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Topic: Transfer ratings/play count from iPod to iTunes

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Old 09-17-2005, 11:13 AM
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Transfer ratings/play count from iPod to iTunes

My iTunes library is 45 GB and I have 28 GB of music on my iPod. I recently lost my entire iTunes database (but all 45 GB of the music files remained intact). I've reinstalled iTunes and recreated the library but of course all the ratings, play counts, and playlists are gone. My iPod however still has that information. Is there anyway to sync my iPod to Windows iTunes only for ratings, play counts, and playlists? I've checked out iPodAgent but that seems more for transferring music files instead of just meta data.

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Old 09-17-2005, 11:16 AM

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The only application I'm aware of that will do all of this on the PC/Windows platform right now is CopyPod.

It's actually intended to restore your entire music library from your iPod, so I'm not sure if it has a mode that would only recover the metadata, but as a worst-case scenario, a full restore will still bring all of this back... It will just take a bit longer.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 09-17-2005, 11:21 AM

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You would have to transfer the files from the iPod to get that information if you didn't back up the files with the music. I don't know of anyway to extract that data out of the iPod files and have it appear in iTunes w/o removing the songs as well.

This article tells you how to back up the iTunes files to save that data. You can back up those files to a disk of an external HD from now on:
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Old 09-17-2005, 11:29 AM
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Thanks for the links!

So right now I have an external hard drive with all my music on it (45 GB worth):


Let's say I do a restore from iPod to an empty iTunes, so now I have 28 GB worth of music in:


How do I reconcile the two music libraries so I can avoid duplicates? I'd prefer the directory structure of \Music since that one has some extra information that's not on my iPod (album reviews, extra artwork images, etc).

I also have a PowerBook in case that could somehow help (restore to Mac iTunes and then do a iTunes library merge between Mac and XP?)

Thanks again.
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Old 09-17-2005, 12:48 PM
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I've made some progress:

1) Using my Mac, I created an empty iTunes library
2) Connected to my external drive
3) Added all the music files (e.g. G:\Music\ in my example above) to the Mac iTunes library
4) Using iPodRip, synced play counts and ratings from the iPod with the files in my Mac iTunes library
5) I now have exactly what I want (i.e. my entire music library with meta data on any songs that were on my iPod) EXCEPT that this is on my Mac, not my Windows machine

However, the file structure is the same as it would be under Windows except for a few minor differences. For example:

MUSIC:Sorted:3 Doors Down: The Better Life:01 - Kryptonite.mp3

instead of

G:\Sorted\3 Doors Down\The Better Life\01 - Kryptonite.mp3

Is there a way to convert this Mac iTunes library to Windows?

And kudos to whoever wrote iPodRip, he or she did a wonderful job.
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Old 09-17-2005, 03:37 PM
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More progress!

I did a search & replace in the XML file and changed every occurrence "Volumes/Music" with "G:". I then imported this XML file into an empty Windows iTunes library. Everything almost worked! The songs are all there (and playable) and the ratings show up too. However, no play counts were transferred. Are there any other ways of importing an XML file that'll do play counts too?
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Old 09-17-2005, 03:52 PM
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I think it's working, I followed the instructions at:

(I'm not allowed to post URLs, so I did a C+P instead).

and it's importing the XML file right now. I'll report back once it's done.

* * *

From Schmolleworld:

Shut down iTunes

Make a backup copy of these files:

iTunes Music Library.xml (on my system, it is located in My Documents/My Music/iTunes)

iTunes Music Library.itl (on my system, it is located in My Documents/My Music/iTunes)

If you have the disk space to spare and you are truly paranoid, backup your actual music files as well.

Open the itl file in Notepad (or any other text editor, but not in Word or any other word processor).

Select all (Ctrl+A) and hit Delete. You should now have an empty file.

In Explorer, verify that the file size is indeed now 0Kb. I haven't tried partially damaging the file, but this method is a sure-fire way.

If you haven't already, do whatever you want to do to your music folder(s): move them all to a new drive, shuffle some of them around, etc.

Open the xml file in your favourite text editor and modify the paths as they should be, reflecting the new location of your music files. Global search and replace comes to mind as a quick way of making these changes. Don't worry about mistakes--you did take a backup, did you?

Save the file and fire up iTunes. Instead of starting normally, it will import the xml file. I have some 6500-odd entries in it and a dozen playlists. With the files on an external USB2.0 drive, it takes a few minutes for this to complete, which is indicated by the warning message about how iTunes discovered that your library file had gotten damaged and how it tried to save the day. Click OK.

If all is well, you should now be looking at your library, with all data intact and the locations of the music files updated.
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Old 01-02-2011, 07:19 PM
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I got annoying wireless duplicates when I transferred my iTunes XML library

I've been trying for the past two months to transfer across my playlists and play counts from my old XP computer to my new Windows 7. Last time, in 2006, when I changed PCs, my iTunes library updated perfectly. This time only the songs transferred across but all my meta data didn't.

I tried exporting and uploading the XML library into my new itunes - BUT it duplicated all my songs with a wireless version, and the playcounts were only present on the 'streamed' versions of my songs. I thought perhaps I hadn't correctly stipulated the right file path in the XML file - or that it my music files were in the different folder and not in the right directory on Windows 7. I redid the steps, double checking file paths and centralised all music files into the music folder that iTunes nominated for Windows 7, but I still got duplicates.

