That explains some of my Mac behavior; the desire to put everything in a proper place, and a distinct order. It also explains why I’m obsessive about rating all the songs in my iTunes collection. All of them.
Twinkle, Twinkle iTunes Stars
Our collection of music in iTunes is extensive, now bordering on 4,000 songs, some dating back to pre-high school days (no, I won’t tell you when that was, but covered wagons in the Homecoming Parade were not involved).
Guess what? Nearly every song in the collection has a rating.
How is that possible? It’s easy. And tedious. Hours of clicking, rating, clicking, changing ratings, clicking again, and again.
All that back and forth activity was interspersed with dozens of questions to my husband; such as, “Honey, does The Rolling Stones’ Miss You trump Kenny Loggins’ Footloose?”
First of all, I hate having iTunes open just to add a rating. That presents my CDO mind (OCD, but alphabetized, the way it should be) with too many choices. Second, five stars isn’t enough. iTunes needs 10 stars. Or maybe 12.
Third, until recently, there was no way to change the star rating on multiple songs at the same time. That’s was a true bummer and inhibited my collective efficiency. However, a few dozen email messages to Steve Jobs at Apple, and the iTunes crew was motivated to see things my way.
Enter I Love Stars.
This handy Mac utility does what I want—almost. Whoever runs The Potion Factory understands my pain. See how he calls out to my CDO heart?
I spent a good part of yesterday solving a problem that’s been bugging me. That is, how to rate songs in iTunes with as few brain cycles as possible.
Efficiency. I love it. My brain cells love it. There’s an extra seat in heaven for Mac app developers who think like that.
You tend to get distracted switching back and forth from iTunes and even rating songs with iTunes’ dock menu is not fast enough when your hands are on the keyboard. Apps like QuickSilver and CoverSutra already solve a big chunk of the problem by letting you assign keyboard shortcuts for raising and lowering ratings—I have command-option-control-up and down arrow set to raise and lower the rating, for example—but I needed a way to quickly see what the rating actually is before changing it.
It’s not a nutshell, but it identifies the problem. Too much effort for a simple movement from two stars to three, or a demotion from four stars to three.
If you cringe at the thought of having unrated songs in the library like I do, you’ll enjoy I Love Stars. Mainly, it’s there to show the rating, but you can adjust it with the mouse as well.
And all this gets done without having to bounce back and forth between what you’re doing and iTunes. Now you can keep what you’re doing in front of you and bounce back and forth to the Menubar. It’s still bouncing, but it’s less. And, as everyone who knows, less is more.
Just as cool is the ability to assign half a star rating.
Do you know what that means? Half a star. It’s like having 10 different rating classes. Take that, Janet Jackson. You’re down to 2 1/2 stars.
After all, what have you done the past 10 years besides public humiliation with defective clothing? Prince looks sexier.
I Love Stars lets me listen to music, note the number of stars already assign, and then change it with a click. It’s like having ultimate control over which song or artist gets a thumbs up or thumbs down based on my mood of the moment. Not bad for free, huh?