New feature suggestion: add "rating" from external website, for browsing the catalog

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johndoe
Posts: 1
Joined: May 20th, 2020, 12:30 am

Post by johndoe » May 21st, 2020, 8:31 am

Hi,
Currently when browsing the catalog, the only options I see are by:
Author, Title, Genre/Subject, Language.
Then ordering is by date or alphabetical.

This makes difficult to browse for "unknown" books.
If you know what your'e looking for, you will find it,
but if you just want to "browse" and find new books,
there's not enough information

I suggest to add "rating" for each book,
from one or more external websites, librarything.com, or amazon.com,
which will give some extra information about the books.

And then enable also the search/sort using these rating.

Eg.
Show all Genre="General Fiction", where rating of librarything >=4.

Be glad to hear your comments.

Regards,
JD.

TriciaG
LibriVox Admin Team
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Location: Toronto, ON (but Minnesotan to age 32)

Post by TriciaG » May 21st, 2020, 9:12 am

Well, we have no development going on the website at this time, and I'm not sure when we plan on doing any more.

In general we do not allow ratings because it would discourage readers who receive bad ones. But that's not the type of rating you're talking about (I don't think). But I don't see us even adding any sort of ratings for books themselves, since we don't care if they're "good" or "bad" but only that they're out of copyright. :lol:

You can go to the Archive page for each project (link is in the left sidebar). There you can find other options, such as "items similar to this one (based on metadata)" at the bottom of the Archive page. That might be the best place to explore for other works.
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niobium
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Post by niobium » May 22nd, 2020, 4:25 pm

there is also a phenomena when someone notices a lot of people looking at something causes others to look at it too which gives an unfair bias. I suppose there could be a viewcount compared to a 'recommended' number which would be a little more fair.

annise
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Post by annise » May 22nd, 2020, 4:59 pm

Archive has a view count and you can read their description in their FAQs and they have made quite significant changes to the way it works so that counts made before that date are higher than those made after.
The view-counters are not reset so that a book that is 10 years old will have a higher count than those 10 days old,
If someone downloads the complete book in 24 hours that is 1 count
If someone streams a chapter every 24 hours that is the number of chapters added to the count so the longer the book is the higher the count.
Accessing the images counts as a view so if you did a search for say Sherlock Holmes here or at Archive every Sherlock Holmes book that shows up would have it's count increased.
And if someone goes to your book, listens to 10 seconds and runs screaming from the room - that too counts as much as if they download it or sat riveted at their desk
And of course it helps if the book is on the summer vacation reading list :D
Or if people have heard of the book.

So the view counter does not give a measure of the popularity or the listenability of books.

But does that matter really? - our prime directive is to make audiobooks of all public domain books, not just the popular ones.

Anne

ej400
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Joined: September 24th, 2014, 10:26 am
Location: Minnesota

Post by ej400 » May 23rd, 2020, 10:33 pm

annise wrote:
May 22nd, 2020, 4:59 pm
But does that matter really? - our prime directive is to make audiobooks of all public domain books, not just the popular ones.

Anne
That's a great point, Anne.

Also, who is to say one book is better than another one? Everyone has their own tastes and likes different genres of books. I mean, we do have a suggest a staff pick thread, but that's to only suggest some crowd favorites of the month. :D

schrm
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Joined: February 10th, 2018, 11:02 am
Location: Austria

Post by schrm » May 24th, 2020, 5:55 am

here, i just want to add some aspects, which kept me busy when i washing my clothes and couldn't read.
within the last weeks since quarantine in our area... i started some projects, thinking our quarantine is harder and will need longer than i can say.
then it was rather short, actually. and i had much work which summed up to less reading activity, because of pl-backlogs eg, and so on.
so i had some time and i was looking up all of my projects, trying to get some points together, like: what do some readers think, what do we need in our catalogue, but also, for sure: is my hobby work on lv... well, worth the effort? and which lv-work is worth the effort?

and that are some aspects of the ratings, i've read so far:

+ my (very few) solo projects get some very nice feedback in the app and per pm
+ i prefer to bc group projects most of the time, also depending on the books
+ i never got any "bad" critics for my own english recordings

- on amazon: the text-source books' ratings are totally different from my bc projects ratings in the app (and from my own)
- in the google play store or the app itself: since i began to read for lv, some listeners left negative feedback and according to them some people even stopped using the non-lv app because "a young man is stuttering around in way too many projects in german, at the moment", or another: "i deem it really bad to let a young man read in a stuttering manner to make fun of him"(don't get me wrong: maybe this is not me - but i have some problems in that area, sometimes. and what i was reading, some german listeners accept a few german accents, only...)
- more or less every project where i was participating or solo reading in german got a critic mentioning my speach defects. some of which may refer to my austrian accent, too.
- most of these critics make some rather hefty mistakes themselves, in contents (eg ww1 or ww2),grammar or spelling... and well,... what should i think about them, now?
- in a group project where i participated and someone else bc-ed, i have read the first two recordings (and some more). someone wrote: "this reader sounds like being bored out, i cannot listen to him more than 2 minutes". that's a few seconds less then the introductions duration was. and just to mention it: i got really positive feedback from the dpl, when i remember right.
- whe listening to my recordings... most times, i'm really slow in reading. even for my own judging.
- a sci fi book got a hillarious rating, and some google playstore ratings were mentioning: we have many old classics, fairytales and "school literature", but nothing entertaining, nothing for young people.

