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What is the Star Next to a Song in Apple Music?

iTunes fast became one of the world’s most popular music services after its inception in 2001. Apple has since branched out with Apple Music. Currently, there are more than 60 million songs available on this platform. 

Just like anything good from the web, Apple Music is constantly updating and reinventing its UI, features, catalog, and so on. This is what’s required if you want to keep a 21st-century consumer happy. 

Maybe you’re like me… 

…and have just gotten into Apple Music. Or, maybe you’re a long-time user who was baffled by this new phenomenon when you first opened a playlist or album on Apple Music.

I am, of course, referring to the mysterious Star symbol that appears next to certain songs on playlists and in albums on Apple Music. When I first came across it, I was at a loss. Even my roommate, who has been an Apple user for a while, didn’t recognize the strange symbol when I showed it to him.

What is the Star Next to a Song in Apple Music

So, What is the Star Next to a Song in Apple Music?

Does it indicate the singles from an album? Are they tracks that have been favorited by accident? Recommendations from other users, perhaps? Maybe the most popular or streamed songs? 

So, if you’ve been gazing at the stars (pun intended) and still have no clue, fear not. All will be revealed… 


The Short Answer About The Apple Music Star

According to Apple, the meaning of a star next to a song on Apple Music simply indicates it’s quite popular. It’s not an indication of any specific kind of achievement (a million or more streams or downloads).

Rather, it is just a general indicator that this is a big track from the specific album you are currently viewing.

So, is that it? 

Is that all this little star does? Why not have the star allow us to see how many times a track has been played or downloaded. Maybe a user would prefer not to have these stars visible when they browse Apple Music. 

Don’t worry; I’ve been fiddling away at my PC, so you don’t have to. So, let’s find out more…

When Was This Little Star Born?

The stars have been around for quite a while. Apple introduced them a few years ago to let users know which tracks (if any) from the list or album they are currently viewing are “hot.” 

An album or playlist could have no stars, or it could have as many as five or six. This all depends on how popular this artist’s music is. 

What Does The Star Signify?

As mentioned, the star icon on Apple Music is simply a way to let users know which tracks are popular on the album or playlist they are listening to. 

Many of these songs are singles or are old songs that were previously released as singles before the existence of Apple Music. But, a star doesn’t necessarily mean it’s been released as a single, just that it’s very popular on Apple Music.

How Many Streams/Downloads Do Star Tracks Have?

How Many Streams

Unfortunately, we don’t know the criteria for receiving a star next to a track on Apple Music. Apple does not disclose the figures regarding how many streams or downloads the song has received. 

It is, of course, possible for an artist to check the analytics of their profile on Apple Music. But, for the general public, these things are pure guesswork. 

Can You Remove The Stars Next To Songs On Apple Music?

Sadly, no. A user can’t get rid of stars next to certain songs. They are placed there by Apple as a type of infographic that can convey important information to users without the need for more text. 

Perhaps Apple will update their platform, allowing users to enable and disable these stars. For the moment, you’ll simply have to do your best to ignore them if they annoy you. Besides, they can’t be that bad. They serve a purpose, right?

What is Apple Music For Artists?

Hopefully, you have an answer to the question, “What is the star next to a song in Apple Music?” That said, Apple Music is more than just a media player.

Apple Music for Artists is Apple’s proprietary online platform that allows individuals who want to distribute music to do so independently for a fee. The platform allows you to upload studio-quality music to your profile. 

You can choose artwork, song order, and when you want your music to go out. You can connect with your fans. And, get your name out there by integrating the platform with your social media profiles like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

But, there’s more…

Apple Music for Artists gives you access to GarageBand. It even includes a 90-day free trial to use the award-winning DAW, Logic Pro. You can also post “milestones” on your Apple Music page. These include song plays, Shazams, other playlists that your songs have been added to, and more. 

Finally, as an artist, you are given access to valuable analytics and detailed information on how users are listening to your music. This will include the number of plays, Shazams, and average daily listeners. The results can even be filtered by criteria such as location or times.

Can You Rate Songs on Apple Music?

Can You Rate Songs

Rating systems on platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Apple Music are essential. In a way, they form a connection between content creators and users. This is how users can let creators know how they feel about their music. 

It is possible to rate content on Apple Music. The rating system is based on giving a piece of content a score of 1-5 stars. As well as rating a single song, you can rate an entire album, playlist, or music video. Doing so couldn’t be simpler.

Here’s how to rate music on Apple Music using a Mac

  1. Open the Apple Music application on your Mac and navigate to the sidebar on the left-hand side of the screen; click on Songs.
  2. Scroll down the list and hover your pointer over the song, playlist, album, or music video that you want to rate. There is a rating column next to each item. Simply drag inside this column to assign or remove stars from a piece of content on Apple Music.

Here’s how to turn off ratings on Apple Music

  1. Open the Music App on your Mac.
  2.  Navigate to the sidebar on the left and click on Songs. 
  3. Select View, then Show View Options. You will see there is a check box next to the rating. You can check this box if you want the ratings turned on, and uncheck it to remove the ratings from showing on Apple music. Note that there are boxes for song and album rating, respectively. 

The star rating that Apple gives to popular songs is likely calculated using the feedback from this rating system amongst other data.

Want More About Music Streaming Platforms?

We can help. Take a look at our detailed articles on Apple Music vs SpotifyHow To Find a Music Video by Describing ItHow to Find Similar Songs Based on Ones You LikeYouTube Music vs Spotify, and How To Find New Music for more useful information.

Also, check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Apple AirPlay Speakers, the Best Music Streamers, the Best iPhone Earbuds, the Best Lightning Headphones for iPhone & iPad, the Best iPad Audio Interfaces, and the Best AirPods Alternative you can buy in 2023.

What is the Star Next to a Song in Apple Music? – Conclusion

The elusive star has turned out to be just a light that informs us which tracks are hot from those we are looking at. While this is a handy and nice feature, Apple will hopefully soon have an update allowing us to turn it off should we want. 

Luckily, we can turn off our rating system should we choose not to use it. This means that Apple does listen to the requests and feedback of users. Apple encourages feedback. Furthermore, they admit to not knowing what to do without it. So, if you want to have something added or removed, feel free to contact them. Even if it is just to say thank you for all the great music. 

Until next time, happy listening.

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About Corey Hoffman

Corey is a multi-instrumentalist who has played in numerous bands over the years, some good, some not so good. He has also written countless songs and recorded five albums in professional studios across America. Today he is a hobby musician but still loves the guitar after over 15 years of playing.

He considers his writing as a way to share what he has learned over the decades with younger generations ad always can't wait to get his hands on the latest gear.

He lives just outside New York with his wife Barbara and their two German Shepherds, Ziggy and Iggy.

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