Set half star ratings in iTunes

One feature that I missed back when iTunes 6 came out is the ability to set a song rating to a half star. This can be used if you often find yourself thinking a song is not quite a four star, but definitely more than a three star, then you can carry out this simple tip to make it 3½ stars.

The way it works is that ratings are stored as a number between 1 and 100 as increments of 20. For example, 1 star is 20, 2 stars is 40 and so on. Using a little bit of trickery you can set the rating at 10, 30, 50, 70 or 90 giving a half star rating between two of the normal ones. Note that setting the rating to something like 31 just breaks the whole thing and your rating will just show up as one star.

4 and a Half Star Rating in iTunes

To set a half star rating, just open up script editor (search spotlight or go to Applications/Applescript) and paste the following line:

tell application "itunes" to set rating of current track to 30

The number at the end can be changed to one of the following:

10 gives ½
30 gives *½
50 gives **½
70 gives ***½
90 gives ****½

To make the change, click "Run" at the top of the window. To get rid of the half star rating just click on a normal rating in iTunes, or run the script again with 20, 40, 60 or 80 instead.

Script Editor

This method is slightly inconvenient if you have to load up script editor every time you want to rate a song, so luckily iTunes has built-in script support. Doug Adams has even made a whole site dedicated to providing scripts for it - Doug's AppleScripts for iTunes. From there you can download Add-Substract A Half Star which is a script like the one above, but compiled into an application. Save this file in


iTunes Library Folder

If the scripts folder doesn't exist, you will need to create it.

Quit and re-open iTunes if it is already open, then in the menubar next to the Window menu there will be a little script icon. From there you can choose to add or subtract a half star from the rating of the current song.

On his site, Doug also explains how you can assign a keyboard shortcut to the script.

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