Tracking Favorites or Ratings

Use this forum for HELP at Choral Public Domain Library as well as FEEDBACK
choirguy
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Tracking Favorites or Ratings

Post by choirguy »

I'd like to make a suggestion for the CPDL for the future. I'm wondering if there could be a way for people who download scores to later rate them, for the benefit of others. There are so many resources here on CPDL that sometimes there just isn't the time to search through every piece due to the voicing. That way, someone could do an advanced search for an SATB Renaissance piece, and look specifically at pieces that have the highest rating (e.g. 4/5 stars, 2000 votes).

This is a feature that would have to rely on user feedback--and hopefully no submitter of pieces would be offended by the feedback on their score (as everything is free).
anaigeon
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Re: Tracking Favorites or Ratings

Post by anaigeon »

While this idea might appear attractive, I'm not sure a single note would be enough - and I don't like your last remark.

A score (or an editor) might be popular because it is beautiful, easy to read, etc.
Or because it can be sung by mean amateur singers.
Or because its lyrics are about a popular subject (Ave Maria, etc).
Or because it is significantly better than average - but this is so dependant on personal taste and/or analysis !

Now about this "no submitter of pieces would be offended by the feedback on their score (as everything is free)."
OMG, I've heard this argument so often... Get this soft rather than this one, because it's free ; then when doing a comment about a bug, you get the answer "don't forget it is free".
I don't like this idea.
Scores on cpdl are free because people like to share music they love - not because they feel allowed to publish bad scores.
Indeed there are bad scores, I agree. But I don't think this is acceptable because they are free - it just demonstrates a lack of musical culture.
DaveF
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Re: Tracking Favorites or Ratings

Post by DaveF »

There are of course already ways of leaving feedback - by a note on the contributor's Talk page, although that isn't visible unless you take the trouble to go looking for it, and isn't automatically linked to any particular editions, or on the discussion tab of a particular work's page. I feel that my own reactions to feedback would depend very much on its nature. If, for example, I was given an unexplained 1 star out of 5 for an edition, especially one of those which have caused me a great amount of labour (my Browne and Fayrfax editions spring to mind), then too right I'd be offended. If, on the other hand, the feedback were helpful: "The F in Alto 2 bar 44 should be a G"; "Bass bar 156, et in terra pox should read pax" then I'd welcome it. But there would be no point in keeping that feedback attached to an edition once the problem was fixed.

I feel (subjectively) that a general "rating" is too subjective, and too vague, to have any real meaning. I've had comments over the years on my editions that range from (I paraphrase) "Wonderful, stupendous, invaluable" to "Completely useless".

And again there's the question: who on the entirely voluntary staff of CPDL is going to implement such an enhancement to the system?

DF
carlos
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Re: Tracking Favorites or Ratings

Post by carlos »

Similar features have been suggested and discussed before:

viewtopic.php?f=17&t=5134
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=4485
DaveF wrote:And again there's the question: who on the entirely voluntary staff of CPDL is going to implement such an enhancement to the system?
As you will see in the second thread above, there's a relatively simple solution based on an extension ("ReaderFeedback") that would allow users to rate a work (but not specific editions of the work, unfortunately).
anaigeon
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Re: Tracking Favorites or Ratings

Post by anaigeon »

Rate a work, that looks as useful as "what is your favorite composer" and all this sort of questions... :?
pml
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Re: Tracking Favorites or Ratings

Post by pml »

In other words, about as useful as a chocolate teapot...

Want to hear the funniest (oddest) piece of feedback? I got an e-mail telling me the first phrase of Mozart’s Mass in C minor which I’d edited was wrong, as after several notes there should be a D sharp. Explanation: the guy couldn't read the key signature of 3 flats, which indeed, enharmonically, contained dis note...

In other words, there’s no problem essentially with having ratings – except for the level of hits and downloads of each of the CPDL editions being too low to establish reliable ratings if only one in a hundred downloaders also takes the time to assess and rate the file. Then factor in the disparate levels of interest in certain composers irrespective of the quality of the typesetting or the musical worth of the composition to begin with.

Cheers, Philip
vaarky
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Re: Tracking Favorites or Ratings

Post by vaarky »

A couple of other possible approaches to throw into the mix:

* Allow people a button that says simply Favorite: that way people can indicate which editions or scores they are wild about, without distinguishing whether they don't like a score or merely haven't tried it -- no insult to anyone who isn't Favorited. YouTube found, for example, that people rated at the extremes of the 1-to-5 scales and switched to Like/Don't Like (or whatever the latter phrasing is).

* Enable rating only by contributors who have been in good standing and have made more than some number of score or wiki editing contributions here (I don't love this idea, as it seems exclusionary and also would diminish an otherwise small pool of voters).
CHGiffen
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Re: Tracking Favorites or Ratings

Post by CHGiffen »

Unfortunately, the page counter (counting the number of times a page has been viewed) was disabled/removed back when we went to a distributed system of Contributor and Visitor sites (we had no simple way of getting total results), because the number of views divided by the elapsed time since a work page was created would give an interesting measure of the ongoing interest in a work (total number of views is a relatively poor indicator of popularity, since not all works appeared here at the same time).

If the page counter were reactivated (and zeroed), we could still do something like that with the results just from the Contributor wiki: COUNT/DT, where DT = smaller of elapsed time since counters were zeroed or the elapsed time since page creation. It's still more of a measure of popularity or interest and probably doesn't say too much about the quality of the work (and nothing at all about the quality of any editions), but it would be an interesting statistic to have.

