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 Rating music: a proposal

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SteveL
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PostSubject: Rating music: a proposal   Thu Jan 08, 2009 5:52 pm

The Problem: Numerical Ratings

The Internet Movie Database (IMDb.com) and similar sites enable users to rate films with a numerical score.

Music, on the other hand, doesn't seem amenable to numerical ratings. For example, I would be hard pressed to assign a numerical rating to the Beatles' "She Loves You". I like it, but is it a 6? A 7? An 8? etc. It is difficult to rate because in the back of my mind I'm computing where this song stands in relation to other songs I know (but which I haven't yet rated). To assign a number I have to know what songs are average, what songs are poor, etc., so it seems like a catch-22 that can only be solved by thinking carefully, a task that is perhaps onerous enough to scuttle the entire effort.

I'm not sure why films lend themselves to quantifiable ratings but songs and albums do not; perhaps music is inherently evasive and defies narrow assessment. Yet I think it would be valuable to quantify and compare people's musical tastes in order to facilitate the discovery of all the great music of which one is ignorant.

A Proposed Solution: Rankings

I think one could, with little mental effort, insert a song into a ranking scheme. When one can't decide which of two songs is more pleasurable, they can be placed in the same rank.

For example, assume the following ranking scheme for a music listener:

Rank 1: "Satisfaction", "Red House", "Strawberry Fields Forever"
Rank 2: "Lay Lady Lay"
Rank 3: "She's So Respectable"

Now the listener wants to add "Fortunate Son". All he has to do is decide where "Fortunate Son" fits into the ranking scheme. He could add it to rank 1, 2, or 3. He could also place it after rank 3 (in effect creating a 4th rank). If he judges it to be his favourite song (thus far), he could insert it above rank 1, resulting in this new ranking schema:

Rank 1: "Fortunate Son"
Rank 2: "Satisfaction", "Red House", "Strawberry Fields Forever"
Rank 3: "Lay Lady Lay"
Rank 4: "She's So Respectable"

Also, at any time, he could move any song or group of songs to another rank.

Do you think you could use such a system, were it available on a Website? Of course, rank manipulation would have to be easy and transparent.

Do you think your own scheme would consist of many ranks with relatively few songs per rank, or fewer ranks with more songs in each?

Finally, do you frequent ratings sites like IMDb or Flickster?

P.S. My example uses songs, but I think it would work for albums, too, and perhaps musical artists.
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kubera

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PostSubject: ah   Thu Jan 08, 2009 7:58 pm

I guess it would work but I do not frequent rating sites , (unless its for boobs or something) , because frankly I don't give a shit about someone elses opinion on music as I already know my tastes do not jive with majority,

AKA , the beatles suck the farts out of dead skunks.
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SteveL
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PostSubject: Re: Rating music: a proposal   Thu Jan 08, 2009 8:08 pm

kubera wrote:
I guess it would work but I do not frequent rating sites , (unless its for boobs or something) , because frankly I don't give a shit about someone elses opinion on music as I already know my tastes do not jive with majority,

AKA , the beatles suck the farts out of dead skunks.
A benefit would be that you could explore music new to you that people with similar tastes to yours had rated highly. Criticker.com does this for movies.

It could also work for books, authors, Websites, etc.
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Jonathan

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PostSubject: Re: Rating music: a proposal   Wed Jan 21, 2009 12:52 am

Both of you might want to take a look at liveplasma.com. Type in a band/movie and it gives you a sort of Venn-type diagram showing other bands/movies that are similar in (type?) to your choice. Very interesting.
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SteveL
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PostSubject: Re: Rating music: a proposal   Thu Jan 22, 2009 5:15 pm

Jonathan wrote:
Both of you might want to take a look at liveplasma.com. Type in a band/movie and it gives you a sort of Venn-type diagram showing other bands/movies that are similar in (type?) to your choice. Very interesting.
That is cool.
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