Love Tracks in iTunes with a Keyboard Shortcut

It’s a coincidence that Macworld published an article of mine today about using keyboard shortcuts to navigate iTunes, and that I have another tip for saving time with keyboard shortcuts in iTunes.

My son asked me today if there was any way to love tracks from the keyboard. He likes to rate music in his iTunes library using loves, rather than stars, and he wanted a quicker way to do so. There is no built-in keyboard shortcut for this, but if you have a Mac, you can set one up.

Go to System Preferences, click the Keyboard icon, and then the Shortcuts tab. Select App Shortcuts, and click the + button. In the Application menu, choose iTunes, and type Love as the Menu Title. For the Keyboard Shortcut, I’ve selected Command-Shift-L (I’ll explain why later).

Keyboard shortcut

This shortcut activates the Song > Love menu item. When you want to love a track, you must first select that track; a quick way to do this is by pressing Command-L. So, if you press Command-L, then Command-Shift-L, you can select and then love a track. (I would have used Command-Option-L, but that’s already used by iTunes to display the Activity window.)

Love menu

What if you want to un-love a track? You can’t use the same shortcut, because the Love menu item becomes Loved, with a checkmark before it, when a selected track is loved. So you need to add another keyboard shortcut for Loved, to select that menu item. And to make this easy, you can use the same shortcut, Command-Shift-L. So, if you want to unloved a track, press Command-L, Command-Shift-L.

Note that this only works for tracks in your iTunes library, not for anything you’re streaming from Apple Music or playing on Apple Music Radio. This is because you cannot select a track that’s streaming and not in your library.

35 thoughts on “Love Tracks in iTunes with a Keyboard Shortcut

  1. Your recent Keyboard Shortcuts articles got me wondering if I could do likewise with changing between Songs View and Playlist View. Unfortunately, while “Playlist” works, “Songs” does not, as iTunes assigns the shortcut not to the “Songs” menu item in the Views submenu but to the “Songs” menu item of the “Controls > Shuffle” submenu. Sad!

  2. Your recent Keyboard Shortcuts articles got me wondering if I could do likewise with changing between Songs View and Playlist View. Unfortunately, while “Playlist” works, “Songs” does not, as iTunes assigns the shortcut not to the “Songs” menu item in the Views submenu but to the “Songs” menu item of the “Controls > Shuffle” submenu. Sad!

  3. I find the Playlist view quite useless and even ugly, dominated as it is with colour from the album cover. I do wish Apple would assign keyboard shortcuts to the view options. And allow the user to set up a default view; the default is Playlist when making for example a playlist from selection. I can set up a shortcut for Songs but it gets assigned as well to Songs in Controls>Shuffle and when you apply the shortcut, that’s the one that gets selected.

    The easiest way I have found to change the view is to hit Command-J and select from the drop down at the very top. I do think 12.4 is a vast improvement and shows Apple does listen. Now come on Apple, fix iTunes Match and duplicate playlists. I’m not chancing that one ever again until Kirk tells me it is fixed!

    • You can turn the color-dithering off in iTunes Preferences (General > Views). I’m with you on a Default View setting, although I actually do like the uncluttered Playlist View for some purposes.

  4. I find the Playlist view quite useless and even ugly, dominated as it is with colour from the album cover. I do wish Apple would assign keyboard shortcuts to the view options. And allow the user to set up a default view; the default is Playlist when making for example a playlist from selection. I can set up a shortcut for Songs but it gets assigned as well to Songs in Controls>Shuffle and when you apply the shortcut, that’s the one that gets selected.

    The easiest way I have found to change the view is to hit Command-J and select from the drop down at the very top. I do think 12.4 is a vast improvement and shows Apple does listen. Now come on Apple, fix iTunes Match and duplicate playlists. I’m not chancing that one ever again until Kirk tells me it is fixed!

    • You can turn the color-dithering off in iTunes Preferences (General > Views). I’m with you on a Default View setting, although I actually do like the uncluttered Playlist View for some purposes.

  5. Kirk asks: “Bummer. Is it scriptable? Then you could assign a shortcut to the script.”

    Doug Answers: “No, AppleScript is no help here.”

    Unless I’m missing something here, GUI scripting should make this possible. Also, GUI scripting should allow Kirk to assign the same shortcut to heart & un-heart.

    Bill Cheeseman is your friend…

  6. Kirk asks: “Bummer. Is it scriptable? Then you could assign a shortcut to the script.”

    Doug Answers: “No, AppleScript is no help here.”

    Unless I’m missing something here, GUI scripting should make this possible. Also, GUI scripting should allow Kirk to assign the same shortcut to heart & un-heart.

    Bill Cheeseman is your friend…

  7. “Note that this only works for tracks in your iTunes library, not for anything you’re streaming from Apple Music or playing on Apple Music Radio. This is because you cannot select a track that’s streaming and not in your library.”

    You can’t “Love” from the menu, but you can click the heart in the middle window. No idea what’s the difference…

  8. “Note that this only works for tracks in your iTunes library, not for anything you’re streaming from Apple Music or playing on Apple Music Radio. This is because you cannot select a track that’s streaming and not in your library.”

    You can’t “Love” from the menu, but you can click the heart in the middle window. No idea what’s the difference…

  9. Hi thanks for the tip, i can see the short cut added in itunes but for some reason it doesnt respond or do anything…

  10. Hi thanks for the tip, i can see the short cut added in itunes but for some reason it doesnt respond or do anything…

  11. Hi, I’ve set the shortcut up but the command is getting confused. When I use the shortcut the “Love” in View>Sort By>Love is activated and it reorders my playlist so all the “loves” at the top.

    Is there anyway to differentiate the two?

    The shortcut is displayed next to Song>Love but that’s not the one working. I just prefer to use the cursor keys and a keyboard shortcut to “love” songs. Makes it easier to build playlists.

    Thanks in advance!

  12. Hi, I’ve set the shortcut up but the command is getting confused. When I use the shortcut the “Love” in View>Sort By>Love is activated and it reorders my playlist so all the “loves” at the top.

    Is there anyway to differentiate the two?

    The shortcut is displayed next to Song>Love but that’s not the one working. I just prefer to use the cursor keys and a keyboard shortcut to “love” songs. Makes it easier to build playlists.

    Thanks in advance!

  13. Got the shortcut to show up in the menu, but I have to be IN the menu for the shortcut to work. What am I doing wrong here?

  14. Got the shortcut to show up in the menu, but I have to be IN the menu for the shortcut to work. What am I doing wrong here?

  15. Hi I have got the shortcut to work for loving songs but when any shortcut or menu name to ‘unlove’ them just searches the song title in Safari instead of unloving it.

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