iTunes 12.2 Changes Some Song Ratings to Album Ratings

A poster to Kirk’s iTunes Forum asked if anyone was seeing song ratings changed to album rating in iTunes 12.2. I hadn’t noticed it, but, when I checked my MacBook Pro, I saw that this was the case for many of my tracks.

You can rate both songs and albums in iTunes. Depending on what you rate, some of the rating stars become dark gray, and others light gray. If you rate a song, its rating stars are dark gray; if you rate an album, but not its songs, all the songs of the album get light gray stars.

Here’s how it looks. I really like Bob Dylan’s Time out of Mind, and there are a couple of songs on it that I rated 5 stars, the highest ratings. But if I look at it now, I see this:

Star ratings

I don’t rate albums, so any album rating in my library has to have been applied by iTunes. I see some albums where a couple of tracks show dark gray stars, and all the rest light gray stars; again, these must be albums where I’ve rated a few tracks.

The problem with this is that album ratings count the same as song ratings, if you’re creating smart playlists, for example, and display the same as song ratings in the iOS Music app.

You can fix this using Doug Adams’ Album Rating Reset AppleScript.

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34 thoughts on “iTunes 12.2 Changes Some Song Ratings to Album Ratings

  1. I feel like this has been the norm for years now. I find that when I have an entire album, but really only love one song and rate it a 5 without rating the other songs on the album, iTunes gives the whole album a 5 rating. You can see why they keep it simple, and what other choice do they have? But it’s not very accurate.

      • For real. Apple really just shafted people who care about their music collection. They try to oversimplify the process of managing music and disregard the people who actually use iTunes to its fullest potential.

  2. I’m also pretty sure that I have seen album ratings applied. I think there’s some logic like if more than 50% of the songs in the album are 5 star, it applies a 5 star album rating.

  3. The issues with the latest releases of iTunes are making me seriously reconsider moving back to it as my music library app. The primary reason I was going back was the ability to sync ratings, play counts, etc from device to library. If new versions mess up that metadata I may hold off on migrating back.

  4. Another problem this creates is when you have a smart playlist for songs you haven’t rated. After rating a couple of songs from the album, iTunes gives the album a rating and the tracks you haven’t rated yet, perhaps because you haven’t listened to them, disappear from the playlist. This spoils a good playlist for discovering music I might like.

    • they “F” it up bad bro. Real bad… Wish I had known. Feels like htis is the first Itunes and like I am from a future where we used Stars to rate our stuff and things worked like they were supposed to. Not how the Labels and the Corporations conspired to force and entire Album on me

  5. If you ever come across a solution to this, please post it. It’s driving me nuts. My playlists depend heavily on ratings, and adding or changing a rating (sometimes) changes the album rating from an implied rating to an album rating, which then adds all the formerly non-rated songs to my playlists.

  6. Yes, this is crazy! Please give us an option to turn this feature off. I have no desire to rate full albums, only individual songs. And because of this new feature, now when I sort songs according to the ratings column in iTunes “Songs” mode, all the “unrated” songs are included as well because of their album rating!

    Overall, in my opinion as a long time iTunes user, most of the changes Apple has made to iTunes since version 12, have made the program worse, not better. It now takes many more clicks and a lot more time to do things compared to before. And I don’t understand the disdain for the sidebar. Every advanced program has a sidebar because it works! It’s the best way to keep lots of stuff easily available. For example, I used to be able to sync an iPod by right-clicking on the icon in te sidebar. But now I have to go through many more steps to do it. Crazy.

  7. What I’m seeing is that iTunes 12.2.1 (Mac) is randomly setting SOLID album ratings, not just the hollow estimated rating (that I can live with). I don’t get why it is doing this, and I’m NOT setting album ratings with solid stars. This seems to be happening where I have complete albums in regular (static) playlists. Very odd, and pissing me off!

  8. This is driving me insane! Every time I open iTunes I find a playlist full of grey ratings. If anyone has a solution to this please post it.

  9. My favorite playlist which I used to play a lot on my iPhone is no a useless mess of hundreds of songs I never wanted there. For some reason I can’t sort albums by rating to quickly find the culprits and unrate them.

    • hey,
      not sure if this will work for you but i just found it after years of frustration

      go into album view (library > albums) not songs view
      you should be able to drag the stars on the album rating all the way to zero
      then back into song view, you should be able to unrate each track without it auto-rating.

