Support ratings


Pretty much all file formats now support ratings within the tags / metadata. These tags allow a user to rate songs, generally on a 1-5 scale. I would like to see Sonos add some features to support song ratings. Here is what I'd like to see:
-Ability to view rating of song currently being played (perhaps 5 light-colored stars somewhere on the display with 3 of them filled-in with a darker color for a song with a ranking of 3).
-Ability to modify song ranking using the Sonos controller when it is being played (similar to the TiVo "Thumbs Up" and "Thumbs Town" feature).
-Ability to sort by song ranking (to play your favorite songs or to play/rank ones that are not rated).
-Ability to have a playlist automatically generated based on rankings and an additional criteria (genre, artist, playlist size, etc.).


I think these features would make it easier to listen to your music collection without searching through it song by song trying to build a specific playlist. I've noticed that many computer software programs now support ratings. I've been playing around with these and really enjoy the effortless song variety it gives.

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96 replies

Userlevel 2
Since I have rated most of my music in Windows Media Player, I would very much like to be able to play all 5 star music (or all 4 or 5 star music) in Sonos, but it currently doesn't do anything with ratings. This would be a wonderful addition to the way you can browse and play music.
Userlevel 2
I hardly ever use Windows Media Player but doesn't Sonos import their playlists like it does with iTunes? I use iTunes and under Imported Playlists one of them is My Top Rated.
Userlevel 2
No, using WMP, the obnly way to create a playlist using ratings is using the program's "active playlists," which are generated on the fly when you select it for playback. Sonos imports them as empty playlists.
I also vote for implementing ratings as outlined in this thread. I routinely use ratings in iTunes to find the songs I most want to listen to. I really miss having this feature in Sonos!!!!
Userlevel 4
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I also vote for implementing ratings as outlined in this thread. I routinely use ratings in iTunes to find the songs I most want to listen to. I really miss having this feature in Sonos!!!!

You can use the rating in iTunes to create smart playlists and import these into Sonos. Long winded i know, but it works.
Userlevel 2
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Me too for the ratings!!!

However, I have a twist to consider...

I have finally finished ripping our music collection, and my wife is just starting to explore all the music with our Sonos system. What we would like is the ability to use the Sonos controller to assign a rating to the song...plus it would be great to assing ratings to the Album and Artist as well via the controller.

My wife and I both listen to the Launch Radio from Yahoo!, and they have the ability to rate the song, album, and artist (from Never play again to Love It!) and they use this to know how to introduce new music into the music stream.

I would love the ability to (at minimum) have the Sonos system *READ* the 5-star rating system (metatag set via any other application) for the song, and would love for you to also *WRITE* that one tag as well. Allows me to on-the-fly-while-listening-via-the-Sonos rate that song.

If you could add Ablum & Artist tagging as part of your music indexing (as I don't think there is an industry metatag for that) I would be very happy.

How I would use the tags?
1) play all 5-starred songs
2) play all 5-starred Songs in the BLUES genre
3) play all 4+ starred Artists

Just helps me put on background music for dinner parties.

Thanks for listening!

Mike
Userlevel 2
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I like Classic Rock, Heavy Metal, and Acoustic music...

She likes Opera, Soundtracks, and Children's songs...

We both have a large number of play lists we are creating but am curious if there might be a way to have a heirarchy within the Sonos Playlists? That way I could create a His grouping, a Her grouping, a Dinner party grouping, etc.

Other aspects of different users wanting to keep their musical preferences seperate:
1) Favorite internet radio stations
2) Ratings (my 5-star list vs. hers)
3) music libraries share (her laptop, my desktop)

I don't think that adding multiple desktops like Microsoft attempted with WinXP is the right answer (that is more problematic then good), but thinking about how to add a level of organization that is user customized could be worth while...

Thanks for listening!

Mike
Userlevel 2
Second after Alarm Clock functions (which I am so happy to see in version 2 and to see so very well implemented) would be a simple "Rate It" function. If I have a big queue and am listening in shuffle play mode, I frequently encounter tracks in my collection that I wish were not and/or tracks I forgot I had that I would like to hear more often. In either event, it would be great if I could pick up the controller and hit a "Rate It" button and scroll through ratings to save in the track meta-data for use elsewhere.

For example:

*****
****
***
**
*
Do not play ever again.


And of course I'd like to be able to have automatic playlists of "favorites" e.g. tracks rated with 4 or 5 stars. And the ability to configure shuffle to play unrated music at random, highly rated music slightly more often and poorly rated music less often:

Positive bias for:
*****
****

Neutral bias for:
***
no rating


Negative bias for:
**
*


But, of course, I would want to control this behavior by simply turning it on or off according to my whim.

Thanks for listening and kind regards,

Aaron Kirsten
This is the one feature, that for me, Sonos is missing.

