Ever since iTunes introduced Home Sharing, the Preferences dialog has had a checkbox titled "Home Sharing computers and devices update play counts". But this option has never had any effect whatsoever that I can discern.

You can rate the songs on your iPhone and the rating will appear to stick on the iPhone, but when you disconnect from the Home Sharing, the ratings you've just made are discarded. And the Play Counts in your iTunes library will never update.

Can this be fixed or is this just a huge bug since the beginning of Home Sharing?

2 Answers 2


This has always worked for me and here is a test I just performed on iOS 5.0.1 (9A405) and iTunes 10.5 (141).

  • make a smart playlist of songs rated higher than three stars and browse it on your iOS device
  • the only bug I see is sometimes when you go to settings, the current stars don't show, but when I change the rating it is reflected in the iTunes listing almost instantly (the change pushes over WiFi back to the iTunes and causes the display to refresh after each change).
  • play counts get updated at the end of the song, last played is updated correctly.

If this doesn't work for you, you may have to isolate the error in your setup. I would start with a new user account and moving 5 songs to a clean iTunes library. Be sure you quit iTunes on the "main" account if you use fast user switching - home sharing might not handle two copies of iTunes running on the same computer well. Another quick check might be to disable any firewall software on your mac. Something is off on your setup and without more testing, it's hard to guess exactly what.

  • I'm on iOS 4.3.3 and iTunes 10.5 on WinXP SP3. I'll try to find an iOS 5 / 10.5.1 combo and see if that performs properly, now that you've described the possible behavior when it does work correctly. Nov 30, 2011 at 18:03
  • I've now upgraded to iOS 5.0.1 and indeed the Home Sharing Play Counts and Ratings now update instantly over WiFi. Incredible. I don't know why it took so long for Apple to fix this (IIRC, Home Sharing was an iTunes 10.2 new feature), but at least it works now. Thanks. Dec 9, 2011 at 7:07
  • Large software projects are hard, very hard. Glad you are in business with features that work!
    – bmike
    Dec 9, 2011 at 8:54

After home sharing has been enabled on the desired devices and the main iTunes library, open up music on your device (iPhone/iPad) Down the bottom click on 'More' and then 'Shared' and select your main library. This library then loads to your device which can be shared over your local network.

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