Second Draft of Free Music Player Specifications ready

Jeff Mitchell mitchell at
Tue Nov 3 18:23:42 PST 2009

Peter van Hardenberg wrote:
> Hi all,
> Sorry I didn't get a chance to respond again to the last version of the
> thread. Thanks for posting a second draft of the specs. They're shaping
> up nicely and this version is a good improvement.

No problem.

> Deciding on floats for rating seems like mostly a good decision. If a
> number is > 0 and < 1 it's a pretty safe conclusion that it's a float
> rating. On the other hand, it means any track rated maximally will be a
> "1", which is widely used as a very low value. Perhaps the solution
> there is to say that the float value must include a decimal point and a
> zero to eliminate ambiguity of interpretation.

Good idea. I'll put that in the next draft.

> I'd like to voice some concern about writing two forms of rating to the
> file. Also, though Amarok tracks two forms of rating, I don't think the
> current automatic vs user distinction makes sense. For example, if I
> introduce automatic rating to Songbird through an extension, I don't
> think it would be good for me to overwrite the existing Amarok inserted
> value created by a different algorithm. If you feel strongly about
> including it, perhaps instead of using two specific forms of rating
> (auto and user), we could consider arbitrary types of rating.


I have an alternate proposal, based off of yours: what if the automatic
ratings were identified by the algorithm used. The algorithm could
include User as the canonical rating, and Critic ratings -- I really
like that idea and could see interesting uses for it -- as human brains
are an algorithm unto themselves. Then algorithms could be identified by
name. That way, if two players wanted to collaborate on a rating
algorithm, they could easily interoperate; otherwise, no one will
(hopefully) clobber each other. So you'd end up with something like:

FMPS_Rating_User (canonical rating, set by user)
FMPS_Rating_Algorithm_Supercool (collaborative)
FMPS_Rating_Algorithm_AmarokAutorating (player-specific)

Of course, nothing stops one from putting in a frame like

> Amarok_AutomaticRating
> Songbird_AutomaticRating
> Songbird_Rating_User:pvh
> Songbird_Rating_Metacritic

but one could be assured that if it starts with FMPS, it adheres to the



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