Picture of How To Enable Half Stars In Itunes
Being obsessive on how i organize my thousands of songs in Itunes, I found that the wimpy 1-5 star ratings weren't cutting it. So I found a way to rate them a half. This is very useful if you like everything rated EXACTLY how you want it.

*Disclaimer... this SHOULDN'T cause problems with your Itunes. If you do everything right, it will be fine.


1. Itunes (duh)
2. A computer (either mac OR windows, separate instructions for both)
Mac users go to step 6...
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Step 1: Windows Instructions

Picture of Windows Instructions
If your computer is running windows, use this set of instructions.
If your computer is a Mac, use the OTHER instructions. (skip to step )

First off, don't have Itunes running whille you do this. You can, BUT you'll have to restart Itunes in order for this to take effect.
Just to be safe, close it anyway...

Now, find the ItunesPrefs.xml file.

Usually (in Vista) this is at
C:\Users\YOUR USERNAME HERE\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\iTunes

In XP, this is at
C:\Documents and Settings\YOUR USERNAME\Application Data\Apple Computer\iTunes

Replace YOUR USERNAME with your computer user name (duh)
The application data folder is usually hidden in windows so you'll have to type this in the explorer bar.

The folder looks like this-----------

Step 2: Open the .XML File

Picture of Open the .XML File
Right click on the ItunesPrefs.xml file
hit Open With,
then WordPad.

Why WordPad and not Notepad???
Notepad has a tendency to not display .XML files quite right.

You should now see this----------------------------------

Step 3: Scroll Down and Paste

Picture of Scroll Down and Paste
Scroll down to where you see a line that reads:

<key>User Preferences</key>

Below this line, but above the next line, type


to be safe, just copy and paste it from this screen.

  • this "dHJ1ZQ==" means "true" in Base64.

Step 4: Check & Save

Picture of Check & Save
Check where you have just pasted. It should look just like this now...

If it looks like that, then save this file and exit out of WordPad.

Step 5: Open Itunes

Picture of Open Itunes
Open up your Itunes again, and you should now be able to rate things as half stars!
This also works on rating your albums.

The only thing bad about this is that you can't see the half stars on your ipod. It displays them as a whole number. But it does, however, recognize that 4.5 star songs are less than 5 star, which makes them work with the smart playlists.

Congratulations, you now have half stars.
Simply click and drag in between the regular stars to access these new stars.

For Mac users, check out step six.

Happy Rating

***Please Rate and Comment.... thanks***

Step 6: Enabling Half Stars On the Mac

Picture of Enabling Half Stars On the Mac
To enable half stars on a Mac, first, close Itunes.

Then, you have to open up Terminal

(Located at /Applications/Utilities....somewhere in there)
and once it's open, type in

defaults write com.apple.iTunes allow-half-stars -bool TRUE

Hit enter, and then close out of the terminal.
Then, open Itunes

Simply click and drag in between the regular stars to access these new stars.

Congratulations....you should have half stars!
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Robert W.A2 months ago
thinkdunson2 years ago
for Windows 7 (probably for others as well, but i have 7, so that's all i can confirm) the appdata folder is hidden.

click the start menu and type %appdata% into the search field (including the two percent signs) and then hit enter. that'll open your Roaming folder.
then just continue with the instructions from there. i tried it and it works.

thanks for the ible, musicninja.
Just used again and it still works in Mac OS X.10 Yosemite with iTunes 12.
hey, nice taste in music
Just so you know, this still works in itunes 10.
This is amazing, thankyou. I never thought it would be this easy.
Now to see how it translates onto my iphone...
f86sabre6 years ago
the UserPreferencesdoes not exist on iTunes 8
musicninja17 (author)  f86sabre6 years ago
Weird. I have 8 and it does. Look again....
Never mind. I found it.
What about 10?
JudahCris4 years ago
Awesome Guide!!!

rating all my songs now...
Album 4 of 76
worked! and it was super easy. now i can be super anal about rating my music
elCarlito15 years ago
What if you're using windows 7? Where would you go then?
wish i new i got same problem (:

tanmanknex5 years ago
 AHHH!!! CAN'T CLOSE ITUNES!!!  Almost got it...  There!  I didn't want to close itunes. ;)  Great 'ible!
swishinj5 years ago
when i try to save it says access to the iTunesprefs.xml was denied!
If you're a limited user, have an admin allow write permissions to iTunesprefs.xml.
 no i computer admin!
then make sure that iTunes is closed (check the taskmgr for instances of iTunes.exe & iTunesHelper.exe) and make sure that write permissions are enabled on the file. You may have to change the ownership of the file to your account.
Seleziona6 years ago
Worked on mine
musicninja17 (author)  Seleziona6 years ago
Just curious.....are you using Windos (if so what flavour) or mac? glad this worked for you.....
It's on windows XP
cbrown2226 years ago
didnt work for my mac
musicninja17 (author)  cbrown2226 years ago
Did you read the mac instructions/go through the terminal?
A P3RS0N6 years ago
I tried this, and it reset my Apple Store Settings, My Itunes Prefs, and some other things. then spit it out. I had to go thru heck w/ apple to fix it. Any help?
musicninja17 (author)  A P3RS0N6 years ago
I'm not sure why it did this for you..... maybe you accidently deleted a line of code or something..... I'm sorry this happened, but like I said, its never done that before.....
musicninja17 (author)  musicninja176 years ago
Ummm...by any chance are you using a mac???
Nope. Vista Home Prem. x64, though. My library was fine, it started w/ the Itunes etup Assistant. I haven't used that for 3 years. It gave me a 5002 error when logging in to the store, and I couldn't use any DRM music (only 1 album though, so no biggie.) It reset itself ~ 2 hrs later.
musicninja17 (author)  A P3RS0N6 years ago
Weird..... ooh Vista....maybe thats what did it..... but did it revert it to half stars?
Nope. Defaulted back to full stars
musicninja17 (author)  A P3RS0N6 years ago
Oh........what was the name of the file you edited and what is your itunes version?
C:\Users\Sean\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\iTunes\Itunesprefs.xml
Kyri6 years ago
YAY! Finally I can accurately rate my songs. Will people on the network who are viewing my library be able to see the 1/2s? (Apologies if you've mentioned this in the instructable; I haven't had a chance to look through it all yet)
musicninja17 (author)  Kyri6 years ago
What do you mean by "on the network"? as in sharing the same library on multiple computers?
reddog923966 years ago
Wow! My friend had this and I was wondering how!
musicninja17 (author)  reddog923966 years ago
You're welcome ;) Glad you like it
insomniac6 years ago
perfect! thanks.
tamashii6 years ago
This is incredible! It couldn't have been easier to implement, either. Thanks for this!
captainspud6 years ago
It wouldn't let me type in the word pad! I could only copy but not paste! Help please.
musicninja17 (author)  captainspud6 years ago
sorry it took me so long to get back to you....
musicninja17 (author)  captainspud6 years ago
...hmm......try copying the whole length of text to a different file maybe, and then saving that as the first file.... or you could just try opening it in notepad....it might work like that....
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