so, as i mentioned already, as an example:
on the amazon bookstore, one of my most enjoyable bc projects, which i adopted, had as critics for the text: it is boring, elegant from the writing style but irrelevant, like a pretty present with no contents, (adresssing the author) do you really want to bother your readers with something like this?

to my opinion, the exact opposite is correct.
the writing style is like "older than it is", both rural and antiquated, both folcloric and laborius.
the contents are what makes this book "shine", it is like seeing impressionism in paintings for the first time: he describes some minor moments and the whole story shines. he describes in a very tiring mode until a story is there, which couldn't be more fascinating and "completing the picture". he writes about a ghost, half-god-like and demon-like creature, and he really could understand the thing of this creature and is able to help understanding the doings of this creature.

in this case, i adopted the book because i disliked the amazon rating so much... and it remembered me of a teacher.
and reading it again after some months, i have to level down my thinking about this critics style and words - but i love this book, still. and i don't agree with him/her/*, still.

then, some other project of mine, second example:
a rather famous book source, i adopted a project. and i shouldn't have used the recordings, it seems.
but i decided to do so, and i do think, this is the right decision. i don't want to mention my thoughts about this, though. that is another one of my lengthy texts, already..

would we have a textbox with links or critics from another webpage...
what would be the sequences of it?
- according to european? laws, a webpage has responsibility over contents of the linked-to webpage. i do think, we as lv shouldn't be liable for amazon's doings and user critics.
- one could compare the recordings ratings in the app with the ratings of the book text on amazon. one can this, at this very moment. but not because lv is showing that it is a famous book.
- several people can get frustrated, because the accent isn't known to them, they feel they have dificulties to understand out of several other reasons - and "librivox" (not amazon users) recommended this book! (only the first few sections are mentioned - in every german group projects rating i saw in the librivox app. what would be thought of listeners, seeing some amazon ratings shown on the projects catalogue page?)
- some other thoughts for sure, like anne told already: it isn't our aim to select "good books" as text source, only.

tldr:
summarized, while at first i thought: the idea is cool, maybe?
there is nothing left but a big nono, after some thoughts given.
i'm sorry, please no!
Last edited by schrm on May 24th, 2020, 6:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

/reader/12275
cc welcome! my skills improve from pl notes that cite when my english pronunciation is way off, or when words are missing.
thx!


en: lay down your arms, essays on art by goethe

de: sammlung prosa, katerpoesie, allerlei gelehrte

tovarisch
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Location: New Hampshire, USA

Post by tovarisch » May 24th, 2020, 6:24 am

ej400 wrote:
May 23rd, 2020, 10:33 pm
Also, who is to say one book is better than another one? Everyone has their own tastes and likes different genres of books. I mean, we do have a suggest a staff pick thread, but that's to only suggest some crowd favorites of the month.
Who is to say? Nobody in particular. As you point out, it's "some crowd favorites", just like staff picks. The difference is that our staff picks have no low rating. We don't provide "what to ignore" recommendations.

The whole point of ratings is to give some average of (hopefully) many opinions. But herein lies the problem with that. First off, there is no way to ensure that each book get its rating from every listener (or at least from enough listeners to make it statistically relevant). Second, the ratings are usually given when the listener is either satisfied beyond expectations, or dissatisfied beyond expectations, or is a special kind of listener that feels compelled to express their opinion regardless (usually much fewer in number than the other two). Whoever peruses the ratings need to be aware of this and treat the information contained in them according to its worth, which is not easy to deduce, either.

The main problem with ratings (and I think Anne essentially points to that) is that they do exactly what we don't want to do: drive people toward our products with higher number of ratings (indicating popularity), and higher average rating (perceived as indicating quality).

We, as the producers of what would be rated, could also use ratings as recognition of our effort and incentive to keep going. And that, too, has a negative side (and that's why we don't allow unsolicited feedback in the forums) - we want to avoid pushing somebody away from making more audiobooks by unsolicited criticism.

Also, feedback and ratings already exist on some other sites, besides Archive, that provide access to our catalog. Do folks know/use that? I know when I began listening back in 2010 or 2011, I stumbled upon one of such sites. Let them do it, and as Anne says, we'll keep recording. :)

P.S. While I was typing this, schrm managed to compose the thesis above, and I'm posting without reading his.
tovarisch
  • reality prompts me to scale down my reading, sorry to say
    to PLers: do correct my pronunciation please

MARTIN GEESON
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Post by MARTIN GEESON » May 25th, 2020, 2:36 am

I'm trying to get back to recording, after a long break. One of the several reasons I stopped was reading mean-spirited and hostile comments and 'reviews' - particularly on Archive and (above all) YouTube. So I've resolved NEVER to look at ratings again. One exception: the cordial Thank You letters on LV itself.

Martin

schrm
Posts: 2568
Joined: February 10th, 2018, 11:02 am
Location: Austria

Post by schrm » May 25th, 2020, 3:20 am

MARTIN GEESON wrote:
May 25th, 2020, 2:36 am
I'm trying to get back to recording, after a long break. One of the several reasons I stopped was reading mean-spirited and hostile comments and 'reviews' - particularly on Archive and (above all) YouTube. So I've resolved NEVER to look at ratings again. One exception: the cordial Thank You letters on LV itself.

Martin
:clap:
i hope, you have fun with it!
:D

/reader/12275
cc welcome! my skills improve from pl notes that cite when my english pronunciation is way off, or when words are missing.
thx!


en: lay down your arms, essays on art by goethe

de: sammlung prosa, katerpoesie, allerlei gelehrte

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