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  #1  
Old Apr 27, 2010, 09:09 AM
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Default 5 Star Ratings

My own personal opinion for giving 5-Stars, is that it should be a LONG TERM contender:

"Is this still going to be enjoyable and amazing when I listen to it 10 years or 20 years from now?"

Example: Super Mario Bros music passes a 20 year test, everyone still loves it = worthy of the 5 star.


For the rating scale in general, I use the middle of the scale as the STARTING POINT (2.5 stars) as "this just sounds Normal/Average/Expected".

So if it sounds a bit above average it goes up to a 3, if it's REALLY good then a 3.5 or 4, and pretty freaking awesome bumps up to 4 or 4.5

If it's kinda bland and uninspired, it goes down from 2.5 or 2, and it's gotta be completely sucktastic to get a 1.

Your ratings are yours to do what you want with them of course, but try to use a long term view of "Am I still going to be amazed by this a few years from now?" when dishing out Fivers.
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Old Apr 27, 2010, 09:37 AM
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I don't know how you determine what you will still enjoy in the future. My tastes always change and I have no crystal ball. I always rate things for the here-and-now, especially since I can change the ratings at any time. Nostalgia certainly weighs in on my enjoyment of any track at any time, so even albums I enjoyed more in the past still have a better chance. Though it's worth stating that some of my old ratings here at VGMdb may be inflated.

For rating albums, I use a rough relative scale based on number of songs I enjoy as well as how much that I enjoy them. Naturally, longer albums tend to get higher ratings provided the level of quality is kept up. I also weigh heavily in favor for 5-star tracks, since a 5-star track means much more to me than several 3s (and even 4s) combined. In the past I often discounted albums for having several crappy tracks, but that became irrelevant since I now very rarely choose to listen to a complete album I've alreay rated when I can have a custom mix in iTunes.

Also, I always keep my ratings as subjective as possible. Unless writing a professional review, it's counterproductive to attempt to be bias-free, especially on a site that uses an aggregate to determine album scores.
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Old Apr 27, 2010, 09:49 AM
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Popularity, even over time, doesn't necessarily mean quality. Trying to figure out something consistant about ratings is hopeless, I think... although I do agree many albums are overrated. As long as no one draws definite conclusions from the aggregated ratings, I guess it's fine.
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Old Apr 27, 2010, 07:03 PM
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The ratings thing is kinda funny for me. There are several soundtracks that have ho-hum type music with the exception of one or two tracks that are outstanding. Do I give the soundtrack a lower rating because the rest of it was just okay or do I give it a higher rating because of those couple of songs that I really liked?

I'm not sure I can wait 10+ years to rate a soundtrack, but instead, I find myself altering my original ratings over time.
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  #5  
Old Apr 27, 2010, 07:45 PM
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I tend to rate a soundtrack based on how I feel after my initial listen(s). Then I might go back later on and change it based on how my feelings have changed.

When it comes to giving something a high rating, I'll usually consider it as an album. If it had three outstanding tracks, and a dozen mediocre ones, it's not going to cruise to the top on those few great songs.
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Old Apr 28, 2010, 07:24 AM
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It should probably be a requirement to write a mini-review if you rate something 5-stars.

I don't like to point fingers, but in this case. http://vgmdb.net/forums/member.php?u=3991 Every single album rated is 5 Stars? Really?
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  #7  
Old Apr 28, 2010, 09:36 AM
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Recording quality & inclusion of certain tracks (or lack of) are key factors in my (almost nonexistent) rating decisions.
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Old May 6, 2010, 08:31 AM
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I think that your votes count more towards the album "Popularity" rating the closer they are to a normal distribution.

My votes are heavilly skewed towards 4 and 5, because I don't usually bother listening to music I don't consider good. I consider a 3 to be mediocre, music towards which I am indifferent. I consider a 1 or a 2 to be music that repels me, or is at least inferior. I'd stop listening to those albums after sampling a few tracks, so I rarely rate them.

This rating scale is quite different than the one Carl is using, where a 2.5 represents average listenable music. I'll give some consideration to changing mine.
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  #9  
Old May 6, 2010, 09:23 AM
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For me, anything 3 and above is good. A rating of 2 means it has a bit of merit, but it's mostly a miss. I push anything I don't like down to the 1 area. I really don't care about keeping track of how much I don't like an album. It's either worth my time to various degrees, or it's not worth my time period.
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Old May 6, 2010, 10:23 AM
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saying a few things that others have already said - i tend to go with 2.5 or 3 as average... and base it mostly on simply how much i enjoy a soundtrack, almost entirely subjective. that's the deciding factor. technical things like the recording quality don't bother me significantly, unless it's really obviously bad. missing tracks sucks though and i sometimes deduct a star (or more) for that. (case in point)

that said, most of my ratings are 3.5 and above. wouldn't make sense to actively seek out and listen to music that i'm not going to enjoy!

also, i don't ever pay any attention to ratings on albums as a mark of their quality. i think the ratings business is more interesting as a way of demonstrating your musical taste. it's interesting looking at other users ratings, what they consider good/not good, etc. it's a nice way to find common ground.

regarding tastes.... they do change over time, though you can change your ratings as well if you wish. that said I've found my musical tastes have been fairly consistent for the last 6 years. i've only changed ratings on a few albums from what they were initially (sometimes there's a grace period of "omgthisisawesome" or "idontlikethisthatmuch" before you become adjusted to an album.)
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  #11  
Old May 6, 2010, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaleb.G View Post
I really don't care about keeping track of how much I don't like an album. It's either worth my time to various degrees, or it's not worth my time period.
As the general tendency is to only give out good ratings and just ignore bad albums altogether, that makes it even more important to take a moment to give the crappy ones their deserved rating.