I would like Sonos' shuffle mode to support an option to be sensitive to the ratings of the songs in the queue. Obviously, this first requires that Sonos at least import iTunes' ratings ;)

What I mean by sensitive would be to play highly rated songs more often. The parameters I see is a minimum rating to be considered "highly rated", a "% percentage of time" to play highly-rated songs, and a time-frame that percentage applies to.

So, I can pick "4-stars", "80%", and 1 hour. And know that over the next hour, 48 minutes will be my favorites, and the other 12 minutes will be songs that I have forgotten about :)

Playing a song now or next would force the queue to possibly be reshuffled to maintain the desired top-rated percentage.

With this functionality, I can simply play my whole collection, and know that most of the time, as I define it, I can hear what I really like, and also hear a bit about what I might like not as much, but not dislike enough to delete.
Userlevel 2
Since I have rated most of my music in Windows Media Player, I would very much like to be able to play all 5 star music (or all 4 or 5 star music) in Sonos, but it currently doesn't do anything with ratings. This would be a wonderful addition to the way you can browse and play music.

Hi davej I also have the media player. So I agree with you. 😃
Playing music by rating would be great. Changing/creating the rating using the Sonos controller would be even better. It would help me explore (and filter) my collection even more efficiently than I do now.

Many software players support the ratings tag. Unfortunately, I'm not sure that the Sonos software would be capable of changing the rating (editing the music file) from the controller. But it would be a great feature!
Userlevel 2
The lack of this function is the only thing that stops me from buying Sonos TODAY. It seemes like a great product, but lack of rating is a big minus for me.

I have 1000-2000 albums (15000-20000songs), and use rating daily too find the songs i want too listen too. A must have in a product like this.

Windows Vista will have rating on songs. Would be nice if Sonos could work together with Vista. If u give a rating in Vista, it will update in the Sonos remote, and visa verca. Even if Sonos get it`s own rating-system/tags, it will be a huge upgrade from today.
Userlevel 2
Hi,

I´m not sure if this issue was already posted here, but I´m strongly interested to get a possibility to show a rating (1-5 stars) in the flac tags of my whole collection.

This would be very helpful to identify the best songs of each ripped cd of the whole music collection.

Regards,
hasenmann
Hi,

I´m not sure if this issue was already posted here


If you're not sure, may I suggest you try the "Search" tool at the top of the forum.

I've merged you with the main thread on this which I found by typing "ratings" into the search tool.

Cheers,

Keith
Userlevel 2
At the simplest level I would like to be able to nuke a particular track or album with a simple choice on the playlist/que. Ideally this would set a flag that I can use with some other tool to pull that track/album from my storage.

Doug
Doug S,

That's a tough one because a fundamental guiding principle is never write on the user's file system. The flags would need to be stored somewhere.

The flags could be stored as part of the SONOS library index, but then you would need a function to list the flagged tracks and a manual operation to delete them from your hard drive.
Userlevel 2
I love the "Sonos doesn't write to shares" concept. I even set my shares up as "read-only" just in case. Basically, don't mess with my music!

But it sure would be great to record ratings, play count, last played date, etc. for each song.

Sonos could do this by having a special writeable share. No music on there. Just metadata. Maybe a shadowed folder structure with .INI files in place of the music files themselves. Or whatever implementation makes sense. This would take some development effort by Sonos, but it would be worth it. Music management is beyond the scope of Sonos products, but rating songs while they're being played just makes sense.

-=og=-
Userlevel 2
Natural and intuitive - good technology makes complexity disappear (at least on the surface)
Userlevel 2
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With the release of v2.5 showing that deeper integration into the music services is completely doable, I'd like to suggest the following: enable the ability to rate the Song, Album, & Artist via the handheld controller.

As I'm listening to music, I'd like to be able to rate how much I like the song, the album, and the artist. For my own personal library, it really helps when creating random play lists (all 5-start albums). But the real advantage comes from the music service (Rhaposdy & Napster...I'm not sure if Sirus does this) as they use this rating to help tune the music delievered. Imagine the music on the Channel adjusting to how you react to the song. The songs/albums/artists presented on the Rhapsody/Naptser Recommends listing would be better tuned to your music desires.

The best usage of this that I have seen so far is from Yahoo! Music (music.yahoo.com). I've been using Rhapsody with my Sonos and my Sansa MP3 player...and via my MP3 player I can rate the songs which makes Rhapsody adjust what is delivered to me. I'd like the same ability from the Sonos handheld controller.

I love listening to the Channels as it provides me a way to explore new music. I know I can add a song that I like from a Channel to My Favorites, but it would be really handy to rate the song/album/artist. That way I could quickly use that rating to find more music from that ablum/artist to also explore.

Thanks!

