Apple to Restore Star Ratings to iOS 10 Music App

Apple just can’t get a break. They keep removing things that people want. The headphone jack, the startup chime, and star ratings in the iOS Music app. As I mentioned here, iOS 10 saw the removal of the ability to rate tracks from one to five stars from the Music app, though there were a couple of workarounds.

Now, in the beta version of iOS 10.2 which has just been released, Apple has restored the ability to apply star ratings. You can turn on this feature in the Music settings:

Star ratings setting

Once you’ve activated that setting, rating a star is more complicated than in the past. Before, you simply tapped the track’s artwork to display a series of stars. Now, you need to tap the … button, then tap Rate Song.

Rate song

Next, you choose star rating in a dialog, and tap Done.

Rating dialog

It’s great that Apple is brining back star ratings; it’s a shame that the process is now so convoluted. It was simple in the past. By removing this feature, then re-adding it, Apple has complicated what was once a very simple step to rating music.

26 thoughts on “Apple to Restore Star Ratings to iOS 10 Music App

  1. So the reason people want these star ratings is to create playlists based on the degree of “like” one has for a particular song? I cannot think of another reason. But there may be other good reasons for these ratings and inquiring minds want to know!!!

      • Kirk, But we know that ratings smart playlists are screwed since itunes decided to rate music for you with grey stars, rendering all star smart playlists void.

          • Hmmm… not so.
            I have never starred/rated an album ever, only individual tracks, certainly not intentionally. And yet the scourge of grey stars litters my library and thus has ruined the smart lists.
            I have never even viewed itunes in album view.
            How else might sneaky itunes auto-annoyingly grey star album tracks that I have never starred?

            • That shouldn’t happen. The only time I see them is when I’ve starred albums (which I do rarely, and only for testing).

          • Kirk McElhearn
            “…That shouldn’t happen. The only time I see them is when I’ve starred albums (which I do rarely, and only for testing)…”

            Alas, itunes has long since ignored the ‘shouldn’t happen’ rule when it comes to ones own person music.
            but seriously.
            I will use Dougs Album reset (again) and see if they recur….

            • This isn’t the right place to discuss this in depth, so apologies.
              The album reset, did it’s stuff.
              In the cotrse of getting rid of the grey album ratings, I notice several (about 10) tracks that have grey stars still. These stars will not move. If I black star them they go (but I don’t want them starred) to black, if I try to get rid of the grey star by any method, they either won’t budge or return.

    • I switched over to Apple products for the star ratings. I first got an iPod touch to listen to and start rating songs, then found out the ratings would sync to iTunes. It was the beginning of a long relationship with Apple products, including becoming an employee of Apple, Inc.
      Later, I switched to using the star ratings for ‘energy level’, rather than ‘like-ability’. And, at this point, it’s integral to my workflow. I’m a working DJ, and rely on star ratings.
      I’ve had to find workarounds, and other apps that support star ratings. The loss of in-line ability to use star ratings, like we previously could from the lock screen, has had me question my loyalty to Apple products and software.

  2. Good grief. I guess I’ll finally updgrade to iOS 10 once this is released. Apple is increasingly looking like a company that is going to fall and fall hard. Every move they make is flawed in a major way. Cook to me appears to be the next Ballmer.

    • This seems a little overblown. I mean, I use the Star Ratings every day, and I reluctantly switched to a third-party music player when Apple removed them from the music player…but I think it’s a bit much to say that iOS 10 is “flawed in a major way” because of this.

      • Sorry, I don’t mean to insinuate that. I am really kind of venting on a collective series of moves by Apple that are aggressively anti-consumer or just boneheaded.

        • Maybe the effect is anti-consumer, but I don’t believe it is the intent. Instead, it is simply making bad assumptions and being out of touch with how customers use their products … and yeah, sometimes boneheaded mistakes.

        • Sadly, begrudgingly, I tend to agree with you that Cook is looking like Apple’s version of Ballmer. The company seems to have become tone deaf (“courage”) and just plain blind to what users want. They were willing to make a gold watch that I’m guessing maybe 100 people in the world bought, but they won’t update the Mac Pro because enough people don’t buy it? Even if it isn’t a top seller, the symbolism of keeping it going is too important to let it languish for three years, and keep selling yesterday’s tech at tomorrow’s prices.

          Add in that they may not have the Air Pods ready for Xmas, the apparent missteps in the car space, etc. etc. It’s all based on rumor and speculation but…. it just looks like Tim Cook is not up to the job.

          A friend of mine had a great suggestion. Obviously a joke but… not really a joke. Apple needs to hire John Siracusa and put him in charge of UX.

          • There are just too many bafflingly bad moves these days. I also think especially in the phone space that the competition for far less money has really heated up. I don’t think they can command the monopolistic profits forever while making choices that make users’ lives more difficult or that simply have no answer other than to extract more cash from any user after already gouging for memory upgrades. I think Cook is going to be Ballmer for sure. The vision is gone, and the mistakes and consumer F-Us are piling up in both hardware and software.

  3. Corporations have no feelings or intent, as such, toward customers, unless perhaps you include satisfaction at massive profit. But having two emotions is hardly feelings.
    Curiously, Apple rarely apologise either. As these are the only two traits we tend to see (arrogance is a given) I’m inclined to wonder if the company has sociopathic tendencies..

  4. Any sign of Genius making a comeback, yet? Is the option to turn it off and on still there in the 10.2 beta?

  5. Does anyone else, viewing this blog on an iphone, see that repeated replies to replies become so squashed over to the right hand side, that, after 2-3 replies the reply becomes unreadable?
    Kirk, do you see that too?

  6. I wonder if the “skip when shuffling” flag is still going to be ignored in iOS 10.2 – They’ve removed the ability to “check” songs on Windows iTunes so I do it on my MBP…no big deal, but when I try to listen to my “all music (that is unchecked)” smart playlist I can’t queue it up after an album binge because when you queue up a playlist you have no option to shuffle the queue.

    For all the improvements the new Music app brought I seem to be way more on the curmudgeon side…I guess it just comes with being an “advanced” user interfacing with an app designed for “casual” use.

    Woe is me.

    • Which begs the question, why not enable an advanced user music/iTunes app on iOS? What’s the point of this functionality within iTunes if it’s then gimped in iOS. These are the questions that frustrate me with Apple. Someone else mentioned that removing Genius was simply to drive subscriptions to Apple Music. I call that the perfect example of an anti-consumer move, which, rather than making me subscribe to Apple Music, will just push me off of Apple products completely. I have one i-device left: my iPad. Apple is treading close to a full break for me, where I finally throw in the towel on iTunes too.

  7. and they still haven’t fixed itunes nasty habit of automagically rating your albums for you – still does it in release so impressed by their diligence and general devotion to duty ….

  8. I don’t love the increased complexity of the taps needed to accomplish this, but one major improvement this post does not mention is that because of this new process, you can now rate songs other than the one currently playing. This is a welcome improvement, though I still wish they could have found a less clunky way to implement it.

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