How To: Rate Songs with Stars in iOS 10's Music App

Rate Songs with Stars in iOS 10's Music App

Can't figure out how to give songs star ratings anymore in your iPhone's Music app? That's because Apple removed the ability to do so from the new iOS 10 update, just as I expected they would. It's still possible to rate songs, it's just very irritating.

The star rating system has been slowly making its way out the door ever since the Love/Dislike system came into play with Apple's paid subscription service, which is now your only option for "rating" your personal music library on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch directly from the Music app.

Right now, this is my biggest issue with iOS 10, since I've been using iTunes to store my music ever since star ratings appeared in 2002—and I've been rating and syncing songs ever since the ability was added on the iPod Classic. It's how I've organized my music for over a decade, so having to switch to heart and crossed-out heart icons sucks, especially since I have no desire to subscribe to Apple Music.

What's worse is that Apple isn't even making the new Love/Dislike process easy. You can't "rate" from the lock screen and you can't "rate" from the Control Center. You have to pull up the Now Playing screen and tap on the ellipsis icon in the Music app just to get to the new Love/Dislike icons.

This process is slowed down even more because you have to wait for a popup to tell you Apple will "recommend more like this" in a tab that is for subscribers only. For You is useless to me and anyone else who has a large music collection of their own they're already "subscribed" to (mine is currently 160 GB and growing).

While there is no longer a way to rate songs with stars directly in the Music app, there is one last way you can rate songs without having to rely solely on doing so in iTunes—use Siri. If you don't like talking to Siri, well, then you're only option is to give songs Loves or Dislikes on your iOS device, sync with iTunes, then add a star rating for them if you can remember what you wanted to give them.

Personally, I recommend the Siri method, because the other way is just one hell of a pain in the ass. So to rate songs with Siri, just tell her to "rate this song five stars" (or whatever rating you want) when the song is playing. While it's slightly inconvenient, the most annoying part about this method is that your music will be paused while Siri does your bidding—but it's all we've got right now.

Previously, in iOS 9.3 to 9.3.5, you would just tap on the album artwork to bring up the star ratings menu, but now tapping on album artwork does nothing. Maybe a future iOS 10 update will bring the option back, since they didn't remove it to make room for another feature—they just removed it period.

If enough people complain, it's totally possible it'll make a comeback. They did bring back the shuffle all songs button back when they removed it in iOS 8.4, and again when it was removed in the first iOS 10 beta, so there's some hope. Still, were currently at iOS 10.1.1, as well as public beta 10.2, and there's still no sign of stars coming back. (Update, 12/12/16: the public release of iOS 10.2 brought back star ratings as an optional setting.)

But Apple had been experimenting with a ratings-less iTunes in a macOS Sierra beta, so I wouldn't be surprised if Apple ditched the ratings feature altogether for iTunes and iOS. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Cover photo and screenshots by Justin Meyers/Gadget Hacks

20 Comments

I just wanted to point out that there is a playlist called "My Top Rated" where are all the song that are rated 4 or 5 stars- I've been using rating system to collect all my favourite songs in one playlist and that was the best feature on Apple Music for me personally as all I needed to do is give a song a 4 or 5 stars and it would automatically appear in the "My Top Rated" playlist. Please, bring the rating system back so we can easily control our favorite songs. If the feature won't be back I'll consider leaving Apple Music.

I agree completely. I made this account just to support this. I think so many of us organize our music that way and getting rid of this feature is so backwards. And this is coming from someone who supports getting rid of the AUX jack. Common Apple, you can't take away song ratings! What are you thinking?!

There are certainly ways to rate songs outside the ways that you've mentioned. I recommend the app "Music Rating Widget" https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/music-rating-widget/id971955890?mt=8 It adds a widget that allows you to easily rate songs from the widget page - it costs $.99.

There's also an app called Cesium (I believe it costs $.99) - it is a full-blown music player that works with your iTunes library (cloud and local) and allows you to rate songs. It doesn't allow you to browse new music from Apple Music. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cesium-music-player/id924491991?mt=8

The Music Rating Widget is probably the easiest solution - especially if you use Apple Music a lot.

Thanks for letting us know there is a way. When I get new albums, I put them in a playlist where I can listen to them and rate them on my IPhone, and I've suddenly become unable to do that. In order to rate them, it seemed like I HAD to listen to them in ITunes. Having to pause the song to rate is in annoying, but better than nothing at all. Please, ITunes, bring back a way to set the rating directly on the phone.

An unbelievable move, and I say this as a fan of Apple. I have 30000 songs rated and my whole music ecosystem depends on this. I have no desire to live in the dumbed down world that Apple seems to want to force on us. Come on Apple, show a little class.

