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Noktorn
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:23 pm 
 

Now, I don't believe that numerical gradings should be removed entirely, but I and I believe numerous other writers on the site would LOVE to be able to choose not to rate albums with numbers when reviewing. Half the time when I choose numbers it's more or less arbitrary, and it would be much nicer just to be able to do away with them altogether; but as I said, only as an option, and that others could still rate albums normally.

Ungraded reviews could be removed from the numerical average. So let's say there are 5 reviews, two ungraded, and the others with 40, 50, and 60 percent ratings. So the average would say '5 reviews, average 50%' because the two ungraded ones don't account for the average rating of the album. I think it's a feature that a lot of people would like to have, and god fucking knows it would reduce a lot of drama for the site if people would use it.
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DrOctavia
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:29 pm 
 

Why now? I'm not sure I understand why you would review an album if you can't make an actual judgement on it.
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TheGrimWombat
Nelson Wannabe

Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 3:06 am
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:38 pm 
 

DrOctavia wrote:
Why now? I'm not sure I understand why you would review an album if you can't make an actual judgement on it.


The judgement is in the actual writing, not the rating.

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Noktorn
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:43 pm 
 

TheGrimWombat wrote:
DrOctavia wrote:
Why now? I'm not sure I understand why you would review an album if you can't make an actual judgement on it.


The judgement is in the actual writing, not the rating.


I find it pretty impossible to put an objective number on a completely subjective medium.
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DrOctavia
Do Dark Horses Dream of Nightmares?

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:48 pm 
 

Yes, but the rating is supposed to represent your feeling towards the album. Do you recommend it or not? Eliminating it would just seem to invite pointless, meandering reviews that really go nowhere.

If you've actually arrived at a verdict in your review, what's so hard about assigning a score? What benefits result from not having a score?
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TheGrimWombat
Nelson Wannabe

Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 3:06 am
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:59 pm 
 

Noktorn wrote:
TheGrimWombat wrote:
DrOctavia wrote:
Why now? I'm not sure I understand why you would review an album if you can't make an actual judgement on it.


The judgement is in the actual writing, not the rating.


I find it pretty impossible to put an objective number on a completely subjective medium.


Quoted for truth...

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Noktorn
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 8:04 pm 
 

DrOctavia wrote:
Yes, but the rating is supposed to represent your feeling towards the album. Do you recommend it or not? Eliminating it would just seem to invite pointless, meandering reviews that really go nowhere.

If you've actually arrived at a verdict in your review, what's so hard about assigning a score? What benefits result from not having a score?


Recommendation vs. non-recommendation can be easily ascertained through a review. Let's put it this way: can you REALLY say there's a significant difference between a 75 album and a 76 album? Does the 76 REALLY mean that you would prefer listening to it than the 75? Of course not, because there are many more factors related to whether you like it or not.

For instance, I love brutal death metal. A brutal death metal release just isn't going to probably get a really low rating because I love the style. But other people are neutral or dislike it. Is it really accurate to rate a fairly standard BDM album an 85 just because I'm really into the genre? Of course not, and it gives unreasonable expectations to the reader. Or another album can be generic for its style but still well done for what it is: what rating do you give that? That's a problem I run into all the time. Or maybe I just don't really know what precisely to say it is and assign a number mostly arbitrarily. That's not fair to the reader either.

So by allowing one to ignore the rating system, it allows the reader to draw his or her conclusions as to what it's metaphorically worth. I don't know about anyone else, but attaching a rating is the LAST thing that I do when writing a review, so I can't see why it would affect the writing itself.
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Derigin
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 9:00 pm 
 

I don't think it matters so much if there is an arbitrary number (oh 75% or 76%) but as someone who initially skims reviews, I use the percentage values as a means to determine whether or not the reviewer viewed the album negatively, neutral, or positively. More often than not, when users place a negative or a positive value on an album, I want to read why they did so. If there's no value, I'm less inclined to read it, to be honest. The average of all reviews helps me determine how the majority view the album - I find it helps when recommending albums from less listened to bands. I don't have the time to read every review trying to grasp an idea as to what the judgement of those reviews conclude. Then again, for me the rating is more a personal "feeling" about the album than a judgement on it (the review itself being the judgement). For example:

Quote:
Or another album can be generic for its style but still well done for what it is: what rating do you give that?

well how do you feel about it? If it's generic but done well, rate it on the positive side of neutral. It seems logical that if the album is "meh", then the feeling you will get from it is "meh".

