Genres and the quality of the directory listings

Discussion in 'Feedback' started by More Support, Feb 15, 2016.

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How happy are you with the quality of the directory listings ?

  1. Very Happy

  2. Happy

  3. Satisfied

  4. Unhappy

  5. Very unhappy

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  1. More Support

    More Support Level 2 Support Staff Member

    Prompted by a post in another thread we would like to start a discussion about genres and the quality of the directory listings in general.

    We have a large directory of radio stations and sorting them in a meaningful way is important so that listeners can find good stations that are playing the genre of their choice. We currently sort stations by genre, featured status and then listener count. If the station is hosted by us it is considered featured.

    Although this method generally worked well when we started it may not be the best method now we have grown and list so many stations. One major problem is that stations can use 6-10 genres to list their stations but they can only play one genre at a time. So for example a station may occasionally play an ambient track but mostly play dance music. Having this station always listed under the ambient genre page is not helpful for listeners trying to find ambient music. Some stations may even try to game the system by listing 10 popular genres even if they never play them in order to get more listeners.

    Possible solutions :
    • Limit the number of genres we allow for each station.
    • Implement a ratings system.
    • Allow sorting of stations other than the default.
    We're interested to know what both broadcasters and listeners think about the issue. Please discuss below.
     
    Support likes this.
  2. hender

    hender New Member

    I am broadcaster!
    Other internet radio directories (catalogs) allow adding no more than 3 or 4 genres for a radio. Therefore, I plead for limitation of genres to 4-5 for one radio station, I think you should go this way in the near future, like other Internet radio directories(catalogs).
    However, in the future, if this method does not help in a situation like the one that happens now in the ambient and chillout genres, where rock and dance music are playing, additional methods may be required.
    Please, tell me more about the methods of Implementing a ratings system and Allowing sorting of stations other than the default, that you offer! How should they work?
    Nevertheless, I stand for limiting the number of genres to 4 or 5 for one radio station.
     
    More Support likes this.
  3. More Support

    More Support Level 2 Support Staff Member

    Thanks hender. Limiting the amount of genres we recognise is probably the easiest "fix" we could implement and we are certainly considering it. We are going to try and gather some more feedback to see what other people think too.

    Ratings and sorting systems would be something we would need to add. There's nothing available right now to do either of those things but they are something we are considering adding in the future. We imagine the sorting system would just be a way for listeners to sort the stations. For example sort by listeners, bitrate etc...A ratings system would probably involve some sort of "Like" button much like facebook.
     
  4. Severus Snake

    Severus Snake New Member

    I think that you should add one more moderation method. If a radio station is in the genre, it has nothing to do with, owners of radio stations playing music in this genre may make a complaint to you and you will have the right to consider this case and ask the owner of the radio station playing music in a different genre to remove it from this genre. You may fix this rule in the next thread or this forum thread.
     
    hender and More Support like this.
  5. More Support

    More Support Level 2 Support Staff Member

    That could be an option but we would be concerned it would take too much time to run. It would be better if we could have a more automatic method that didn't require any intervention by a moderator. Something like a ratings system would help with this as stations that get "upvoted" or "liked" more than others could be ranked accordingly and in theory the poorly listed bad stations will drop to the bottom of the list and the good ones will rise to the top.
     
  6. DJD

    DJD New Member

    I'm a broadcaster and yes if people are abusing the genres to get more exposure it's not fair on people like me that only list relevant ones. I'd say limit them it's the fastest easiest solution. Oh and don't forget to check out
    https://www.internet-radio.com/station/household/

    Thanks ..
     
  7. More Support

    More Support Level 2 Support Staff Member

    Thanks for the feedback. The next question would be how many genres is enough ? i.e. What should the maximum be ?

    Shoutcast.com seem to only allow 1 genre which I think is probably too little. But what about say... 3? or 5?
     
  8. DJD

    DJD New Member

    I use six all justifiable but could get away with 5..
     
  9. hender

    hender New Member

    5 genres enough!
     
  10. Vetha

    Vetha New Member

    Should be less than 10
     
  11. TheBigSkull

    TheBigSkull New Member

    This is such an easy issue to fix, simply limit the genres to 3 or 4 TOPS and then add a category for stations playing many genres and if they list in the "EVERYTHING" category they can't list in other categories because they are listed as everything already, this will cure the problem. Just sayin.

