand that some people use the rating system extensively. I don’t, personally. I have always wondered what the point was. On Yahoo, if I rate music, they gave me music suggestions. But it was always very difficult for me to decide. Is this song a 3 star or a 4 star? What about a 5 star? And why would I ever want to rate a song 2 stars over 1 star? I don’t want to hear songs that are 2 stars any more than 1 star. I think Ceaser explains Microsoft’s reasoning very well.
“And when we asked users if they would rate content using the existing system, 90% said that they wouldn’t. So we had to figure out a way to implement a rating system that users both understood and would be likely to use. We tested several different variations, and in the end users gravitated towards the heart/broken heart system, as it put track ratings into more human terms. Hence, the new rating system.” – Ceaser Menendez, Zune Insider
With all due respect to those of you who painstakingly rate your music, you are in the minority it would appear. While I have different degrees of liking my music (some I love, some I just like), it all boils down to if I like it at all, its on my Zune. If I don’t like it, I take it off. I think this is a big deal being made over nothing. If you’re using the ratings to filter your music, it’s just as easy to create playlists to do the same thing.
I’ve seen people who say they use the rating system to create playlists that differentiate between genres. The most common example is soundtracks. I’m a big fan of anime soundtracks myself and I understand the desire to listen to music like that separate from the rock that I have. But the solution is pretty simple. I have an "Anime Soundtrack" playlist to solve that problem. I don’t understand the need to rate music like that differently when you have playlists for it.
I think Microsoft got this right. The people complaining right now are the people who relied on the old system. But most people don’t care to get that granular. It’s a waste of time when I’m at work and a track comes up to try and give every song a rating out of 5. I don’t want to sit there every time I hear something I like and ponder the merits of how many stars I should give it. If I like it, that’s all I need to know.