beaTunes News

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Resetting iTunes Album Ratings

With the introduction of iTunes 12.2 a few months back, quite a few things changed for users and software vendors alike. One of the things that didn't come to my attention until recently is an oddity having to do with album ratings. It seems that hardly anyone really uses them, but if you have rated a couple of songs, iTunes displays an average of those ratings as the album rating. To signal that the values are computed rather than entered, they appear as gray stars as opposed to solid black stars. What happened when iTunes 12.2 was introduced is, that apparently some albums got ratings—nobody really knows where from. This resulted in all the unrated songs also showing ratings—gray ones, as they are computed, not entered. Obviously, everybody using smart playlists based on song ratings suffered.

Quite a bit.

A simple solution to the problem is to reset all album ratings to zero manually. Not very fun. When asked how to best solve the issue, I immediately figured that a library batch action can do the job. Library batch actions are little beaTunes plugins (often beaTlets), that do the same thing for all items in your beaTunes/iTunes library and can easily be scripted in Groovy/Jython/JRuby. So a library batch action for this particular problem really only needs to reset the album rating to 0 for all songs with an album rating other than 0.

Here's the Groovy code (download):

import javax.swing.Action
import java.awt.*
import org.slf4j.LoggerFactory
import com.tagtraum.beatunes.action.standard.LibraryBatchAction
import com.tagtraum.beatunes.action.standard.LibraryBatchAction.EachSongProcessor
import com.tagtraum.beatunes.MessageDialog
import javax.swing.JOptionPane
import com.tagtraum.audiokern.AudioSong

// An action that allows to reset all album ratings.
// The corresponding menu item can be found in the 'Tools' menu.
class ResetAlbumRatings extends LibraryBatchAction {

    // Inner class that implements the
    // com.tagtraum.beatunes.action.standard.LibraryBatchAction.EachSongProcessor
    // interface. Its process method is called for each song.
    class Resetter implements EachSongProcessor {

        static log = LoggerFactory.getLogger("ResetAlbumRatings.groovy")
        String file

        // Called once, before processing starts.
        def void startProcessing(int count) {
   "We are expecting to embed ratings for ${count} songs."

        // Called for each song.
        def void process(AudioSong song, int index) {
            int rating = song.getAlbumRating()
            boolean computed = song.isAlbumRatingComputed() // added as of 11/5/2015
            if (rating > 0 && computed) {                   // && computed 
                song.setAlbumRating(1)                      // set to 1 instead of 0
      "Reset album rating for " + song)
            } else {
      "No rating set in " + song)

        // Called once all songs were processed.
        def void finishProcessing() {
            new MessageDialog(getApplication().getMainWindow(),

        // Message to be shown in progress dialog.
        def String getProgressDialogMessage(AudioSong song) {
            "Resetting album rating of ${song.getName()}"

        // Title for progress dialog.
        def String getProgressDialogTitle() {
            "Resetting album ratings ..."

    // Unique id
    def String getId() {

    // Is called by beaTunes as part of the lifecycle after instantiation.
    // At this point all other plugins are instantiated and registered.
    // We use this to set the menu item's (i.e. action's) name.
    def void init() {
        putValue(Action.NAME, "Reset Album Ratings")

    // We need to ask the user, whether he really wants to do this.
    // How we ask is defined here.
    def String getConfirmationMessage() {
        "Do you really want to the album ratings of all your files?"

    // Factory method that creates the processor for each song.
    def EachSongProcessor createEachSongProcessor() {
        new Resetter()

You can install this like any other plugin—just make sure the code is in a file called ResetAlbumRatings.groovy (the file name must be the same as the main class name). To reset all album ratings in your library, restart beaTunes after the plugin installation, and open the Tools menu. There should now be a new item called Reset Album Ratings (see init() in the code). When running this action, please be careful: You won't get to say "yes" or "no" for each individual album. That's why it's called a batch action. Also, changes cannot be undone.