  10. Not mentioned is the fact that it also enables the presumed album rating to individual tracks on your iPod. For example, I have a large playlist of a certain genre of music that I toss on Shuffle and go through and rate. Then I regularly move the rated songs to their appropriate playlist and remove them from this Ratings playlist. When iTunes magically decides what it thinks I’ll rate every other track on the album, it grays those stars in iTunes but when viewing those songs on the iPod they show as rated normally. This is really an unbelievable pain in the ass.

  11. Oh man this sucks big time. And can someone please tell me where I reset the albumratings in iTunes 12. They are not besides the cover anymore and can’t change them in the list/grid view even when the column for them is shown.
    This screws up the whole iTunes experience for me. Are there no musiclovers on that team at apple? Otherwise how is it possible to screw something like this up and not fix it!

  12. In iTunes, choose “Albums” view in upper right corner. Right click on album cover you want to change star rating on. On menu that appears, hover over “Album Rating”. Choose “None”. Worked for me though I had to do perform this twice for it to stick.

  13. Ziggy – what version of iTunes are you using? I’m on a Mac, with iTunes 12.3.1.23, and I don’t see an “Album Rating” option when I right click a cover from album view. I’m curious if I’m missing it, or if it’s a difference in versions.

  14. I’ve noticed if I have a song rated 5 stars and I decide to downgrade to 4 stars, the next time I sync my iPhone it magically rates the album 5 stars. (Other times I’ve seen albums inexplicably rated 4 stars, maybe after upgrading a single song from 4 to 5 stars?) It’s incredibly annoying having to constantly unrate albums. Totally agree, iTunes needs to make disabling the album rating an option – I NEVER rate albums.

  15. Album ratings are beyond useless, and so redundant. NOBODY uses album ratings because nobody organizes playlists by albums (unless they’re idiots who can’t discern between individual tracks WITHIN an album — in which case, you’re not a serious music listener anyway).

    By far one of the dumbest and most annoying features in any music management application I’ve ever encountered. I’ve run into the same problem and because of Apple and their stupidity, I now have tons of garbage tracks in my carefully thought out autoplaylists.

    • Yea, lots of people use album ratings. You don’t, that’s your choice. They work quite well with classical music, but perhaps you’re not a serious music listener…

    • I agree 100% the album ratings are pointless for me. I have over 35000 tracks and I listen to everyone to proof it then rate it. The album ratings are screwing around with my smart lists. I don’t need this feature and certainly don’t use it. I have a smart list that has 4 & 5 stars in it and if a song plays on my iphone the next time it sync’s the track will be pulled off and a new one put on. Because I’ve rated a bunch of tracks in one album as 4 & 5 stars the one star tracks in the same album are showing up in my smart list. I hate this feature and I want to disable it. I just submitted some feedback to Apple. If enough people submit feedback about this maybe one day they will listen.

      • ?? If you have assigned a track a one star rating, the Album Rating (black or gray stars) would have no impact to your one star rating.

        The impact is only to songs that you have not yet rated — those do inherit a “pseudo-rating” based on this Album Rating behavior. But once you assign a song rating, it is there to stay (although I do maintain static playlists for each rating, just in case iTunes learns a new way to screw with me).

  16. I am having the same problem; it’s very annoying! I’ve submitted a ticket to Apple support, but considering this has been happening for several years I am not optimistic.

  17. I really do wonder whether the developers of iTunes use it themselves.

    this has messed up all my smart playlists which is how I listen to all my music.
    I don’t know anyone who has a use for album ratings and if you wanted to rate an entire album it was easily done manually.

    REALLY need a decent iTunes alternative.
    these fundamental issues and the dictatorial way which apple works is really going to start affecting its market share.
    having to spend way too much time correcting issues that have been imposed on us
    its become annoying using iTunes.

  18. The automatic ratings by iTunes have completely destroyed my ability to rate songs that I like. If I rate any song, soon iTunes turns the entire album and sometimes THE ENTIRE GENRE OF ALBUMS five stars solid. This is beyond insane. I love music and used to love iTunes because it allowed me to categorize my songs and play the ones I liked best. Automatic ratings make no sense because THEY ARE INDISCRIMINATE. THIS TURNS THE WHOLE PROCESS TO GARBAGE AND DESTROYS MY RATINGS WHICH TOOK ME MANY MONTHS TO CREATE. Why would programmers who find music of no interest mess up the experience of iTunes for people who really care about music? Is it just some kind of passive-aggessive attack on the users? IF YOU THINK THE SONGS ON AN ALBUM ARE ALL EQUALLY GOOD FOR EVERY ALBUM then you have no serious ear for music or enjoyment of music. This is a serious bug. Look at the sheer volume of well-reasoned complaints above about this nonsense. Do you even read the feedback from your customers?

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