I want to see a list of reviews, and be able to gain quickly from it a conclusion (for example) of "positive, positive, negative, neutral" leaving me with the general idea that "this album is generally viewed positively." From there, by reading the reviews I will determine why.


Last edited by Derigin on Sun Aug 26, 2007 9:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Noktorn
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 9:02 pm 
 

Eh, I'd just prefer someone who reads a review of mine to concentrate on what I actually say, not the number I have to attach to it.
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Derigin
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 9:07 pm 
 

What you say is still profound - in that, it's more or less intriguing to read how others interpret an album. It provides insight into that band's music I did not know before. It's one reason I want to get into writing reviews. However, for the purpose of providing a quick feeling on an album, numerical values work. A review is - as I said - a judgement. If a reader wants to know why someone felt that they had to rate an album 86%, the review is there to give that person a detailed explanation.

I see the reviewers on MA pride themselves on what they write in their reviews - which by all means is well deserved - because, unlike most other music reviewers on other sites (from my own experience) - they seem to strive to analyze to a degree that goes much further than subjective feeling. That should not go uncredited. Yet, for someone who does skim or wants a general (haphazard) summary what the album is like before reading the reviews, the numerical values act as a means to do just that.


Last edited by Derigin on Sun Aug 26, 2007 9:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Noktorn
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 9:12 pm 
 

Well, I suppose I come from a rather different perspective from the average reader, so it would probably helpful in more people would come in and comment.
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Reaper43
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 10:10 pm 
 

Edit: Stupid thought, so it's gone now.


Last edited by Reaper43 on Mon Aug 27, 2007 3:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Sean16
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 3:40 am 
 

I'm all for keeping the numeric rating, as it's still the best way to immediately see how the reviewer feel about the album. If there are people stupid enough to blindly buy anything rated above 80% without even reading the actual text, it's their problem, not mine. And as it has already been mentioned, if one's unable to come with any rating after having written his review, then it's highly likely there's a problem with the review itself.

Then, of course distinguishing between 75 and 76 is nonsense. I'm the first to admit my ratings are approximative - I've got a large grading scale and then the precise number I give depends a lot of my feelings at a given moment. However I think we're all used to it, it's somehow part of the MA legend and changing the rating system would be like changing the red-on-black background, a tiny revolution.

Without mentioning a numeric mark looks prettier than these silly stars you see everywhere ;)
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Reaper43
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 3:48 am 
 

I'll agree that a numeric mark does look better then a star rating. So aesthetic value does factor in as well.

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caspian
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 3:49 am 
 

I think the numeric rating needs to be kept. It's a great brief summary of the review in general, and I think it helps/forces the reviewer to actually give an opinion. Without ratings you'd probably see lots of meandering, going nowhere reviews that just describe the album without really offering any sort of opinion.

And finally, even if you don't like having to put number ratings... it's only two numbers. Surely putting in a rating isn't too hard.

Quote:
Eh, I'd just prefer someone who reads a review of mine to concentrate on what I actually say, not the number I have to attach to it.


I don't see how this is an issue. If you're out to get an opinion on an album (to see whether you should buy it or what not) you're not going to just read the number. You'll want to see if there's things you like/dislike that's in the album- and you can't get that from just looking at the number.

Quote:
So personally i would prefer something more along the lines of a star ranking


No.

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Reaper43
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 3:55 am 
 

I rethought the situation and I'd have to agree with you Caspian, we all know the way the review system works isn't going to change, so why bother? It's fine the way it is although it probably wouldn't hurt to be able to not rate the album numerically if you so choose. Still though is putting in two numbers (perfectly accurate or not) going to cause you so much internal conflict that you implode. I rather doubt it.

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TheGrimWombat
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 4:01 am 
 

Reaper43 wrote:
I rethought the situation and I'd have to agree with you Caspian, we all know the way the review system works isn't going to change, so why bother? It's fine the way it is although it probably wouldn't hurt to be able to not rate the album numerically if you so choose. Still though is putting in two numbers (perfectly accurate or not) going to cause you so much internal conflict that you implode. I rather doubt it.


I don't write many reviews on the basis that I come close to implosion everytime I have to give a numeric grade to an album. ;)

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Cheeses_Priced
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 7:13 pm 
 

I probably wouldn't assign ratings if I wasn't forced to. I don't think of reviews as being judgments necessarily.

I bet 99% of reviews would still have ratings even if they were optional. Only the more 'serious' reviewers ever complain about having to include them, and for every one of them, there's probably a hundred people that think this is Amazon.com. Getting people to write text is a way bigger problem.

