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iTunes track rating bue stars


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I have just downloaded the latest iTunes 12.5.1.21. Some, but not all, of my iTunes track rating stars have turned blue in colour, others remain black in the traditional style.

 

What does this mean??!

Windows 10 PC, Roon, HQPlayer, SOtM sMS-200Ultra, tX-USBultra, Paul Hynes SR4 (x2), Mutec REF10, Mutec MC3+USB, Devialet 1000Pro, KEF Blade.  Plus Pro-Ject Signature 12 TT for playing my 'legacy' vinyl collection.

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I have no answer but it seems to me like Apple is moving away from the star rating system to the "like". In the iOS app, you cannot even see or rate the stars any more. This is a major pain in the neck for all of us who spend years rating thousands of tracks. Hopefully A+ at least sticks to the star system. It would just be nice to be able to rate on the go as I did a lot in the past.

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I've been trying to figure this out as well. Part of the answer (maybe not all of it) appears to be that the blue ratings appear on songs that I have recently rated myself, whereas many (at least) of the black or dark-gray ratings have been assigned by iTunes itself, presumably on the basis of how I've rated other tracks in the same album.

 

There's been an ongoing discussion of this situation on the Apple community forums for at least a year or so now. It seems (according to some commenters) to have been present for the past few iTunes versions, going back at least a couple of years -- but there's no question that it's become especially acute in the latest version.

 

This is frustrating for people who rely on smart playlists that make use of Ratings information, as the system does not seem to distinguish between blue and gray ratings in that context. I've created a sort of brute-force workaround: As soon as I add new music to my library, I drag it immediately into a (dumb) playlist called Temp to Rate. And there it stays until it gets a shiny blue rating assigned by me, at which point it gets manually removed.

 

These are the times we live in ;0

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Despite this "upgrade" being touted as easier to use and view, the downgrade of the stars rating system and the emphasis on "love" and "dislike" makes iTunes harder to use and change/rate albums and tracks. The invisibility of the unused stars, and the reduction in size of the used ones is a definite disadvantage for me.

 

The fact that iTunes appears to be moving to a 2-tier rating system rather than the 9-tiers available with stars and half-stars says something about the iTune target audience's ability to think and discriminate. Of course it may also say something about the Apple design staff.

 

I'll be putting in a complaint to Apple. If they get enough complaints it might make a difference. If it doesn't then there are lots of other options besides iTunes.

 

Greg

p.s.--all my star ratings are now blue and the default for the "love/dislike" was dislike!

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I agree with all this. And I think it can't hurt to make our feelings known at apple.com/feedback.

 

In fact, I suspect that feedback from users like us over the years may be partly responsible for Apple leaving some of the older features more or less intact, though increasingly deprecated or hidden behind layers of the new UI. There was great relief, for example, when it became clear that you could restore the "classic" column display in the main iTunes app (which is now done via "View > View as... > Songs). As long as it's possible to continue to manage my music library as I've done for many years with iTunes, I'll stay onboard and content myself with grumbling occasionally. But I feel like we're approaching some kind of precipice here.

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With a bit of investigation it does appear that ratings that I have entered myself are blue and those in grey are 'automatic', generated by the Apple software somehow. Curiously, this only appears to be a general rule. Some tracks I have rated many years ago are in blue, so this does not appear to be time limited. However, there are odd tracks rated in grey that I know for sure I have rated myself as I have rated the entire album, or whatever. Overall, it would appear the 'rated by me in blue, by Apple algorithms in grey' rule works for about 95% or so of my music library. So there are some hidden subtleties I think.

 

Why Apple think that I would want their software to rate track for me is unfathomable. Maybe some folk like this, and I have no problem with that, but I do think that there should be a simple way of turning off all automatic ratings. So if you choose to do so, you can simply view your own track ratings, anything you have not rated stays blank / no stars. This shouldn't be too hard to implement I would have thought?

Windows 10 PC, Roon, HQPlayer, SOtM sMS-200Ultra, tX-USBultra, Paul Hynes SR4 (x2), Mutec REF10, Mutec MC3+USB, Devialet 1000Pro, KEF Blade.  Plus Pro-Ject Signature 12 TT for playing my 'legacy' vinyl collection.

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A further observation to the above is that I notice that a very small number of my track ratings have changed. For example I have a very simple playlist of tracks rated 5 stars. This now contains 12 tracks rated lower than 5 stars, all of which are tracks I would have indeed rated 5 stars. All very annoying!

Windows 10 PC, Roon, HQPlayer, SOtM sMS-200Ultra, tX-USBultra, Paul Hynes SR4 (x2), Mutec REF10, Mutec MC3+USB, Devialet 1000Pro, KEF Blade.  Plus Pro-Ject Signature 12 TT for playing my 'legacy' vinyl collection.

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