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How and Why to Rate Songs in iTunes

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rating songs in itunes

Last Updated: March 11, 2013

You can assign ratings to songs in iTunes ranging from 1-5 stars. But why would you want to do that? If you've got a large library, it's going to be a lot of work.

Well, there are a few reasons to rate songs:

  1. To create Smart Playlists
  2. To improve iTunes DJ (if you're running versions of iTunes earlier than 11)

Smart Playlists
Smart Playlists are a kind of automatically created playlist that iTunes can generate based on criteria you create. One kind of Smart Playlist that can be created is based on the rating assigned to songs. As a result, you can create a Smart Playlist that includes all of your 5-star rated songs, and automatically adds new songs to the playlist as you rate them 5 stars.

iTunes DJ
(iTunes DJ was replaced by Up Next in iTunes 11. Up Next doesn't use song ratings to create playlists.)

One of the features of iTunes DJ (learn more about iTunes DJ) is to play highly rated songs more often. My rating the songs in your iTunes library, you'll ensure that iTunes DJ plays songs you like more often.

One note: If you're running iTunes 11 or higher, you don't have iTunes DJ; it's been replaced by a feature called Up Next, which doesn't use star ratings.

How to Rate Songs in iTunes
OK, now that you're convinced, here's how you rate songs in iTunes. It's very simple.

If you look at your music library in iTunes using virtually any view (Songs, Albums, and Artists all work), you'll see that one of the columns is titled Rating (in Songs) or that there are 5 tiny dots next to a song (in Albums and Artists).

If you single click on a song in iTunes, it will be highlighted and in the Rating column, you'll see 5 little dots. Each one of those represents a star you can assign to the song. To rate is one star, click the dot closest to the left. To assign 5 stars, click the dot all the way to the right (other ratings are based on the dots in the middle, of course).

Once you've done that, there's no need to save or make other changes. Once you've rated the song, the star rating will stay unless you change it.

Related Video
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