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Radio preset buttons

 
lowercase baba
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My wife and I are having a debate on how to program the button on our car radio.

Option 1: The radio buttons should be set so that the favorite station is on button '1', the next favorite on button '2', etc. So, in order from left to right, the buttons would be set to:
95.7 106.5 98.1 101.1 90.7

Option 2: the left-most button should be set to the lowest frequency station you like, and moving across the buttons moves you higher in the frequency spectrum. Here, the buttons would be set as such:
90.7 94.7 98.1 101.1 106.5

What opinions/insights/suggestions do you have? Who (if either) do you think is correct?
 
Sheriff
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Originally posted by Fred Rosenberger:
My wife and I are having a debate...


Good luck!
 
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Option 2 is the logically valid one, but the correct one is whichever one your wife says
 
Wanderer
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Buttons 1-4: Your wife's favorite stations.

Button 5 (if you're lucky): Your favorite station.
 
marc weber
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Originally posted by Ernest Friedman-Hill:
Option 2 is the logically valid one...


...if frequency has any meaning to the user. But it seems a little like ordering objects based on their memory addresses.
 
Jim Yingst
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Agreed. Though frequency does have more meaning to most users, as even with a digital radio you usually have to scan up or down from a position in order to get to the frequency you want.

Personally, I tend to assign buttons from left to right in the order I discover stations I think worth saving. Once I've used the existing buttons, new stations come in by replacing my least-favorite of the existing stations. That way I don't have to reshuffle button positions, and I can just remember button 1, button 2 etc. Eventually I may be motivated to put my favorite station at button 1 - but the others tend to depend on my mood as much as anything else, so there's not necessarily a single best-worst ranking possible.
 
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The interesting part, of course, is to guess which person "espoused" which opinion.

I'll bet that Fred wanted the buttons ordered by frequency. (Disclaimer: I know Fred in RL).

ps. This is a classic debate between brutish logic and intuitive design, IMHO. My vote would be by favorite station.
 
fred rosenberger
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this is my thread, so i'm going to change/add a new topic.

Dome lights in a car often have a 3 position switch. one is "always off", one is "always on", and one is "on when the door is open".

Now, i've owned cars with two different arrangements:

off - door - on

and

door - off - on

My father used to argue that the first one was better. it was logical, the modes 'progressed' as you went along, and possible said something about the wiring being easier.

Others in my family preferred the second version. the argument being that since door and on were the most common settings, and the extremem positions were the easiest to set the switch to, THAT is the better solution.

any comments on that?
 
marc weber
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Originally posted by Fred Rosenberger:
...the extremem positions were the easiest to set the switch to...


I agree with this reasoning, because after having the light on, it's sometimes difficult to "balance" a 3-position switch back in the middle. So if (what I assume to be) the most common setting (door) is in the middle, this could be a persistent annoyance.

Hmmm... If the dome light used radio buttons -- or if "door" was one on/off setting and "manual" was a separate on/off setting...
 
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What kind of cheap car you have that it does not have FM1,FM2,AM for the presets?

I love having FM2 so I can set stations for my home town or other places I go!

Eric
 
Greenhorn
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My car radio has 18?? Presets (2 x 6FM) + 6 AM...

FM1 reset 3 has the station I listen too most frequently and in fact I deviate from it so infrequently that I have no idea what the other presets are so I have to scan up or down when I want to find something else....

Wife listens to 1 hideous radio station that lives on another FM preset - but since I never switch *to* it I dont even know which on its on and we dont need to reprogram I suspect that 16 of our 18 presets are tuned to 'noise' !!!

At home my Av reciever has gazilliion presets radio stations, and I dont know what any of them are tuned to!!!
radio is just not a priority!
 
fred rosenberger
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Originally posted by Eric Pascarello:
What kind of cheap car you have that it does not have FM1,FM2,AM for the presets?


the car actually does have FM1, FM2 and AM settings for more than 5 actual stations. However I didn't think it necessary to go into that level of detail. the specific number of buttons is irrelevant to the question, as long as there is more than one. The question is valid - buttons programmed in order of preference, in order by frequency, or some other scheme.
 
M Easter
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re: dome switch. Now for that one, I'm with the sheer logic. Hard to explain why... somehow it matches my intuition.

A fun topic... Note though that people will use the presets way more and are far more likely to be 'emotional' about them. If you switched the dome light in my car, I probably wouldn't notice. Perhaps that's why logic is attractive.

I swear, there _is_ a lesson in here somewhere about GUI design. But I can't articulate it.
 
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Originally posted by Fred Rosenberger:
Who (if either) do you think is correct?



Your wife.

