How do you use your ratings in iTunes?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by allisonv7, Apr 28, 2005.

  1. allisonv7 macrumors 6502

    Jul 20, 2004
    I was just wondering how everyone uses the rating system in iTunes. For me, the songs I put on my ipod I obviously like and they get five stars. To give everything five stars though kindof defeats the whole purpose. Basically what I'm asking is has anyone found the rating system that useful?

  2. gekko513 macrumors 603


    Oct 16, 2003
    I use the whole spectre. Songs that I really like or have a "crush" on get 4 or 5 stars. Songs that I don't mind listening to get 3 stars, songs that have heard a just couple of times and don't think I like but haven't given up for sure, or songs that I have grown a little tired of get 2 stars, songs that I don't really like but I want to keep anyway gets 1 star, and songs that I haven't heard enough to make up my mind keeps their 0 star rating.

    When I'm tired or not in the mood to listen to so-so music, I play my 4+ playlist on random, but when I'm in the mood to listen to different kinds of music I listen at 3+ on random. Sometimes I run through the songs with 2 stars to see if I've changed my mind.
  3. MacNut macrumors Core


    Jan 4, 2002
    Im actually yet to use the rating system, I go by the songs I play most.
  4. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus


    Mar 10, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    ***** - excellent
    **** - good
    *** - ok
    ** - barely listenable
    * - bad
    - Not rated / Not listenable at all ;)

    Then I use the ratings in smart playlists combined with play count... so e.g. I have a "Low play count" where Play Count is in range 0 to 15, my rating is greater than ** (or *** depenging on my mood), Last Played is not in the last 3 days, Limited to 34 songs least recently played, checked songs only and live update. New songs that are rated ***, **** or ****** will appear on this list, and, in time (the songs on that list right now hasn't been played for about a year :eek: ), re-appear until they're played 15 times (and then they most likely have been picked up by other smart playlists with higher playcount and/or rating)
  5. DeSnousa macrumors 68000


    Jan 20, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    I use iRate that ratess the songs atuomatically. It does a good job as the stars numbers are what i would of chosen. Just takes time for the system to rate newly imported albums. I recommend it to anyone who is lazy like me and as i have said it does a good job.
  6. WinterMute Moderator emeritus


    Jan 19, 2003
    London, England
    I use it to identify tracks I want to delete when I'm listening on the iPod, 1 star means delete, 5 means keep none means I haven't decided yet.

    Then I can lose the tracks I don't like once I get to the PB.

    Otherwise I don't use the iPod on anythiing other than shuffle.
  7. Savage Henry macrumors 65816

    Savage Henry

    Feb 20, 2004
    in a one horse, two house, three pub town.
    My musical preferences and tastes are too arbitrary and subjective whose dependency of rates could be swayed by a whole range of criteria that I found using the scoring system rather unrewarding.

    I don't see it as much of a selling point.
  8. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    I think how much you use ratings depends partly on how you use iTunes.

    I use it as a depository for all my music (my CDs are now buried deep in a box) so I have some tracks that I really have to be in the mood for, that are only suitable for certain occasions (gym or sharing a room with a snorer) or ones that I have got to use as a soundtrack for an iMovie or slideshow. I rarely listen to my music using the main library.

    Most of my music is rated 4 (enjoy and could listen to any time) or 5 (favourite tracks) which isn't surprising since that's why I bought it!
    I have 3s which are songs I have to be in the mood for or haven't heard enough of, a few 2s which if I wanted to hear I'd go looking for (the kind of cheesy disco songs that are only good at parties) and some 1s which are the kind of track that I envisage being useful as soundtracks at some point.

    I tend to listen to 2 main playlists. My Top Rated and 'Not Played Recently' which pulls all the Top Rated that I haven't listened to for 6 weeks or so.