Library batch actions are a great way to fix something in your entire library. And it's not rocket science. Basic understanding of Groovy (or some other popular scripting language) is typically all you need.

Update 11/5/2015

I have changed the script slightly, as a response to... well... it not working. Please re-install the script and make sure it contains the line boolean computed = song.isAlbumRatingComputed(). Also, the script may still be applying changes in the background, even after it reports that it's done. Give it a couple of minutes (or check the beaTunes logs for activity). Thanks for your feedback!

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Blogger Unknown said...

has any got this to work? I tried it out as directed and beautunes confirmed it was completed. However i can still see the album ratings in itunes. Any ideas?

October 23, 2015 at 5:36:00 PM EST  
Blogger Unknown said...

has anyone got this to work?

October 24, 2015 at 2:43:00 AM EST  
Blogger beaTunes said...

Hm... I have gotten several reports that it does not seem to work on Windows. Are you on Windows or Mac?

October 24, 2015 at 3:26:00 AM EST  
Blogger Jim said...

This doesn't work on Mac either. The grey album ratings remain. I have tried it twice using the latest versions of iTunes and beaTunes on Mac OS 10.11.1. In fact I bought beaTunes particularly to get around this problem (because it is ruining the interface between iTunes and Traktor). Any thoughts on how to actually make it work?

November 4, 2015 at 12:34:00 PM EST  
Blogger beaTunes said...

So far, when the plugin wasn't able to reset stuff, a manual reset wasn't possible either. So, Jim, just to try to figure out what's going on: Are you able to manually reset the album rating at all? That is, set a manual album rating of 0? The idea here being that if you cannot do it manually as described in Kirk's article, beaTunes won't be able to do it either. The plugin really just automates what you do manually.

November 4, 2015 at 12:54:00 PM EST  
Blogger Jim said...

It will allow me to set album star ratings manually (so the ratings become black) however it won't allow me to remove the grey rating. Is this what you mean?

November 4, 2015 at 1:24:00 PM EST  
Blogger beaTunes said...

An automatic rating is grey, a manual rating is black. There can be only one or the other. So, if you can assign a black rating, that is the same as removing the grey rating.
Basically all the plugin does is attempt to assign a black zero rating.

November 4, 2015 at 1:40:00 PM EST  
Blogger Jim said...

Right, but if I *can* assign a black album rating manually in iTunes then why is your plugin not working?

November 4, 2015 at 1:44:00 PM EST  
Blogger beaTunes said...

Jim: Please start a discussion at and upload your logs (Help -> Upload Logs). Hopefully we can get to the bottom of this.

November 5, 2015 at 3:01:00 AM EST  
Blogger beaTunes said...

For others: Thanks to Jim, I was able to change the script slightly with the result that it works now (this is what's in the 11/5/2015 update). The discussion that led to the change can be found at here.
Please note that when the plugin reports it's done, it may still apply changes in the background. Give it a couple of minutes before you check in iTunes. Thanks!

November 6, 2015 at 2:06:00 AM EST  
Blogger Unknown said...

I cant seem to get this work. I have tried the latest plugin. where it states

"and make sure it contains the line boolean computed = song.isAlbumRatingComputed()"

is this something i need to change within the plugin? rather confusing

November 25, 2015 at 3:36:00 PM EST  
Blogger beaTunes said...

@Leonardo: No, you don't have to manipulate the plugin. It's just that the latest version contains the line

"boolean computed = song.isAlbumRatingComputed()"

Previous versions didn't contain that line. So this is just supposed to help you distinguish different versions.

For help, please start a discussion at , describe what you see (how things fail) and attach your logs ( Thanks.

November 26, 2015 at 1:55:00 AM EST  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hi there!! Thanks a lot for your help. I don't know anything on groovy and coding, do you think I can manage to do this still ? Thanks again.

August 7, 2016 at 10:33:00 PM EST  
Blogger beaTunes said...

You can certainly install the plugin. Not sure, if you can modify it to suit your needs.

August 8, 2016 at 8:39:00 AM EST  

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