Why, I guess listening to radio while sleeping on the couch is not your idea of a good night sleep.
 
fred rosenberger
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Your wife.


sigh...

i agree. But now let me re-state the question...

Two people are having a debate on how to program the buttons on their car radio... They are not in a relationship, they are of the same gender (pick one), and are in all ways equal. they simply disagree on one point: how to program the buttons on a radio. Perhaps they are both engineers with the same seniority at a radio-design company.
 
Devesh H Rao
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Originally posted by Fred Rosenberger:

sigh...

i agree. But now let me re-state the question...

Two people are having a debate on how.......




In that case, the stronger one wins


On a serious note, option 1 entails lesser work and hence the preferred option.

Option 1:
Its like the decision regarding the favorite channel is already taken and preprogrammed so while listening to the songs the buttons to chose works on auto mode... from Button 1 - Button N. This means the thinking involved on which station/button to chose next is avoided.

Option 2:
This involves runtime thinking, say my favorite is a certain frequency which I have preset to Button 2 and the next fav is preset to Button 7, if I do not like the song on my first choice I have to make a "tiny" effort to remember my next fav channel which is at "Button 7". So if at all I have had to remember the Buttons, it�s just a small difference between remembering the actual frequency itself and having no presets.

So it�s like, instead of remembering frequency ordering for favorites
95.7 106.5 98.1 101.1 90.7

I am now remembering preset buttons for favorites
1 7 5 2 8



So If you say go by logic, I would say option 1.
[ July 19, 2007: Message edited by: Devesh H Rao ]
 
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Originally posted by marc weber:
...if frequency has any meaning to the user. But it seems a little like ordering objects based on their memory addresses.

Perhaps it would be better to arrange them in alphabetical order by the name of the station. Ordering them by frequency only makes sense if you remember the stations primarily by frequency. That would make sense back when radios didn't often have preset stations and required frequent retuning, but now it is harder to remember them.

I order mine initially in order of how often I listen to them, and then just append new ones to the end of the list as and when I discover them, although that is because I mostly listen to the radio on my Zen which only has up-down buttons to navigate through the radio stations, so it makes sense to group them in a way in which there is less button pressing to get to the one I want.
 
marc weber
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Originally posted by Fred Rosenberger:
...they are of the same gender (pick one)...


Well, that's entirely different. If they are male, then option 2. If they are female, then option 1. The problem arises when they are different genders, and compounded if they are in a "relationship." :roll:

But seriously, mine are categorized by format. News stations first, then jazz, then alternative, then whatever. But for music, I almost always listen to CDs anyway. (And if you live somewhere that has more than 1 or 2 good radio options, consider yourself fortunate to have such a "problem." )
 
Rancher
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Hm, I don't even know the frequencies, since the display shows the station names only. I'm sure there must be a way to figure out what they are, though. So I like Jim's approach of having them in the order in which they were discovered, ignoring the spousal issues.

But how do you remember how many buttons are assigned yet, so that you know which one the first free one is? I don't even remember which station is on which button - if I want something different, I just cycle through the buttons to see what's up. Do you guys have that memorized?
[ July 19, 2007: Message edited by: Ulf Dittmer ]
 
fred rosenberger
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I think i've had the same basic 7 stations programmed on my radio(s) for the past 14 years. the frequencies don't change, but the call letters do. Here, the stations seem to always refer to themselves as 'Y-98' or 'KSHE-95' or "movin 101.1". i find it very easy to remember the frequency.

I think the way I arrange them goes back to when i could only program about 5 stations. I'd pick a station that was between two others i liked. So, i'd set a button to 98.1. if i wanted 97.7, i knew i could hit the 98.1 button then 'seek' down to the next station. or i could then 'seek' up to whatever was up.
 
Jim Yingst
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[Ulf]: But how do you remember how many buttons are assigned yet, so that you know which one the first free one is?

That's a problem no matter which of the above algorithms you use, isn't it? If I'm lazy, I just pick a button where I can't remember what if any station has been assigned; I just figure if I can't remember, it's not that important. If I'm feeling more careful, I memorize the new frequency, then start clicking buttons until I find one that doesn't seem to have a very good station on it. Then relocate the frequency I memorized, and set the new button too that frequency.

Using buttons arranged by frequency seemed to make more sense back when radios were manually tuned by turning a dial. You had more of a physical sense of "where" a station was. And it was convenient to be able to jump near a station, even if you didn't have a button for that station. Nowadays that really doesn't matter to me, and I seldom fill up all my buttons anyway; I play my iPod more often than the radio. And when driving in a new area, I let the autoscan take care of most of the work of finding radio stations (which I probably won't bother saving anyway).
 
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