I'm not really sure what to say. The change made to the Rating indicators has some pluses and minuses to it, I feel. The change does make it easier to distinguish between the various rating amounts, which is good because it can be rather hard to correctly identify something as a 3.5 as opposed to a 3 on a quick glance for instance. However, I think design wise, it's a bad step. I've switched back and forth a few times, using it on each to try and get a proper feel for both... and the new ones just don't... look right. They're not as visually appealing, I think is what I'm trying to say. Though try as I might, I can't find a suggestion to offer that might blur the line a little more between usability and eye candy, so to speak.
I'm guessing that since this is a quick preliminary change, one of the other issues will sort itself out when you dive into this skin a little more. That being that the player is no longer "connected" to the main window. I don't mean that as if it's mistakenly come un-docked, but more in the since that it looks as though it's just the Mini-Player hovering at the bottom of the main window. The initial player looked as though it was all apart of the window and such. There's also the close, minimize, etc buttons. However, like I said, this is probably because you simply copied the information from the mini-player over for the main player or something.
I think it's a good idea that you've added a display for some information regarding the currently playing track, especially since the currently playing track doesn't always have to be in the Now Playing window/node. I know you suggested to use the Songs Panel script for this ability, but not everyone may want to, and be used to a skin offering it by default. At the moment though, I'm not that big of a fan of the way it's displayed though. It may stem from the fact that most of the skins I have used for a considerable length of time have a section roped off where information such as Title and Artist are displayed prominently, or that I keep expecting the text string displayed right there to be the file(s) shown/selected string. It might just be something I'd need to get used to.
Now though, I've got something to say regarding both versions of the skin. There seems to be an issue with tooltips. It seems to be specific to your skin, as I've checked the ones that come installed with MM by default as well as ZuneSkin, and this 'issue' isn't present for them. It pertains to the basic (not "show all information") tooltip that pops up in the track listing views (main window and now playing window) when a string is too long for the column. It seems to only be certain fields, while others go unaffected. Title seems to be fine, but with the Artist column, some strings can be cut off while others display with a box too long.
Take the string "Lil' Jon; The East Side Boyz; ft.; 8Ball; Bun B; E-40; Petey Pablo". When this artist entry is hovered over, it displays almost correct, except for the fact that only half of the "O" displays. Meanwhile, with the string "Lil' Jon; The East Side Boyz; ft.; Krayzie Bone; Mystikal", the final "A" only partially displays while the "L" goes missing. A third example is "Lil' Jon; The East Side Boyz; ft.; Chyna Whyte; Too Short" where the hook on the "R" is cut short, while the T goes missing. All three of these examples, when the track is the one currently playing (and receives the bolded text), the string fully displays, but the tooltip box looks as though it's a few spaces too long. Enough to fit two or three characters in maybe.
No clue why it might be doing this, though like I said, on the other six skins I checked for this on, this behavior wasn't present. It does affect both the initial skin release, as well as the modified version you put up. Another affected column is "Filename," as the "P" in "MP3" has the right edge cut off, while the "3" is completely missing. The Now Playing thing is present there as well. *Scratches Head*