Get rid of hollow star ratings

samirdavies's Avatar


13 Apr, 2014 12:44 PM

Is there any way with Beatunes to get rid of hollow star ratings? Try as I may, I can't find a way to do it, and it is really screwing up my smart playlists.

  1. 1 Posted by samirdavies on 13 Apr, 2014 01:23 PM

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    I think I may have found a solution with a Windows based iTunes script:

    The script "ClearTrackAutoRating" seemed to work on a small playlist, and I am now in the process of applying it to my large library. Fingers crossed.

  2. Support Staff 2 Posted by hendrik on 13 Apr, 2014 03:54 PM

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    What do you mean with hollow star ratings and why do you want to get rid of them?


  3. 3 Posted by samirdavies on 13 Apr, 2014 06:25 PM

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    Hollow star ratings, or "empty star" ratings

    As you are aware, iTunes compiles album rating on its own, based on the avg rating of all songs. In some cases, it will also assign this avg to rating for each (unrated) song, but will use "empty stars" (instead of the regular ones) to signify that this was an automated process. It is really really annoying. Google search "itunes empty star", and you will have tons of stories of frustrated users battling the stupidity of iTunes screwing up smart playlists.

    Here is an example:

    The script I used did the trick - it got rid of all of my hollow stars.

    The biggest problem for me was that when I would click on the ratings column in iTunes (to group my library by rating), the empty stars would be mixed in with the full stars. In my case, I wanted to make a playlist based on songs I had rated for 3 stars. iTunes would mix the hollow stars within, which would force me to have to manually pick out the empty star songs.

    After running the script - I am (so far) no longer burdened by a stupid automated feature that Apple forces upon you. As far as I know, there is no way to disable it, which is really really stupid.

  4. 4 Posted by samirdavies on 13 Apr, 2014 07:14 PM

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    The other major reason was because I have decided to rethink my system of ratings, and thus needed to make batch changes.

    My old system was:

    5 - must have
    4 - awesome
    3 - medium
    2 - crap
    1 - something wrong with file

    In short, I found that the 1 star rating was being wasted, as I barely ever have encountered problem files. I found I was using the 4 too often, and when I would do a random sync of 4 star songs (on my ipod), I would often have the feeling of "what was I thinking when I rated this a 4".

    As such, I have opted to use the following system:

    5 - must have
    4 - awesome
    3 - perhaps
    2 - meh
    1 - really crap

    Within iTunes, I selected all of my 2 star rated songs and converted them to 1 star (hence the need to not select "empty star" rated songs). I then changed 3 star to 2 star, and am now manually sorting through (some stay 2, others get bumped to 3). Once this is done, I will sort through my 4 star, and likely change some to 3.

    In short - it is a pain in the butt, and will take some time to do, but in the long run, will allow me to have good random mixes on my iPod. I enjoy long distance cycling, which is when I want to have a good selection of music going where I do not have to be fiddling and skipping songs. When I am not cycling, and have free hands, I mostly use iTunes "autofill" feature to load my ipod with a mix of unrated music, which I rate over time.

    Who knows - maybe 10 years from now (when everything is on the cloud) I will finish sorting my way too large database!

  5. Support Staff 5 Posted by hendrik on 15 Apr, 2014 04:31 PM

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    To answer your original question:

    Out of the box, beaTunes does not offer a way to clear this up.

    However, if one wanted to write a plugin, that cleans this up, one would write a Library Batch Action to check whether the rating was computed automatically using song.isRatingComputed() (documented in AudioSong) and then reset the rating to 0 using song.setRating(0), if it was computed automatically, I guess.

    Hope this helps,


  6. 6 Posted by john.yull on 07 Sep, 2015 04:51 PM

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    Is it possible you will include this library batch action in future releases. I and many others could really use this. I have no idea how to write this.



  7. Support Staff 7 Posted by hendrik on 08 Sep, 2015 07:19 AM

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    Sorry, this definitely won't be included in a release.
    Somebody simply has to write that LibraryBatchAction as a plugin.

  8. Support Staff 8 Posted by hendrik on 23 Sep, 2015 01:58 PM

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    Perhaps this discussion solves the issue, as hollow/gray star ratings for songs should be caused by album ratings.

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