It has been almost a year since the Zune 2.1 firmware debuted, and with it came the much-debated Heart / Broken Heart rating system. Quite a vocal number of Zune users denounced the simplified rating system, and clamored for the return of the standard 5-star rating system.

Why, though, has there been so much abuse for this system? I was never one to use the rating system very much on previous digital audio players. I did here and there, but never enough to really care. The new Zune rating system makes a lot of sense, if you look at it from a different angle. Consider this: there are really 3 ratings you can employ with the current system:

  1. Heart: Love this song.
  2. Blank: Like it enough to have on my Zune.
  3. Broken Heart: Get this off my Zune ASAP.
Looking at it this way, I have to ask: why the granular need for a 5-star system? Even with the above view, Heart would be the equivalent of 5 stars, blank would be 3 stars, and Broken Heart would be 1 star. What's the big difference between a 4-star song and a 5-star one? With 4 stars, I just mostly love it? Heh?

The current system keeps it simple but doesn't sacrifice as much as people think. I will never rate all the songs I like as "Heart." I reserve those for those kinds of songs- you know what I'm talking about. The ones that really move you, or hold a special memory, or something else that makes you want to have that song with you on a desert island. The majority of my tracks are blanks, because I dig them enough to keep around. I use the Broken Heart to know what tracks to remove later on. I just don't have the need for 2-star and 4-star ratings. But I can say that I use this rating system more than I ever did on previous DAPs.

But what are your thoughts? What is your perspective on the Zune rating system? Has it grown on you, or are you still pining away for the old system?

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