iOS 10.2 Beta Brings Star Ratings Back to Music App

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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.”

Thanks to John C. Vestal for letting me know on Twitter.

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.

Music Settings in iOS 10.2. Beta

iOS 10.2 Beta Music Settings

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.

Share Screen in iOS 10.2 beta

Share Screen in iOS 10.2 beta with Show Ratings turned on

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.

Star Rating Sheet in iOS 10.2 beta

Star Rating Sheet in iOS 10.2 beta

Yay!

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.

4 Comments Add a comment

  1. Custom lyrics and cover art was problematic in the current version, often disapperaring for some reason. Hopefully they will get rid of the Recently Added that takes up too much screen real estate.

    And what is with them creating a duplicate playlist with a 1 tacked on to the name.

  2. Great news! Although, it’s troubling that Apple is increasingly getting a bad reputation for clumsily axing long-used features (notably with iTunes/iOS Music, FCP, etc.), then being forced to roll it back (somewhat) to the way things used to be amid widespread complaints.

    This is not the result of a corporation that is overextended. This is what happens when a business does not pay attention to the features its customers use and depend on, does not test market its products – and apparently – has greatly confused “courage” with carelessness.

  3. One more note, since surprisingly, no one seems to be complaining about this:

    For some #$!% reason, iOS 10’s Music is now sorting Library > Songs by artist, instead of song title. And even then, it doesn’t sort the song titles alphabetically per artist.

    SERIOUSLY?!?!

    The constant mucking around and flip-flopping with the UI over the past few years+ is beyond an annoyance. I legitimately HATE iTunes/Music now.

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