The overwhelmingly most popular work (from the earliest days of CPDL at ChoralWiki) was the Mozart Ave verum, and I'd be surprised if it weren't still the most popular work measured this new way.
Charles H. Giffen
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Manager of ChoralWiki
User pageTalk pageComposer page

Early Choral Music? Zephyrus (I sang 12 seasons 1992-2004 with this group).
choirguy
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Re: Tracking Favorites or Ratings

Post by choirguy »

anaigeon wrote:While this idea might appear attractive, I'm not sure a single note would be enough - and I don't like your last remark.

A score (or an editor) might be popular because it is beautiful, easy to read, etc.
Or because it can be sung by mean amateur singers.
Or because its lyrics are about a popular subject (Ave Maria, etc).
Or because it is significantly better than average - but this is so dependant on personal taste and/or analysis !

Now about this "no submitter of pieces would be offended by the feedback on their score (as everything is free)."
OMG, I've heard this argument so often... Get this soft rather than this one, because it's free ; then when doing a comment about a bug, you get the answer "don't forget it is free".
I don't like this idea.
Scores on cpdl are free because people like to share music they love - not because they feel allowed to publish bad scores.
Indeed there are bad scores, I agree. But I don't think this is acceptable because they are free - it just demonstrates a lack of musical culture.
Yes, there are many reasons a score could be rated favorably. And there are many reasons why it might be rated unfavorably. Here in the United States, we have a saying that says, "Where there's smoke there's fire." If a piece has enough "likes" or "stars" or "visits," chances are that it is being downloaded because it is a good score in many categories.

Regarding my last statement, what I was trying to say (this might have been lost in translation) was that in rating a score negatively, a submitter could be insulted and choose to take their score away, when just having it in the first place, as a free resource, is important. That isn't an insult or a lack of musical culture on anyone's point--it's what really happens when people feel insulted.

I've worked with a nationally known director who edits his own published music series, and listened to him complain to an audience that a score from the CPDL was used by a choir. There was no discussion about the fact that some of his income comes from the sale of published music in his series (Tradionally, we call that a conflict of interest). That was a situation where an "authority" was criticizing the authenticity of CPDL scores. I'm not doing that.

But if you're honest...when you're using a work from the CPDL, if there's an error somewhere, you're more inclined to forgive that error because the original resource is free, rather than a score that you've paid for. Believe me, as a teacher in an American public high school, I am VERY grateful for the CPDL, specifically because it provides free resources at a time when financial resources are on a decline (and the cost of published sheet music, either on paper or as e-downloads) continues to rise.
anaigeon
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Re: Tracking Favorites or Ratings

Post by anaigeon »

I'm too grateful for what is published on cpdl.
However I think there is always a way to tell the truth without beeing insulting (of course !), but conversely I don't think that a remark about some point should be taken as an insult.
Just an example : spacing between systems should be greater than spacing between staves of a system - that's not always the case. I could give many more examples of bad editing practice.

I've got similar remarks years ago when publishing on my site, and I've consequently improved my scores, I think that's better than saying "don't tell me anything because it's free".
I've also learnt much from a little book that I got on amazon for less than 10 $ !!

As for me, I don't think the number of scores should be the *only* goal (and I don't mean this is the point of view of people who manage the site).
Personnaly I sometimes find scores of interesting pieces that I don't download after having seen them, just because they are desperately bad :-(

This said, it's just my point of view, of course.
vaarky
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Re: Tracking Favorites or Ratings

Post by vaarky »

I think it would be helpful to have a Help page that has some generally-agreed (e.g. let's avoid the subject of barlines!) Tips for score layout of the types mentioned here, such as:
* remember that scores might be used under a variety of circumstances, including poor lighting, so fonts or notes that are too small may be difficult to use
* many singers punch holes in their music to use 3-ring or similar binders--leaving adequate room in the margins prevents holes from interfering with viewing notes
* leaving more space between systems than there is between staves provides an important visual queue to help singers find their own part
* using brackets or braces to visually associate similar voiceparts together helps singers find their own part (e.g. in SSATTB music, using braces to indicate the two soprano and two tenor parts)
* labeling staves with the specific voice part; this is especially useful when there is a change in the voice parts (e.g. a new page starts a new section with 3 voices, when previously the work had 8 voices)
I'm thinking this could live in a place like Help:Score layout tips. Thoughts?
anaigeon
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Re: Tracking Favorites or Ratings

Post by anaigeon »

Very good idea !
vaarky
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Re: Tracking Favorites or Ratings

Post by vaarky »

I've started a first draft at http://www.cpdl.org/wiki/index.php/Help ... ayout_tips -- please provide suggestions especially for additional items!
vaarky
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Re: Tracking Favorites or Ratings

Post by vaarky »

(I've also added a suggestion to put page numbers in predictable places and measure numbers once per system.)

Anaigeon, what is the book you found helpful?

What do people think of the approach of indicating how many people have clicked Favorite for a particular Work? Would that be a sufficiently non-controversial way for CPDL to start seeing what the data is like?
anaigeon
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Re: Tracking Favorites or Ratings

Post by anaigeon »

This one http://www.amazon.com/Essential-Diction ... 0882847309
price : 6.95, that's really cheap, isn't it ? :o
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