Sometimes there are platforms and a star could be above or below them. By the time you see it, it's too late if you're not on the right path. It's frustrating that it breaks your streak and you have no control over it, because all you can do is guess. Is there anyway to know ahead of time where the star will be, so you don't have to guess?
No. I once shut off the music and spent a while straining to see if the sound effects gave any indication of location, but they don't. There is also no visual indication.
Other sources like this guide back me up:
That's the nature of this sort of game, I suppose! Frustration is part of the addiction.