I found an acceptable method for rating songs with iOS 10 :

The app "Music Rating Widget" let's you rate songs either from app interface and the notification center. The rating is fluid and even easier than in iOS 9. The only inconvenient is that there is no seeking bar to advance through the song (useful for batch rating).

The app is paid but as it's only 0,99 euros, it's very affordable.

This method i's for now satisfactory, but I guess there will more and more apps in the near future. I also asked the developer to improve the app by adding the seeking bar.

Hope this will be fixed.

Thank goodness someone else is thinking the same dang thing I am! I was beginning to think I was the only one and was just crazy being so angry and confused about the new iOS 10 and not being able to figure out how to Star Rate a song from my library (or change a rating).

I have a rather large music library as well... 170gb total and still growing. I jumped on the "buy your music" bandwagon back before Apple Music came along. When Apple Music was introduced, I subscribed and tried it out. My iPhone couldn't differentiate songs between my library and what I owned and the Apple Music service. So it favored Apple Music and ignored what I already owned. When I wasn't on the network, trying to play music (like in the car), it would only play from Apple Music and because it had to download via the cellular data, there were gaps and pauses, skips and distortions while it downloaded. But why? There was no need since I already owned the dang songs and the were stored on my iPhone! It took me forever to get Apple Music turned off. Then each update Apple released for the iOS I had to go back and turn Apple Music off for iOS Music so that I only saw music in my library.

Now, iOS Music is screwed up with iOS 10. No star rating system, other than the "Love/Hate" system, which is useless. My Smart Playlists are coded to the star rating system to help me differentiate the entire library, plus to help me manage it for my iPhone since I can't take the whole thing with me. I just don't have the storage capacity. My library grows a touch faster than what Apple offers on each iPhone release. Now I'm being forced to decide whether I Love or Hate a song I've bought and paid for the rights to and decide whether it makes the cut for me to load onto my iPhone. This is just screwed up and not right. It's supposed to be simple and easy. Isn't that what Apple is all about with their products?

I agree with everyone here. Apple really screwed us all over. For years they've wanted us to buy their music from iTunes, and now they want us to buy a subscription service instead. No thanks. I have 140 GB in music, and less than half has been rated by songs. Now it's not easy for me to rate the rest. Very frustrating. If you're taking away our headphone jack, at least give us back our ratings!

Just a little comment - Using Siri to rate does pause the track, but using Siri on an Apple Watch does not. So if you can cope with talking to your wrist, you can keep the music playing.

Nice. I don't use an Apple Watch, but now I kinda wish I had one.

Good article. It's annoying to have to use any kind of workaround since it worked perfectly well before Apple neutered it but, I created three playlists to get around this: 3 Stars Manual, 4 Stars Manual & 5 Stars Manual (the 'Manual' is so as not to confuse with the same smart playlists). I then add tracks to those accordingly, sync, with iTunes in the PC and then apply the star ratings. Kind of an extension of your plan to Love or Dislike but without the need to remember the number of stars intended. Churr.

I might steal your idea. It's only a few more taps than "Loving" a song, and less annoying than Siri. :)

The petition was successful. To save you going through it all here's what you need to do.

Now, in the "Settings" app, go to the "Music" section and toggle the "Show Star Ratings" option. Just like that, the feature is enabled.

I have version 10.2.1 on my iPad and 10.2 on my iPhone and I don't see that with either one following these instructions?!? What am I doing wrong?

It's a weird thing that it shows for some and not others. There's a trick that might get you to force the setting to appear... with your iPad/iPhone connected to iTunes, open up its page, check "Sync only checked songs and videos," then "Apply" the update. After it's done, go back and check on your device to see if the setting is there (you may need to leave the Music setting then go back in to make it appear). If you already had the setting checked in iTunes, you may need to disable then reapply it.

Hi, moot now if fixed in 10.2 (I'm still 10.1) but LeechTunes app is far preferable way to rate songs without Siri! I use it because it has a wonderful display landscape or portrait, and is designed for driving as you can swipe to next tune etc. without taking your eyes off road.

I don't understand something. I had IOS version 10.2 and now 10.2.1 and following the instructions provided doesn't work! When I go to settings, music there is NO TOGGLE to turn on star ratings. Like many my entire huge library is based on ratings. I'd rather not have to use the Siri method or the new 10.2 method but why can't I even find it?

It's a weird thing that it shows for some and not others. There's a trick that might get you to force the setting to appear... with your iPad/iPhone connected to iTunes, open up its page, check "Sync only checked songs and videos," then "Apply" the update. After it's done, go back and check on your device to see if the setting is there (you may need to leave the Music setting then go back in to make it appear). If you already had the setting checked in iTunes, you may need to disable then reapply it.

If you guys have updated the latest iOS version 10.3.2 then you can just go to setting>Music> Show star Ratings. And you can get back your Rating option.

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