Mike
Userlevel 2
I would very much like to see 5-star rating in the SONOS software. Rating would also allow another cool feature to be implemented into the software - automatic playlists. For example, a playlist which includes all the songs rated 3 stars or better etc... If one could also include rules concerning the genre one would have a hell of a system! 🙂
Userlevel 2
I agree - this would be a great feature, I use an intelligent playlist within iTunes based on the ratings I assign to songs - it would be excellent to be able to assign ratings from the controller:) 🙂
Userlevel 2
That's a tough one because a fundamental guiding principle is never write on the user's file system.
While that is very safe and sensible (especially from the POV of Sonos's Legal Advisors!) IMO the absence of
editing facilities imposes unnecessary inconvenience on the Sonos user and limits the potential of the Sonos
system.

a) User Inconvenience...

Say I'm sitting at the Desktop Controller and notice that a track title is mis-spelled or I want to rename/combine
an artist who appears in several different guises or, as several others have asked, add a "Star Rating", or...

At the moment I must...

1) Fire up a separate Tag Editor - I use EAC for ripping and Media Monkey for tagging but because my PC doesn't
have enough space to hold all the music that's on my NAS, my "global" MediaMonkey DB will probably be out-of-date.

2) MediaMonkey: File, Add/Rescan my NAS library to bring my global DB up-to-date.

3) Wait for several m..i..n..u..t..e..s **

4) Locate the item in my Tag Editor (Not always as straight-forward as this might sound!)

5) Correct the mis-spelling / Star Rating / whatever

6) Back to the Desktop Controller: Music, UpdateMusicIndex...

7) And Wait... for another several m..i..n..u..t..e..s

If it's still not quite right, I might be able to avoid steps 1+2+3 before my next batch of edits, but I must still
wait for the UpdateMusicIndex scan to complete each and every time. Operations which only take a few seconds for a
reasonable number of tracks on a PC's local disk can take orders of magnitude longer for thousands of tracks stored
out on a LAN.

But take a step back: I don't actually /want/ to keep this track+artist information in any /separate/ database. In
general, I only want to enjoy the music on my NAS through the "reassuringly-expensive" Sonos system that I bought.

Now, if the Desktop Controller*** (with all appropriate "Don't blame me if I destroy your music" warnings) could do
the editing directly (on both the tracks AND the internal Sonos DB), it should be able to avoid steps
1+2+3+4+6+7**** and so be much more convenient and save this Sonos User precious leisure time.

The larger the music collection, the more likely that customers will seek out a Sonos solution but the more likely
that they will want to correct something and/or reclassify their collection.


b) Limiting Sonos potential...

At the moment, the Sonos system is restricted to only those tags supported by third-party tagging programs. No
matter how much we users may want a feature, nor how much Sonos would like to provide it, if it requires a new type of tag then it simply can't happen until/unless some third-party decides to implement it - and implement it to suit Sonos's precise requirements, regardless of how unimportant it may be to their own program.

Sonos, Be Brave! Don't hold yourselves back! After all, "Embrace and Extend" is a proven route to World Dominance!


** Yes, there are ways I can marginally speed up this process but each requires more user effort and hence inconvenience.

*** Or a separate Sonos tag-editing application

**** Because it should know exactly which artists/albums/tracks have been modified, so it should not need to perform a /full/ music scan.
why are you using EAC and MediaMonkey. Why not just use one? That would eliminate many of your steps, time etc.

4) Locate the item in my Tag Editor (Not always as straight-forward as this might sound!)

5) Correct the mis-spelling / Star Rating / whatever

6) Back to the Desktop Controller: Music, UpdateMusicIndex...

7) And Wait... for another several m..i..n..u..t..e..s
Even if you could use the Sonos Desktop controller (SDC) to do this, here is the scenario
4) still need to locate the items in SDC
5) still need to correct misspellings etc
6) still need to update index. I understand what you're saying, a smarter reindex. But there are issues. The files that you would be editing in SDC do not reside on the ZPs, they are just files on your PC/NAS. The Sonos index however is *not* on your PC, it's within all the ZPs. So when you do a reindex, it's not your desktop doing any work, it's the ZPs that are rescanning. I accept that it's possible for the ZPs to somehow add one file at a time if directly told which files to add. But the ZP is not aware of SDC edits, and the SDC is not aware of the ZP index (I know the SDC reads the index real time but it does not maintain the index). I'm just trying to explain that it's not as easy as it first appears.

So I would say that the only saving might be with the reindex.

However I *do* agree that Sonos should be able to write data (maybe in a sidecar file) so that it can record things like last played, most played, etc. The tags however must use standard tags, not proprietary Sonos info.

