Rate iTunes Tracks with Keyboard Shortcuts

Rating tracks in iTunes isn’t that easy. In iTunes 12.4, you either click the … button next to a track – in the library, or in the iTunes LCD – and then choose Rating, then a star rating. If a song is selected, you can do this from the new Song menu.

There are third party apps that can make this easier, letting you assign keyboard shortcuts to iTunes star ratings. But OS X also lets you set up keyboard shortcuts for menu items, and I had never thought of trying it with ? symbols. Interestingly, it works.

Here’s what you do. Start in the Keyboard pane of System Preferences. Click Shortcuts, then select App Shortcuts. Click the + button, and, in the dialog that displays, choose iTunes. In the Menu Title field, enter ?. (You can find this in the Character Viewer on OS X; search for “star.” Or just copy it from this article. This character is called, fittingly, Black Star.) In the Keyboard Shortcut field, enter the shortcut you want to use.

Keyboard prefs

Do the same for the other four ratings, from ?? to ?????. Set another shortcut for the menu item None, so you can remove ratings.

In iTunes, you’ll see the shortcuts in the Song > Rating menu, or in the contextual menus:

Rating shortcuts

When you select a track, you’ll be able to rate it quickly using these shortcuts. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work for the currently playing track if it’s not selected. You can, however, press Command-L to go to the currently playing track, then press one of the rating shortcuts.

4 thoughts on “Rate iTunes Tracks with Keyboard Shortcuts

  1. Awesome! Thank you. FYI, do not try to use Command + 1 (or 2, 3, 4, 5). This is already assigned a View function in iTunes. I used Shift + Command + 1 (2, 3, 4, 5) and this work.

    Best of all, I can now batch star tracks again

  2. Awesome! Thank you. FYI, do not try to use Command + 1 (or 2, 3, 4, 5). This is already assigned a View function in iTunes. I used Shift + Command + 1 (2, 3, 4, 5) and this work.

    Best of all, I can now batch star tracks again

  3. I have been looking for something which allows ratings to be done via keyboard even when not in iTunes. I used to have something on an old Mac but can’t find the app now.

    My solution was to create an Automator service for each rating. It accepts no input and contains the following code:

    on run {input, parameters}

    tell application "iTunes"
    set rating of current track to 60
    say "3 stars applied to " & (name of current track)
    end tell
    return input

    end run

    (ratings are 0/20/40/60/80/100 for 0/1/2/3/4/5 stars)

    I then save this and apply a keyboard shortcut to it in System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > Services. The downside is that not all shortcuts work. I wanted to use Control+(a number) of my numeric keypad but it didn’t work all the time, e.g. it doesn’t work in the Finder (and there is no differentiation between numeric keypad and standard row of numbers, even though Adobe InDesign is capable of telling the difference).

    I ended up using Control+Option+Command+number which usually works!

  4. I have been looking for something which allows ratings to be done via keyboard even when not in iTunes. I used to have something on an old Mac but can’t find the app now.

    My solution was to create an Automator service for each rating. It accepts no input and contains the following code:

    on run {input, parameters}

    tell application "iTunes"
    set rating of current track to 60
    say "3 stars applied to " & (name of current track)
    end tell
    return input

    end run

    (ratings are 0/20/40/60/80/100 for 0/1/2/3/4/5 stars)

    I then save this and apply a keyboard shortcut to it in System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > Services. The downside is that not all shortcuts work. I wanted to use Control+(a number) of my numeric keypad but it didn’t work all the time, e.g. it doesn’t work in the Finder (and there is no differentiation between numeric keypad and standard row of numbers, even though Adobe InDesign is capable of telling the difference).

    I ended up using Control+Option+Command+number which usually works!

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