Ratings problems in Smart Playlists

Q: In the latest version of iTunes (6.0.2) on my Mac, I’m having some odd issues with Smart Playlist creation. If I create a Smart Playlist that uses “My Rating,” I can’t seem to select the right number of stars.

If I click one star, I get two. If I click two, I get four. If I click three or four, I get five. Not only is this annoying, but I’ve completely lost the ability to select three stars. I’ve tried reinstalling iTunes, but that doesn’t help.

– Will

A: This is a known issue with iTunes 6.0.2, and as such, Apple will almost surely have it fixed by the next release.

In the meantime, there is a roundabout way to select 3-star songs; simply create the following Smart Playlist:


Since this uses the “Match All” methodology, you can easily add another criteria in order to, for example, extract 3-star “Alternative”-genre tracks.

If you need to use the “Match Any” option with 3-star songs, then this workaround won’t return only 3-star songs. Instead, you’ll get songs from all rating levels. How could you get around this? Create the Smart Playlist pictured above and call it “3-Star Songs.” Then, create this one with your “Match Any” logic:



The example above will return 3-star songs AND songs tagged with “Relaxed” in the Comment field. What is supposed to be easy with one playlist now takes two.

It’s not the most elegant solution, though this is undoubtedly a very temporary workaround until the next bug fix release is made available.

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