    I guess that if you only use iTunes for stuff that you want to put on your iPod (particularly if you're limited space-wise) and listen to, then you'd only put on the music that you'd rank top anyhow so there's little point.
  9. vouder17 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 30, 2003
    Rating system is very important for me....I rely heavily on it. I have thousands of songs and when i am dj'ing it helps me out soo much, If i need a song that is popular i look at all the 5 stars... The rating system is very important to me....that is why i am scared that i might lose it all if i am not careful when updating to The Tiger...
  10. inlimbo macrumors 6502

    Jan 29, 2005
    Sydney, Australia

    What is iRate? How does it work? Where do i get it and how much does it cost?
  11. timnosenzo macrumors 6502a


    Jun 21, 2004
    ct, us
    can't say I've ever rated a song. I should probably start.... :eek:
  12. DeSnousa macrumors 68000


    Jan 20, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    Its a freeware

    Here's a link.

    About iRate
    Created to allow for a more meaningful way to sort music in an iTunes library based on user habits.

    Inspired by the auto-rating feature of WMP9 for PC, iRate assigns a point value to each of your tracks based on Play Count, Rating (no. of stars), and how long the track has been in your library. This method has the following advantages:
    - Not biased by play count.
    - Gives newer songs a chance to be rated just as high as older songs.
    - Multiplies points based on your personal rating.
  13. inlimbo macrumors 6502

    Jan 29, 2005
    Sydney, Australia
    Im also interested in what smart playlists you guys use. Im really boring, I only have "Best Of" smart playlists (e.g. "Best of Bjork" = songs by Artist=Bjork and My rating=5 stars) and I just created a "Low Playcount" (songs with a play count <5 - because Im still adding my music to my PB) on Mitthrawnuruodo's suggestion.
  14. jacg macrumors 6502a


    Jan 16, 2003
    Here's what I do:

    I decided I basically have three types of music that I want to listen to all year round - lively electronic stuff, lively acoustic stuff and relaxing stuff. I label these as 5, 4 and 3 star.

    2 star is reserved for specialist stuff like christmas carols.

    1 star means I will delete it sometime soon.

    I have smart playlists set up for all of these to keep my iPod mini (used mainly in the car via ICELink) stocked with these three groups (5,4 & 3) as well as a few other playlists.

    Every so often I set the party shuffle to play tunes from a smart playlist of unrated songs, and I'll often add a rating to songs I have forgotten about this way.

    I realise I should really embrace the Genre system but it seems easier just having three main categories. Bear in mind that songs from an album may fall into different categories using my system.

    I also realise that people may not feel that "life is random". I mostly listen to each category with all the songs mixed up.
  15. DeSnousa macrumors 68000


    Jan 20, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    How can you guys delete your songs just like that. I keep them even if i don't like them much, i find i don't mind listening to it here and there. Plus it makes my library look big.
  16. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    I use the same system. I used to delete the bad songs. But I now keep them in order to keep the complete album.
  17. gekko513 macrumors 603


    Oct 16, 2003
    I have five smart lists, but I use mostly just 3 of them.

    3+: self explanatory
    4+: self explanatory
    Favourite artists: Artist is X or Artist is Y or Artist is Z or ...
    Favourits ^ 2: The tracks from Favourite artists that have a rating of 4+.
    Recently added: self explanatory

    I frequently listen to 3+, 4+ and Favourits ^ 2.
  18. howard macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2002
    first of all i should mention that all the songs i have on itunes are good and ones that i like, i'm not a person that just keeps every song on there just cause i have it. thats a waste of space in my opinion. why have a song on my computer if i'm never going to listen to it?

    so that means that a 1star is still a song that i like, but i rarely listen to. often times its one that i just can't bring myself to delete.

    2stars means the song is decent, but its not quite one i'd like to hear all the time in a random playlist, just one that i'll play when i feel like it.

    3 stars are the average, ones i can't but in the 1-2 or 4-5 category, i could never argue about hearing a 3 star, but i don't looove them.

    4 stars a pretty good songs, ones i listen to on a regular basis.

