Remove the Ping Dropdown Menu in iTunes 10 for Windows

In the iTunes 10.0.1 update, Apple added a Ping dropdown menu which appears next to the currently selected song name. Since I found this to be quite an eyesore, I used a similar trick as my previous post on removing the iTunes store arrow links.

First, close iTunes. Next, with a text editor, open C:\Documents and Settings\UserName\Application Data\Apple Computer\iTunes\iTunesPrefs.xml on Windows XP, or C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\iTunes\iTunesPrefs.xml on Windows Vista and Windows 7. Make sure to replace UserName with your own Windows user name. After the following lines:

add the code:

When iTunes is reopened, the Ping dropdown icon will be gone! This is a great way to disable that annoying menu. If you ever need to show the menu again, simply go back to the file and remove the lines.

Give Songs Half-Star Ratings in iTunes for Windows

By default, iTunes only allows song ratings in full-star increments (e.g., ). However, the program has the capability to display half-star ratings as well (e.g., ), but the setting to do this is hidden.

You can enable the assignment of half-star ratings by editing the user preferences file. To do this, first close iTunes. Then, with a text editor open C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\iTunes\iTunesPrefs.xml on Windows Vista/7/8 (or C:\Documents and Settings\UserName\Application Data\Apple Computer\iTunes\iTunesPrefs.xml on Windows XP). After the following lines:

add the code:

When you restart iTunes, you will be able to set half-star ratings in addition to the full-star ratings in the iTunes Library window by clicking and dragging the area in the ‘Rating’ column of a particular song.

However, changing the rating by right-clicking the iTunes icon in the system tray will still only allow you to assign full-star ratings. The ratings menu is also nested one level deep, and therefore takes a bit longer to access. Since I often use the tray icon to rate songs rather than switching back to the library window, I have developed a free software tool called iTSongRater which adds an improved iTunes navigation and rating icon in your system tray. When the iTSongRater tray icon is right-clicked, the pop up menu allows you to directly assign full and half-star ratings right from the start, and also allows other features such as changing the playcounts of songs. Try it out! It is much more useful than the default iTunes tray icon.

View all iTSongRater Features

Tested on iTunes 10, 11 & 12