I am stoked about this: the current beta for iOS 10.2 includes an option to turn Star Ratings back on in the Music app! Even more interesting, it’s being returned as an option, allowing users who don’t care about Star Ratings to leave them be.
Star Ratings were unceremoniously axed in iOS 10, and those of us with years worth of ratings in our music libraries were cranky as all get-out. It would appear that Apple is listening to that crankiness, though it’s important to remember this is a beta feature. Star Ratings could disappear again faster than you can say “Apple hates music lovers who want to own their music.”
iOS 10.2 Star Ratings Option
The interesting thing is that Apple is doing exactly what I (and others) asked in this beta: Star Ratings are optional. My guess is that Star Ratings will be off by default, assuming this feature survives the real release of iOS 10.2. To turn them in the current beta of iOS 10.2, go to Settings > Music > Show Star Ratings.
Simply toggle that on, and you’ll be able to see them. So far, though, actually seeing those ratings is not as simple or clean as it was before iOS 10. Star Ratings are hidden in the Share Screen, so to see them, you’ll need to tap the Share icon on any given song and tap Rate Song.
When you tap Rate Song, you’ll get what I’m calling the Star Rating sheet. It’s a pop-over sheet that keeps you from doing anything else until you tap OK or Cancel.
If you haven’t rated the song, it will show you gray stars. Rate as you will. Once a song is rated, the appropriate number of stars will be that pinkish color, as shown below.
I am thrilled with this development. I wish star ratings were simply displayed with each song; but having this option is infinitely better than not being able to see or my manage my ratings at all.
It’s also meaningful to me to be able to tweak my ratings when listening to music on my iPhone, where most of my ratings were done in the first place. Your mileage will vary on that front.
All in all, this is a great example of Apple listening to users and changing course to meet our needs. I hope it survives—or improves—the public release of iOS 10.2.