    5 stars are amazing songs, usually that just are incredibly, or if i find i listen to a song all the time, i'll bump it up to 5 stars.

    one things to mention, i am always changing my ratings..making 2s to 3s..5s to 4s...etc etc. and i try to have a balance. with the most songs being 3 stars, then 2-4 about 1/2 as mean and about 1/2 that in the 1-5 categories.

    go to and upload your library, they will give you and average rating and also a graph of how many songs you have in each rating category. very helpful
  19. howard macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2002

    i have some crazy smartlists...

    neglected 4-5: all songs rated 4-5 that i haven't listened to in 6 months (time changes depending on how many are in the list, i keep it from 100-200 usually

    more listens: rating is 4-5, playcount is less than 10 (nice for songs i like but just got and havn't listened to in awhile

    I have 2 lists that get me listening to new stuff that I like
    first is ratings 3-5, playcount less than 10 date added is last 6 month
    second is one that includes new songs i havn't rated yet, playcount is 2 or more, added in last 6 months, and rating is not 1(so that songs i don't love arn't in it)

    I should also mention that in the grouping category I have songs marked "chill" or "rocking" or other moods, and have playlists of my top rated songs in each mood category.... very useful
  20. fistful macrumors 6502a


    Mar 29, 2004
    I don't use ratings, I'm too indecisive.:eek: Besides I don't really listen to music based on single songs but by albums/artists/bands depending on my mood.

    Incidentally I accidently deleted my most played song list, anyway to get it back?
  21. mrichmon macrumors 6502a

    Jun 17, 2003
    This isn't quite in line with what the original poster was asking...

    I used the rating system when I was initially importing my MP3 collection into iTunes and checking and updating the tags for accuracy. 5 stars meant checked and accurate, 4 stars meant re-rip for whatever reason, 2 stars meant missing track(s) from the album, etc.

    I went through my library in alphabetical order according to artist, checking the tags against the CD and setting the rating to the appropriate value. After this initial pass I sorted the list according to rating and over the course of a couple of weeks resolved all of the problem MP3s that had less than a five star rating.

    Once all the MP3s were fixed I wiped all the ratings and have not yet found a way to rate songs based on listening preferences.
  22. timnosenzo macrumors 6502a


    Jun 21, 2004
    ct, us
    my play list system is pretty rigid--I basically use the artist name and cd title. if I have a single, I usually just dump it into my singles playlist. I like having the complete CD, so if I like a few songs I'll usually just get the whole album.

    I use a smart playlist to fill my iPod shuffle--I basically give it criteria so it won't pick things like holiday music or audiobook chapters, then let it fill from genres I want. works pretty well.
  23. stonyc macrumors 65816


    Feb 15, 2005
    Exactly how I use my raying system.

    It was a real pain going through and rating all of my songs, but well worth it in my opinion. When I'm lazy, I'll set the My Top Rated playlist to like 3 or 4+ and just go.. :)
  24. StarbucksSam macrumors 65816


    Nov 21, 2004
    Washington, D.C.
    Actually YES. When I go to clean out music I don't like, anything under 3 stars automatically is deleted, and I consider anything with 3.
  25. thequicksilver macrumors 6502a


    Sep 19, 2004
    I find that a large chunk of my music collection falls into a similar category - songs I like, but aren't essential. In some peoples' eyes, that stuff would merit a two or three star rating, but I don't see that. If I like the song enough to have bought it, why would I only give it 40% or 60%? With a few exceptions, any song I've gone to the trouble of ripping to iTunes automatically deserve 70+%, leaving iTunes' ratings a little redundant.

    So, instead, I leave the majority of my 2011 songs unrated, and use only one, four, and five star ratings.

    Five star songs are limited to my favourite 25 songs. Though most of these are unchanged for a while, sometimes you hear a new one and you just know it's a song for life.

    Four stars are for any song which I think stands out from the rest of my collection as being a truly excellent piece of music. I currently have 47 of these.

    And one star is earned by being among the most horrendous pieces of music I've ever had the misfortune to hear. Some are funnily bad, some are just incomprehensible, and some are just noises. But you never fully appreciate the good until you've spent time with the bad.

    Procrastinating over whether to give songs two or three stars is in my eyes a waste of time, and I find my system simple and effective.

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