I just got my Perl/Tk alternative iRATE client to a point where I can release it to the world.
It doesn't talk to the iRATE server yet, so you have to fire up the standard client every so often to download tunes. It does write the standard irate trackdatabase.xml file, so the standard client knows about the ratings and such from AlterniRATE.
It uses xmms to play the mp3's so it's limited to platforms on which that's an option. I suspect that Winamp::Control could be used as a Windows alternative, but I'm not too excited about writing that part. Maybe someone else will.
The primary motivation for writing this was that I think that the way the standard iRATE client selects which tunes to play is flawed; it seems like it totally forgets about older tracks, except perhaps if they're rated 7 or 10.
AlterniRATE uses probability weights which grow exponentially for each track until it's played again. The weights grow much faster for high-rated tracks than for low-rated ones, but eventually any tune which hasn't been played in long enough will be screaming "choose me! choose me!"
I hope some iRATE users here will check it out.