At the moment, the Sonos system is restricted to only those tags supported by third-party tagging programs. No
matter how much we users may want a feature, nor how much Sonos would like to provide it, if it requires a new type of tag then it simply can't happen until/unless some third-party decides to implement it - and implement it to suit Sonos's precise requirements, regardless of how unimportant it may be to their own program
Not correct, Sonos supports the 'standard' tags. This is not limited to third party apps support. So Sonos can only support those tags that are supported by the tags (I know that is a circular reference). These are usually published by some non-profit for open source, or Company for proprietary. But if they're proprietary, Sonos can't change the codec. More importantly, I use my digital music on Sonos, in my car, portable etc etc. Sonos *must* obide by standard tags and not use non-std tags for that reason.

Most of the features you are referring to are not tags (artist, album etc). I like the Sonos sidecar file approach. Sonos can do it's weird and wonderful thing, and have all these settings, personalization, workflow improvements etc that you're asking for in these files and my digital music files are preserved *and* useable on other equipment. These sidecar files are also easily backed up because they are so small. Other options are to use ini files (or xml) or write the Sonos database to disk (like a sqlite db) that can also be backed up, edited etc. The point is, this data *cannot* go into the source files for many reasons. Even apps like MediaMonkey, iTunes, WMP etc use this approach. The std tags are written into the files, the 'other' data is in their database.

I'm not opposed to Sonos writing proprietary data (I actually support it), but keep away from my tags - I'm not an exclusive Sonos user and do not want to be locked into Sonos for life. What if something better comes along...

db
Userlevel 2
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I suspect we all have uniquely convoluted mechanisms for managing our music and the mechanisms to rate music. I agree being able to adjust ratings from the controller would be highly valued even if they results weren't reflected back into iTunes. IMO, That's an iTunes problem.

Ratings get most COMPLEX when they are used to create playlists. To simplify I'd propose a simple ratings filter applied to the Queue rather than to playlists. In the same way we toggle repeat, shuffle, on the queue I envision a simple option to apply ratings to the queue in a similar manner. ALL the tracks residing in the queue would be filtered out of the play mix when they come up based on the filter active at the time. So no matter what means we use to get material into the queue, this filter lets us dynamically thin up/down the items that actually play.

Ideally such a filter would supports the usual, play 1 star or greater, etc. but also the ability to conjunctively play the unrated songs as well.
Userlevel 2
why are you using EAC and MediaMonkey. Why not just use one?
Because I have found that EAC gives me the best quality rips and, perhaps more importantly, always reports any problems, rather than silently ignoring errors. (Maybe MM does too, but I came to it after EAC)

For speed, I rip to (and set the initial tags on) my local PC drive using a "local" MM database. Then, I copy the finished FLAC to the NAS and reindex the Sonos. Because my PC drive isn't large enough to mirror the NAS, the odds are that any file I want to amend is no longer on my PC, and since I don't always take the time to rebuild my MM global database whenever I copy new files, that's the reason I need to rescan the NAS before I can start editing.

Note my gripe is not with MM - it's the hassle (to me) of being forced to go outside the Sonos system.
Not to mention the danger (to Sonos) of constantly "encouraging" users to look at alternative audio software.

Even if you could use the Sonos Desktop controller (SDC) to do this...
4) still need to locate the items in SDC

Err, my original post did start... "Say I'm sitting at the Desktop Controller and notice that a track title is mis-spelled.." :)

5) still need to correct misspellings etc
Now if only Sonos could handle this one!

6) still need to update index. I understand what you're saying, a smarter reindex....
Yes, and my point was that the SDC does already know everything to make a smarter reindex possible. The SDC+PC already has access to both NAS files and Sonos index (ok, RO and maybe not directly); already communicates with Sonos boxes to tell it/them to reindex; and should be able to remember which files it has edited!

Even if the re-index isn't handled by the PC, in theory there's no great difference between the commands: "Reindex - but I refuse to tell you what might have changed" and "Reindex - and these are the only ones that I have changed". Indeed, a human would probably find the second task easier. Admittedly the shuffling might be a little trickier for the Sonos, but nothing near as tricky as tasks the boxes are already doing.

Anyway, the (lack of) speed of the UpdateMusicIndex is a minor irritation compared to the "I'll let you see all these spelling mistakes but I won't let you correct them - you must fire up another application"

(Not to mention the "...and I won't let you play them through your PC either - you must fire up another application" 😮 )

I'm not opposed to Sonos writing proprietary data (I actually support it), but keep away from my tags
I didn't mean inventing new proprietary tags for storing current information under different headings. But at the moment /all/ information in my Sonos DB does come exclusively from tags in the .FLAC or .MP3 (except for folder.jpg). And most players should silently ignore any tags that they don't understand?

But I care less about /where/ any extra information might be stored than that a new killer feature might be delayed or not even attempted - "oh, we'd love to do that, but there isn't any /standard/ tag to hold that information"

But that's enough kite-flying for today!