The rating/averaging system is irrevocably screwed up anyway because nobody agrees what number is supposed to go with what opinion. At least a star ranking would give some more consistency on that front.

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JoeCapricorn
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 8:22 pm 
 

Everyone is different.

I've seen people who wrote a favorable review of an album, yet give it a 53...

I've seen people diss an album, yet give it a 70.

There are people that dish out 96 percents to every album they review, whether or not it is actually a good album.
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Nightgaunt
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 9:43 pm 
 

All or nothing. No scores or all scored. Makes little difference to me either way. But a mixed system is both unsightly and even more confounding than the present (unstandardized) system to those persons who care more for the grade than for the lesson, I reckon.
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Evenfiel
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 12:20 am 
 

As Nightgaunt said, a mixed system will only make things worst.

I would like to see the rates going to a 0-10 system, instead of 0-100.

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Reaper43
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 12:23 am 
 

That's a good compromise, and more aesthetically pleasing then a star rating.

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Derigin
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 12:25 am 
 

Despite discussing this, there's hundreds of reviews on MA, I doubt the creators (or anyone actually) will go through and change their ratings to a different system... whether it be 0-10 or star ratings.

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caspian
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 2:04 am 
 

Evenfiel wrote:
As Nightgaunt said, a mixed system will only make things worst.

I would like to see the rates going to a 0-10 system, instead of 0-100.


That would fail. People (myself included, i guess) give way to many high ratings, and this would probably exacerbate that. Almost every review would be either a 9/10 or a 10/10.

..Not quite sure why I think that, but I bet it'd happen. People would round everything up.

Quote:
Everyone is different.

I've seen people who wrote a favorable review of an album, yet give it a 53...

I've seen people diss an album, yet give it a 70.

It shouldn't matter if you read the review.

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MMisantropo
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 7:29 am 
 

If one likes a 0-10 system better, there's nothing preventing him to use it and then multiply his grade by 10. To each his own.

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Evenfiel
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 10:20 am 
 

I prefer the 0-10 grading because it's much less arbitrary than a 0-100 one.

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Bash
Talking Meat

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 10:47 am 
 

I like the system the way it is. Don't screw with it.

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PhantomOTO
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 11:52 am 
 

Maybe the problems with ratings could be amended somewhat if the site adopted a guideline for scoring, rather than leaving it up to users to formulate their own systems.

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Noktorn
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 12:44 pm 
 

PhantomOTO wrote:
Maybe the problems with ratings could be amended somewhat if the site adopted a guideline for scoring, rather than leaving it up to users to formulate their own systems.


Yeah, at the very least deal with the 50/70 average issue.
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Metalich
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 9:21 pm 
 

PhantomOTO wrote:
Maybe the problems with ratings could be amended somewhat if the site adopted a guideline for scoring, rather than leaving it up to users to formulate their own systems.


That would be ideal. A 70/100 can change meaning from reviewer to reviewer. For me it means average, like a C grade. But others would consider 50 to be average. A set of guidelines for everyone to follow would be a big improvement, then reviewers and readers will be on the same page.
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caspian
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 2:41 am 
 

Metalich wrote:
PhantomOTO wrote:
Maybe the problems with ratings could be amended somewhat if the site adopted a guideline for scoring, rather than leaving it up to users to formulate their own systems.


That would be ideal. A 70/100 can change meaning from reviewer to reviewer. For me it means average, like a C grade. But others would consider 50 to be average. A set of guidelines for everyone to follow would be a big improvement, then reviewers and readers will be on the same page.


There would be problems with this, though. While the guidelines would work fine for new reviews being submitted, old reviews wouldn't have been written under the same guidelines, and so there'd be a lot of confusion.

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oneyoudontknow
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 3:43 am 
 

caspian wrote:
Metalich wrote:
PhantomOTO wrote:
Maybe the problems with ratings could be amended somewhat if the site adopted a guideline for scoring, rather than leaving it up to users to formulate their own systems.


That would be ideal. A 70/100 can change meaning from reviewer to reviewer. For me it means average, like a C grade. But others would consider 50 to be average. A set of guidelines for everyone to follow would be a big improvement, then reviewers and readers will be on the same page.


There would be problems with this, though. While the guidelines would work fine for new reviews being submitted, old reviews wouldn't have been written under the same guidelines, and so there'd be a lot of confusion.