    Del Lee
    The Big Skull
     
    Severus Snake and DJD like this.
  12. Severus Snake

    Severus Snake New Member

    Maximum 4 genres.
    Genre top 40 must select automatically by quantity listener.
     
  13. More Support

    More Support Level 2 Support Staff Member

    Thanks for all the feedback. There seems to be a consensus that 5 would be a good limit to implement. We'll post back here once any decisions or changes have been made.
     
  14. DanceUK

    DanceUK New Member

    I would agree, that 5 would be plenty of genres. Stations will have to choose wisely that is all :)
     
  15. More Support

    More Support Level 2 Support Staff Member

    We've just implemented a trial limit of 6 genres based on the feedback here and elsewhere. We'll see how it's received by listeners and broadcasters. Any more comments below are welcomed.
     
  16. Megaton Cafe Radio

    Megaton Cafe Radio New Member

    Would have been nice to tell us all about those things by mail or else BEFORE implementing them...

    I'm Rob from Megaton Cafe Radio.
    As you may or may not know, we're a station playing original vinyl records from 1920 to 1959.
    Our genres includes 20s to 50s Decades, Jazz, Big Bands, Swing RnB Oldies and Game
    And yes with thousands of vinyl records, this is exactly the styles and genre that we are playing from the 20s to the 50s, always been known to by all our listeners,
    and by thousands of fans on our main Website, on our Facebook page, on our Google+ page and everywhere else online

    Until now...
    Without notice we found out that our styles and genres were reduced to 6, but 6 words...
    considering we are also using the words: "20s and Big Band" which are NOT in the official Internet Radio genre list right there we lost 3 words...
    So all we trully had left is: Jazz, 50s and Decades

    I will tell you something, as we are paying a fortune per month to you guys now as we speak...this was unacceptable.
    Not the 1st time that we experienced such a poor service and support here at Internet Radio...
    With many outages... cuts, changes without notices and consent, without asking 1st...
    No need to say that we aren't very happy now about those changes for the fact that it reduced listeners drastically 1st,
    #2 no one asked us about this via mail or such.

    So we will say this, if it is the way it is now with genres and styles, then reduce your monthly fees by a good amount.
    As it is not a professional service when you come down to this, but hey, with lower prices, then problem solved.
    As of now, it is 100% certain we will not continue paying that amount here for that kind of services.

    Thank you all
    Rob
    MEGATON CAFE RADIO
    http://www.megatoncaferadio.com
     
  17. Megaton Cafe Radio

    Megaton Cafe Radio New Member

    We just found out a major gimmick as well with payments, packages, and of course ratings, genres and styles.
    So we are now gonna talk about it, the way it happened to us.

    Explaining The Loophole Money Gimmick:

    Internet Radio will present to you "packages" for total number of listeners, bandwith, total storage and Library space.
    The thing is, at 1st, when anyone begins, you'll mostly go with starting packages around 10$ to 25$ a month etc.
    That is exactly what we did, but then, having a domain, website, Facebook, Google pages etc, it didn't take long of course, we went over with the numbers of listeners
    and bandwith usage, so we received an email telling us we were, and to upgrade to a more expensive package... that is what we did right away.

    Things were running perfectly fine,and we had around 50 to 120 listeners steady, all the time so we upgraded to one of the most expensive package.
    Now this package isn't cheap, close to a car payment each month, so naturally one will expect good and steady quality and highly professional services for that price.
    Which was the case, for a while...

    What happened then is simple...
    We ended up with the genre we play on our radio station removed from us, and then dropped from around 100 to 10 listeners average.
    So what we decided to do this evening is also very simple...We aren't gonna pay FULL $ package for around 10 to 15 listeners.
    We then clicked on the package to revert to the starting package, which is cheap and affordable, but... It wasn't there any more on the page.
    Only the top 3 most expensive packages were there for us to choose from.
    So basically, You guys at Internet Radio gave us the opportunity to have a very good listener base, and made us pay way more every month by having us upgrading our
    package to most expensive ones each time, until without warning or asking 1st, you removed more than half the genres we were in, dropping all our listeners to almost nothing but...
    Still keeping us into the loop of paying the most expensive package out there...

