Why it is so important to rank songs on iTunes and iPhone

Both iTunes and Apple Music try to learn your musical tastes so they can suggest music you like and offer you the right personalized playlists. To do this, they allow you to assign star ratings to your songs and your favorite songs. Both of these features are used to help you enjoy more music, both for the songs you already have and for the new music they help you find. But how are they different?

How iTunes Music Ratings Are Different From Favorites

When it comes to iTunes and iPhone ratings and favorites they are similar, but they are not the same. Ratings are represented as stars on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best. Favorites are a proposition of one or the other: You can select the heart of the song to indicate that it is a favorite or not.

Ratings have been around in iTunes and on the iPhone for a long time and can be used for many different things. Favorites were introduced with Apple Music in iOS 8.4 and are only used by that service.

You can give a song or album a rating and a favorite at the same time.

What are iTunes & Apple Music star ratings used for?

Song and album ratings are used in iTunes to:

  1. Create smart playlists.
  2. Classify your music library.
  3. Sort playlists.

A smart playlist is one that is generated based on the criteria you select, including the rating you have assigned to the songs. For example, you can create a smart playlist that includes all your 5-star rated songs. It even automatically adds new songs to the playlist as you rate them 5 stars.

If you’re viewing your iTunes library by song, you can click the Rating column header to sort your songs by rating (high to low or low to high).

Within standard playlists you’ve already created, you can sort songs by rating (in older versions of iTunes; newer versions no longer sort by rating). To do this, click a playlist to select it and click Edit Playlist . In the playlist editing window, click Sort by manual order , and then click Sort . Click Done to save the new order.

What are favorites used for in iTunes & Apple Music

Favorites are used to help Apple Music:

  1. Learn your taste.
  2. Suggest mixes for you.
  3. Suggest new artists.

When you favorite a song, that information is sent to Apple Music. The service then uses what it knows about your taste in music, based on the songs you’ve preferred, what other users like you enjoy, and more, to make suggestions. Playlists and artists suggested to you in the For You tab of the Music app and iTunes are chosen by Apple Music staff based on your favorites.

How to Rate Songs on iPhone

To rate a song on iPhone, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Music app and start playing a song. (If the song is not in full screen mode, tap the mini-player bar at the bottom of the screen.)
  2. Tap …. in the lower right corner of the screen.
  3. In the menu that appears, tap Rate Song .
  4. The Star Rating window appears . Tap the star that equals the number of stars you want to give the song (for example, if you want to give a song four stars, tap the fourth star).
  5. When you’re done, tap Done to return to normal view. Your star rating is automatically saved.

How to listen to your favorite songs on iPhone

To prefer a song on iPhone, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Music app and start playing a song. Expand the player to full screen, if necessary.
  2. Tap …. in the lower right corner of the screen.
  3. Touch Love to select the favorite song.

To dislike a song, repeat the first two steps, then tap Dislike . You can also see your favorite albums by clicking on …. when viewing the album track list.

How to Rate Songs in iTunes

To rate a song in iTunes, follow these steps:

  1. Open iTunes and find the song you want to rate.
  2. In Song view , hover over the Rating column next to the song and click the dots corresponding to the number of stars you want to assign.
  3. Your ranking is automatically saved, but can be changed at any time.

How to Favorite Songs in iTunes

To select a song in iTunes, follow these steps:

  1. Open iTunes and find the song you want to be your favorite.
  2. In Song view, click the heart icon in the heart column. You have preferred a song when the heart icon is full.
  3. In Artist view, hover over the song, then click the heart icon when it appears.
  4. If the song is playing, click …. next to the song title, and then click Love .

Just like on the iPhone, clicking the heart a second time to make it look like a song is empty is not a favorite.

You can also choose a favorite album by going to Album view , clicking an album, clicking , and then clicking Love .