As you can see my experience with yahoo music was pretty bad but I have to admit that the rating system is really good and pandora should improve theirs!
I'd be glad to hear more discussion on that simple fact. Personally, I've always felt the simple yea/nay/neutral approach to Pandora was a strength. Given the quality of music it gives me, the simple system really seems to work -- and without giving me the headache of figuring out how to rate things.
With Pandora, it's simple -- if it's exceptional, give it a thumb up. If I hate it, thumb down. If it's nothing special, but suitable to the station I do nothing. In my experience with other (non music) services where ratings are involved -- say a 5 point scale -- I find I only use 2 or 3 different points on it anyway. I'm typically afraid to use 5 often, saving that for the best of the best -- defaulting most things that are really good to 3 or 4 while handing out 1 or 0 to what I don't like. The middle ground isn't really used.
When you're rating one item at a time, it seems to me the middle votes are fairly useless. Obviously they won't be weighted much, and mediocrity doesn't deserve much for points anyway . . . but all this speil just goes to say this: Simple is better, saves me wasting all this
StumbleUpon.com started out with 3 different rating levels -- but later reduced it to 2, opting for simplicity. More concise, more clear value system.
I'm unfamiliar with the Yahoo rating system, though -- would be curious to hear about it. Is it "better" just because it's more complicated or does it boast some clever features?