    Of course we understand that it can be resolved by contacting you, emails, support etc, which we did, but still as a professional company now? it doesn't work at all.
    Is it a mistake that we are stuck with only top 3 most expensive packages? An error? a Bug on your page? ...Maybe, but no matter what, since we are here:

    Please contact us ASAP, as we will discuss this problem, and the "If" we stay here with Internet Radio, and what package we will now switch to.
    We also hope that this fiasco will be fixed quickly as there is NO way we'll pay more than 100.00$/month as we speak for such services.
    Thank you.

    Rob
    MEGATON CAFE RADIO
     
  18. More Support

    More Support Level 2 Support Staff Member

    Hi Rob

    We're sorry you feel this way but we want to assure you that our aim isn't foul play, "gimmicks" or "loopholes". We'll address your points below :

    We sent an email out to all stations who used more than 6 genres inviting them to this thread as you can see from the posts above. We then made a post about the change when we made it. By "Watching" (or making a comment on) the thread anyone could be notified on updates. This seemed like a good and open way to start a discussion. See below for some recommendations on improving your particular genres.

    Our prices and billing model isn't related to this threads topic of genre quantity and we're not sure why you brought it up here but basically good quality servers and bandwidth aren't cheap and by charging for the actual bandwidth used seems a fair billing model. There are plenty of other radio hosting companies out there who will sell you an "unlimited" package for $10 a month but their service and uptime will likely be poor. Also remember you can stream with codecs like AAC which use significantly less bandwidth than MP3 for the same quality.

    Yes we did have some downtime 3 months ago (around the new year) which was unfortunate and out of our control but before and since then our uptime has been (and continues to be) very good. Our data centre provider has since then invested heavily in extra network redundancy to help mitigate any issues like that in the future.

    To say we have "many outages... cuts, changes without notices and consent" and this is "not a professional service" is unfair and not true. Our uptime is very good (except the DDOS at christmas) and we always reply promptly to your emails and forums posts.

    There is no "Loophole Money Gimmick" here and your listener count is currently at 35 as of writing this. We'll explain how your specific station can improve: By re-ordering your genres the 6 genre limit will likely have little effect on your listener numbers. Currently you have them set to "20s 50s Decades Big Band Jazz Swing RnB Oldies Game" but we would recommend "Oldies 50s Decades Jazz Swing RnB 20s Big Band". This is because "Oldies" is a popular genre and isn't in your top 6 and is likely where a lot of your listeners are tuning in from. "20s" and "Big Band" aren't in our genre list (although we could add them if you like?). We're not sure why you list the "Game" genre as this is usually used by computer game music and would likely disappoint listeners who tuned in to your station from the game genre page expecting something else.

    We hope you understand that there's no conspiracy here and that by limiting the amount of genres our aim is to improve the quality of the directory. Allowing too many genres invites spammy listings and in fact shoutcast.com only allows 1 genre with their Shoutcast 2 server listings. Obviously we think 1 genre only is too little but talking with listeners over email we do need to have some sort of limit. By picking 6 genres (as discussed in the posts above) we hope that broadcasters will be more focused and accurate with their genre choices which will please the listeners. The better the directory the more listeners we should attract and retain which benefits everyone.

    Regarding the package selection in the control panel. We make an estimate based on previous usage and then offer the 3 most closest packages to that. There's no point in offering someone who only uses 300GB a 5000GB package and vica versa. If you think you really are going to use significantly more or less then you can of course contact us and we can move your package for you manually.

    We got your email and have replied to that also. We are happy to discuss any billing issues you may have by email so if you could keep the discussion in this thread to the genre limit it would be appreciated.
     
  19. Megaton Cafe Radio

    Megaton Cafe Radio New Member

    #1 -Yes indeed, we went down to 10 listeners in the last week, back up to 30 (as we speak) which is still WAY less than the usual 50 to 100 we had everyday. And this due directly because of genre change, and no we didn't receive an email.

    #2 -Why we were using Game? Well sir because we are Megaton Cafe... A station playing TONS of game soundtracks including the whole Fallout series,Bioshock series, Rockstar' L.A. Noir, Mafia 1 and 2, GTA 1 to 5 etc and so on!!
    Most of our Facebook fans ARE huge Fallout series fans and all games above, which can be played on PC and all consoles as well, and not just "computer games" but game "soundtracks" also described on your own genre page.