Nevertheless a guideline would give at least some orientation. The problem is though,
- users have to know it
- users have to be willing to follow it
- the problem with old reviews as caspian has noted

I do not think that it will prevent people from using high scores; see Tyr, Alcest, Limbonic Art etc. bla bla bla.
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Gutterscream
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 8:54 am 
 

Metalich wrote:
PhantomOTO wrote:
Maybe the problems with ratings could be amended somewhat if the site adopted a guideline for scoring, rather than leaving it up to users to formulate their own systems.


That would be ideal. A 70/100 can change meaning from reviewer to reviewer. For me it means average, like a C grade. But others would consider 50 to be average. A set of guidelines for everyone to follow would be a big improvement, then reviewers and readers will be on the same page.


I notice that some users consider 50 an average rating, as if to say the band is performing satisfactorily - not too good yet not too bad. To put it in real life terms, if I gave ten tasks to an employee of mine and he couldn't do or screwed up five of them, I'd seriously start to wonder why I'm paying him. 50 was always a fairly lousy F in my book.
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Bash
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 9:10 am 
 

To me 50 is something that has enough merit for me to maybe listen to it a few times after the reviewing process, or at least parts of it, but is too flawed for me to consider a 'good' album. Same goes for 40, though obviously a bit worse. Basically anything below 40 I would never listen to for any reason, but an album needs to be REAL bad for it to recieve a ranking that low anyway.

The low 60's are sort of the average which I sort of enjoy but probably will forget about pretty fast. 70, which to me is a high rating and I just can't understand the school of thought that it would be the "worthless average", is something I will either come back to every now and then or amused me a lot for its time and later got a bit stale. For an 80 something needs to really click, though.

Anyway, I digress. Whatever rating system we choose will lead to inconsistancy, but removing the ratings wouldn't be good either as the Joe Metalhead's of the world will most likely just go by them anyways. Even I enjoy skimming through band catalogues to, provided there are enough reviews, checking what the consensus about them is.

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Noktorn
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 4:08 pm 
 

60 is about average for me, 70 means it's a pretty good album that I'd listen to on my own time, and 80 is as high as I'll go for an album being generic but an excellent example of the genre.
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wight_ghoul
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 11:22 pm 
 

Not that I review much, but having to put numbers on the review is a definite discouraging factor for me. I don't think it would be unsightly to just have reviews without grades that don't contribute to the score. Looking at scores without reading the reviews tells you precisely nothing about an album anyway.

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droneriot
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 11:27 pm 
 

Gutterscream wrote:
Metalich wrote:
PhantomOTO wrote:
Maybe the problems with ratings could be amended somewhat if the site adopted a guideline for scoring, rather than leaving it up to users to formulate their own systems.


That would be ideal. A 70/100 can change meaning from reviewer to reviewer. For me it means average, like a C grade. But others would consider 50 to be average. A set of guidelines for everyone to follow would be a big improvement, then reviewers and readers will be on the same page.


I notice that some users consider 50 an average rating, as if to say the band is performing satisfactorily - not too good yet not too bad. To put it in real life terms, if I gave ten tasks to an employee of mine and he couldn't do or screwed up five of them, I'd seriously start to wonder why I'm paying him. 50 was always a fairly lousy F in my book.

Exactly, I'd fire him. I don't know how you can see anything satisfactory in something being average. You're not making much sense to me.
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oneyoudontknow
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2007 4:30 am 
 

wight_ghoul wrote:
Not that I review much, but having to put numbers on the review is a definite discouraging factor for me. I don't think it would be unsightly to just have reviews without grades that don't contribute to the score. Looking at scores without reading the reviews tells you precisely nothing about an album anyway.

Even by reading the review and looking at the score some reviews might not tell you much because the content is written by a fan-boy whose intend is to worship the band and to praise it. Criticism cannot be expected by such a person; today: Aghast 95 % :nono:
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caspian
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2007 7:55 am 
 

Quote:
Anyway, I digress. Whatever rating system we choose will lead to inconsistancy, but removing the ratings wouldn't be good either as the Joe Metalhead's of the world will most likely just go by them anyways. Even I enjoy skimming through band catalogues to, provided there are enough reviews, checking what the consensus about them is.


This is another argument for keeping ratings. If I'm going to buy an album by a band, I'll often go to the one with the highest average. (assuming there's more then two reviews on it.)

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MaleficDevilry
Anointer of the Sick

Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2006 2:23 am
Posts: 333
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2007 2:39 pm 
 

I've always just used it like a grading scale.

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