I haven't had a problem with rating my music since that's how I control what's loaded on my player, no matter which program I'm using. Any track rated 3 or higher is loaded on my player. To refine it further, I've recently taken to using the following ratings:
5 Stars = A favorite
4 Stars = A track that's not a favorite but one I always want on my player
3 Stars = A track that I currently want on my player
2 Stars = A track that I once had on my player but I've removed
1 Star = A track that I don't want on my player
0 Stars = New track(s) that I need to evaluate
I don't view the inability to separate music from non-music tracks on the player via the user interface as a problem. A combination of tagging and autoplaylists allow me to access and organize my tracks any way that I need to.
As an example, I had an issue similar to yours concerning instrumentals. By adding an instrumental tag to the appropriate tracks combined with an autoplaylist that lists only rated tracks with an instrumental tag, I can listen to only instrumentals on my player. In the same way, I'm able to separate tracks on my player by genre, mood, and whether or not they are a parody.
Player: Sony NWZ-A17
Music Management Software: Media Go 3.0
Headphones: JVC HA-S140
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