    #3 -We NEVER talked about a conspiracy here at all, not even once... We talked about a gimmick where there was NO way for us to revert to a LOWER package, when clicking on your own package button.
    Only the top 3 most expensive package were, and still are visible as we speak, the lower and cheaper packages cannot be seen, and therefore forces the user to only use those 3 packages or it forces users to contact you instead, if they want to revert to a starter pack since they lost half the listeners which for us, is a gimmick as of course we will not pay $107.00/monthly for 30 listeners when we had around 75+
    We would love to believe it is not your fault, so fix it if it's an error, or bad design of the system configuration for packages. As it is broken as we speak. Let users "Click" on the package they want on the page.
    Like we said, once we upgraded to one of the most expensive pack over the months, yesterday, after we clicked the button to revert to one of the starter pack, there was NO options as only the 3 last and most expensive ones were visible. Don't just assume what is good for users, by forcing them to "contact" you for you to change it "manually"... Let them decide what package they need and want to pay for. I think it is clear enough to understand.

    #4- As for outages, read again, we suffered 3 outages for a total of 9 minutes downtime and yes this recently as seen on your very own Internet Radio report:
    05/03/2016 22:31:41 05/03/2016 22:35:41 4m
    05/03/2016 22:36:41 05/03/2016 22:39:41 3m
    09/03/2016 09:30:41 09/03/2016 09:32:41 2m
    The 4th one yesterday was us restarting to try to fix the genre, as we thought at 1st it was a bug and not a change on your end.
    Again, we talked about it as for the services of a very expensive price we pay here, compared to cheap or even 100% free elsewhere.
    We never mentioned the forums or email services, as yes you are doing a good job by replying quickly, thank you very much for that.

    #5- Last but not least, No we didn't receive that email regarding the sudden genre change, and since we saw it here on the forums, it came to our attention that we had to ask ourselves a very important question...
    As we can see here, there is a poll, and only 5 voted, the 6th ones being us at Megaton voting yesterday *Very Unhappy* because of the changes.
    Now in our book, making that kind of change, for 5 users, no matter if there's more, still only 5 voted on that precise question, and 90% voted satisfied in February before the genre change.
    So obviously since almost every voters were satisfied, why the changes? everything was working fine the way it was.
    We at Megaton Cafe are also on other forums, and usually it takes quite a LARGE amount of users to push devs, admins, or CEOs to take that kind of decision which we didn't really see here.
    Quite unusual to see 5 votes with the power to put a station like us working for almost a year day and night with hard work and spending a lot of money... going back to square one, almost instantly with listeners.
    Hence why, you do, i hope, understand why we weren't very happy yesterday.

    To conclude, so far we worked, again, very very hard to contact our fans on Social media, domain, and by emails to try to fix it, and it is slowly coming back, but still as we speak, far far away to what it was before the changes,
    As we lost half our genre listeners. We will need to re-think our styles, as obviously you are telling us the changes will stay like that, so it means restarting the station one more time.
    And no sir, it wasn't unfair for us to be very displeased with that sudden change. But, we will try to smile today, and still think positively.

    Robert
    MEGATON CAFE RADIO
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2016
  20. More Support

    More Support Level 2 Support Staff Member

    Thanks for the reply. We've moved your billing/outages related comments to our email thread. As mentioned above we request that this thread stay on topic of genre count.

    We're sorry to hear you didn't receive the email. It's odd because plenty did as it provoked the above discussion and more by email.

    Fair enough. When we tuned in we didn't notice any game music playing but that's probably just the times we happened to tune in.

    The poll wasn't very popular so it wasn't taken into account. Changing the genre limit was based on the discussion above and emails we received. The consensus was that a 5-6 genre limit would be a good idea hence us trialing the change.

    As mentioned above this is a "trial limit" and will not necessarily stay this way. So far your complaint is the only one we've had and it has of course been noted. We notice you haven't implemented our recommendation of using "Oldies 50s Decades Jazz Swing RnB 20s Big Band" as your genres. We're pretty confident you will see an improvement in listener numbers. The main reason being "Oldies" is a very popular genre in the site you're currently not appearing under. We are also open to new genre's if you wanted to request any ? 20s? 30s? 40s? Let us know.

    Please see our email regarding your non-genre related points.
     

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