Q: Hi, I’ve noticed that some of my songs now have 1/2 star ratings (i.e. 2 1/2 stars, 4 1/2 stars, etc.) since I upgraded to the latest version of iTunes (184.108.40.206). Problem is I can’t figure out how I did that. Is there a keyboard shortcut or something?
A: In one of the recent point releases to iTunes 6, these half-star graphics were added to iTunes’ underlying structure, but you’re right – there’s no built-in way to use them, and according to someone who’s done extensive research on the topic, they don’t seem to be ready quite yet.
When iTunes stores ratings, it stores them in its database on a 100-point scale in 20-point increments. Since iTunes 6.0.2, if the score “happens to be” at a 10-point increment, the user interface will display a half rating. However, only these 10-point increments are recognized by iTunes. For example, 30 points registers as one and a half stars, but 31 rounds down to one star.
Without an official interface for assigning a half star, what’s the best way to use the new capability? Well, if you use a Mac, you can use Synergy Advance or a set of AppleScripts from Doug’s AppleScripts, which will add or subtract a half star from the currently selected or currently playing song.