Basically, I wanted to find a way to play music on my computer and to be able to rate tracks without having to turn my attention away from what I'm doing and go into the iTunes window.
Unfortunately, the iTunes miniplayer and toolbar player that Apple include with the software do not allow you to rate tracks.
I Love Stars is a Mac solution that places stars at the bar at the top of your screen:
I like it for its imsplicity, but there's nothing like it for WIndows, as far as I could find. I got the next best thing which is SkiniTunes. this gives you more features and flexibility in an iTunes mini player.
I can still choose what I want to play in iTunes, and then activate SkiniTunes to run. I can then rate tracks as they play and skip without losing focus on the current window.
If anyone out there knows of anything like I Love Stars for Windows, please let me know...