iTunes 8 and mysterious absence of song rating keyboard shortcut

I love iTunes. Have been using it since version 1 (or 2 – can’t remember) but certainly for a long time. At the beginning  I hesitated to switch to it completely - my pal for a long time was Panic’s Audion. iTunes won. Since then it’s been my jukebox of choice. It keeps getting better and better. If sometimes I forget why I like it one look at MS Video Player gets me back on track.

But there is one absolutely mysterious question I can’t find an answer to. There is no keyboard shortcut for song rating. I can pump up volume using keyboard. I can even put the iTunes window in the Dock (Command-M), I can turn the visualizer on or off, I can do lots of very useful and not so useful things using keyboard shortcuts. I can even mute the sound while it keeps playing (!) - something which probably only a real iTunes Pro would need. But I can’t rate a song! Instead I have catch my mouse, aim at the song, right click and then chose rating from a menu.

I rate songs 10-15 times a day (well, I buy lot of music). I never even wondered what might be a shortcut for muting a song while it is playing…

I purchased CoverSutra ($22!!!) for this single feature. The app does many other not-so-needed tricks. It provides a descent user experience modestly sitting in the top bar and puts a nice CD cover image on my desktop.

I’m not upset. I'm rather curious why Apple, a company that spends so much efforts designing user experience and is a pioneer of user-centered GUI design, would ignore this extremely useful feature?

Also read "Adobe Creative Suite 4 (CS4) Usability"