Apple Music and iTunes try to learn your musical taste so they can suggest music you’ll like and deliver just the right customized playlists by letting you assign star ratings to your songs and also favorite them. Both features are used to help figure out what to recommend to you. . Just by these tips below, you can easily learn how to enable these features, how to use them, and how they’re different.
The Differences Between Rating and Favoriting Songs
On iPhone and in iTunes, rating and favoriting songs are similar ideas, but they’re not the same. Ratings are done on a scale of 1-5 stars, with 5 being the best. Favorites are an either/or proposition: You either add a heart to indicate that the song is a favorite or you don’t.
Favorites were introduced with Apple Music in iOS 8.4. Ratings have been present in iTunes and the iPhone for a long time and can be used for a number of different things.
You can give a song or album both a rating and a favorite at the same time.
How to rate in iTunes
In iTunes, you’re able to rate songs in five ways.
- By clicking the more button in the iTunes LCD, and then choosing a rating from the popup menu that displays, you can rate a song that’s playing.
- You can additionally rate songs in Artists, Composers or Genres view. Find an album, then hover over a track; you’ll see some dots display. Click one of them to apply a rating.
- You’ll notice in the screenshot above that there are also dots below the album artwork. You can rate the entire album by clicking one of those dots. Ratings to albums also apply to tracks, and in a way that can be confusing. If you rate a song, its rating stars are dark gray; if you rate an album, but not its songs, all the songs of the album get light gray stars.
- You can also rate one or more tracks by right-clicking on it, and then choosing Rating, then a number of stars from the sub-menu that displays.
- The final way is selecting one or more tracks, then choose File > Rating and choose a star value.
How to rate on iPhone
There’s only one way to rate music in iOS.
- Tap in its name near the bottom of the window, and a series of dots will display.
- Then tap the dot corresponding to the rating you want to apply.
- If a song doesn’t have lyrics, you can also tap on its album art to display these dots. However, if it does have lyrics, and you have activated the Lyrics & Podcast Info option in Settings > Music, then the lyrics will display.
What Favorites Are Used for in iTunes & Apple Music
Favorites are used to help Apple Music:
- Learn your taste.
- Suggest For You mixes.
- Suggest new artists.
When you favorite a song, that information is sent to Apple Music. The service then uses what it learns about your musical taste — based on the songs you’ve favorited, what other users like you enjoy, and more — to make suggestions. The playlists and artists suggested to you in the For You tab of the Music app and iTunes are chosen by Apple Music staff based on your favorites.
How to Favorite Songs on iPhone
To favorite a song on the iPhone, follow these steps:
- Open the Music app and start playing a song. Expand the player to fullscreen, if needed.
- Tap the … icon.
- Tap Love to favorite the song.
How to Favorite Songs in iTunes
To favorite a song in iTunes, follow these steps:
- Open iTunes and find the song you want to favorite.
- What you do next depends on how you’re viewing your music library: In the Song view, click the heart icon in the heart column. You’ve favorited a song when the heart icon is filled in. In the Artist view, hover your mouse over the song, and then click the heart icon when it appears.
- If the song is playing, click … next to the song title and then click Love.
Just like on the iPhone, you unfavorite a song by clicking the heart a second time so it looks empty. You can also favorite an album by going to the Album view, clicking on an album, clicking … and then clicking Love.
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