Last edited by Carl; May 6, 2010 at 01:46 PM.
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Old May 6, 2010, 02:06 PM
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The albums I'll most likely rate are the ones I own phisically, because I tend to not listen too much to an album I still don't have so that I can get it at some point and still enjoy it regardless of how much I pay for it. But then again, I only hunt the albums I really like, so like other people, my ratings tend to be high (though I will not ignore rating bad albums)
For me, a good average album is around the 3.5 mark, with my main criteria being how much I enjoy an album overall (say, if a really good album has a garbage track I'll still rate a 5; case in point, deathsmiles). However, lately, I'm starting to think about considering other factors (good performance, sound quality, good compositions even if I don't enjoy them that much) and shifting my ratings slightly more towards the center.
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  #13  
Old May 6, 2010, 06:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl View Post
As the general tendency is to only give out good ratings and just ignore bad albums altogether, that makes it even more important to take a moment to give the crappy ones their deserved rating.
Agreed. When I say "worth my time", I mean in terms of re-listening. I'll certainly give low scores where I feel they are due. =}
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  #14  
Old May 26, 2010, 03:26 AM
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Much like Secret Squirrel I tend to give high ratings as I only get the soundtracks because I really loved the music to begin with.
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Old May 30, 2010, 10:16 PM
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1=Trash
2=Okay (most likely a one-hit wonder)
3=Good
4=Great
5=The Best

A 5-star rating for me usually has a unique sound, sounds like the best thing I've heard in the genre, and no dud tracks or flaws. An album cannot have 1 bad track and get 5 stars.

I am still working out the difference between 4.5 and 5 star albums. Ninja Ryukenden -G.S.M. TECMO 1- is a 5 star worthy cd, but the mastering of the volume is way too low; so, it gets a 4.5 rating.
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  #16  
Old May 31, 2010, 01:11 AM
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I'll give a soundtrack 5 stars even if it has a couple lame tracks. The thing that has the most weight for me is the quality of the songs that are good, and then the ratio of enjoyable songs to lame ones.

The thing I keep in mind is that this is game music; it's extremely rare to find a soundtrack in which every single song is good because there are stupid little 20-second-loop songs that are designed to fit a certain instance in the game. This is just the nature of game music, and it generally doesn't take too much away from the overall experience of a soundtrack filled with really great music (again, ratio). If I were to strictly deduct points from any soundtrack that had even one of these songs, then I'd basically be saying that only soundtracks with about 14 songs all being about 3 or 4 minutes long can POSSIBLY get 5 stars. And there are some soundtracks with ridiculously good music out there that have one or two of these songs (*cough*Soul Calibur III*cough*).

I draw the line at some level of consistency. Otherwise, why only expect every song to be "good" in order to give a 5-star rating? Why not expect every song to be 5-stars in itself as well? Wouldn't that be a "true" 5-star album? To me, a 5-star rating doesn't mean "perfect" or "the best" because multiple things can receive 5-star ratings (and there's really no way to measure "perfection" in a song).

I haven't gotten around to rating everything I've listened to yet (or even fully listening to the soundtracks I really love), but I see 5-star ratings in the future for a number of soundtracks. Like Soul Calibur III ♥
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Old Nov 14, 2010, 04:42 PM
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Presently, what matters most to me is just casting my vote on an album, but I've been too generous with the 5-star rating as of recently, so I intend at some point to revisit all the albums I've rated heretofore, and sincerely contemplate what I truly believe the album deserves, overall.

Most of the tracks on an album are either a hit-or-miss for me; I'll either like it outright, or I won't, with few instances of ambivalence in between. With that criteria in mind, I suppose it just becomes a matter of how many tracks are present on the album I like, compared to how many I don't care for, similar to what Hellacia's said. Of course, my tastes can change at some point, and there's always the possibility of revisiting an album, only to leave with a few more favorites than before.
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  #18  
Old Nov 15, 2010, 12:52 PM
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I think albums should be judged based on their merits, relative to genre and intent. The only albums that deserve 5 stars, in my opinion, are those rare ones that cohere as a single unit, with everything in them being necessary to the whole. I think that Vagrant Story may be the best example of this.

If a soundtrack has some merits, but is still a chore to listen to all the way through, it probably deserves a 3. I wouldn't seek to buy anything I think of as a 3, but occasionally I end up with one anyway.

Something deserving of 2.5 stars is uninteresting but inoffensive, and most likely just bland. Anything lower than that is something I probably wouldn't take the time to listen to, let alone buy. It would have to have serious deficiencies in composition/arrangement/presentation, or be something so utterly flawed in conception that it doesn't deserve the plastic it was housed in.

I agree that the ratings here are generally overinflated, but what can you do? People will vote what they feel like voting.
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