So I tried something else - trial and error style - and it worked. I simply transferred over the ITL file from my old PC onto my new PC, and my playcounts and playlists updated accordingly with no duplicates.

(The ITL file is basically a snapshot of your itunes library since its last update. So it makes sense to replace the brand new ITL file with an older version if you want to retain your player history.)

Here are the steps I did to retain playcounts.
I'm not a nerd and am self-taught in a lot of computer things, so you may want to use personal discretion in following my steps. I'm just going to list EVERYTHING i did, but follow steps that you feel are necessary.

As mentioned before, I was going from XP to Windows 7. My steps are written for these OS.

1. Because I had wireless duplicated on itunes, I decided the best way to get rid of these were to uninstall itunes and start again. So I backed up my music folder (containing music, music, podcasts, etc) on a separate location.

2. I did a search on my old PC for an .ITL file (you may need to switch on hidden files or show file extensions if you can't find it).

3. If you have more than one to choose from, grab the most recent ITL one, which should be no older than 3 weeks old. This is where I stuffed up. My old PC updated its library (and therefore ITL file) in Sept 2010 - probably when I added new songs into iTunes. But when I got my new PC, I decided to delete a lot of music files that I never listened to, and update music titles, artists, albums that were incomplete. This was done my new PC in Nov 2010. In other words, my new PC had different music files to my old PC; my new iTunes library was better organised than my old iTunes library; AND my playcounts on my old PC was 2 months old. The most recent ITL file on my PC was 2 months out of date in terms of playcounts, accuracy of dong information and song files itself. This is what I recommend you do if your ITL file on your old PC is more than 3 weeks old - add any new song into your old iTunes and don't update any song information or add new songs on your itunes on your new computer - they will be overriden when you replace ITL files.

4. Drag the most recent ITL file from your old PC onto your desktop. COPY it onto your new PC's desktop.

4. On your new PC, uninstall itunes and re-install a clean version.

5. Open iTunes and drag all the music folders onto the application. This will transfer the your music, podcasts, etc. (My itunes didn't update when I simply copy and pasted my old music files into the identical folder on explorer - even after i restarted).

6. CLOSE ITUNES ON YOUR NEW PC!. If you don't shut down iTunes, the ITL file won't update in the subsequent steps because the file is 'open'.

7. On your NEW PC, do a search for .ITL file to see where it's located.

8. Grab your OLD ITL file, copy it again and rename a version so it's exactly the same as the new ITL file in step 7.

9. Place the renamed OLD ITL file into the same folder as the new ITL file in Step 7 - a dialogue box should display saying that two files exist with the same name, which one do you want to keep. Choose the file with the same creation/modification date as your old, renamed ITL file.

10. Open iTunes again - your playcounts and playlists should now be updated to reflect the same state it was on your old PC.
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Old 01-03-2011, 05:53 AM
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I'm not a nerd and am self-taught in a lot of computer things....

Hate to break it to you, but yes -- you are a bit of a nerd ;-) Good job on figuring this out! Now let's fill in some of the details. Here's the nutshell version of transferring from one computer to another:
1) Most important point -- on the old computer, get all your music files properly stored inside the default "iTunes Media" folder (or "iTunes Music" on older iTunes installs) inside the default "iTunes" folder. To do this, open Edit menu->Preferences->Advanced; in the upper third of the window click the Reset button, and put checkmarks in the "Copy files..." and "Keep...organized" boxes; click OK. Then, File menu->Library->Organize library and checkmark the "Consolidate files" box; click OK. iTunes will copy all your music files into the "iTunes Media" folder in your user account's "iTunes" folder and update the library file with the new filepaths. When consolidating is done, quit iTunes on old computer.
2) On the new computer, install iTunes. Fire it up once, just to let it get set up. When it asks about scanning your computer for music files, tell it no. Quit iTunes. (If you look in the new computer's Music or My Music folder, you'll see that iTunes has created a new "iTunes" folder in there; it's just like the iTunes folder on the old computer except that its library file, support files, and folders are empty.)
3) Using an external hard drive, make a copy of the old computer's "iTunes" folder. Now connect the external hard drive to the new computer. Use the copy of the old computer's "iTunes" folder to replace the "iTunes" folder on the new computer.
4) That's it, you're done. Your "old" iTunes library and music collection are now completely on the new machine. This includes music files, playlists, counts, downloaded album art, Genius mixes...everything. This technique works for transferring from XP to Win7, or from Mac to Win7, or from XP to's a beautiful thing ;-)

Ways you can edit your list --
* No need to uninstall iTunes. In fact, uninstalling doesn't help at all, since removing the program files has no effect on the "data" files -- the "iTunes Library.itl" file, the artwork cache, music files, prefs files, etc. are all left alone during an uninstall.

* The .itl file is not a "snapshot" of your library -- it is the library. Everything iTunes knows about your music -- playlists, counts, ratings, track info, file locations -- is stored in the "iTunes Library.itl" file. The library file updates every time you make a change in iTunes (when a play count gets bumped, when you edit tag data, when you add new music files, when you create or modify a playlist), and every time you quit iTunes. (This isn't critical info for transferring, just FYI.)

* This is critical info for transferring -- while your Steps 5 thru 9 worked for you, they will not necessarily work for all users. Your steps worked for you because you'd been storing your music files in the default location, "iTunes Media". If you had stored your music files on the XP machine directly in the "My Music" folder or in a folder on your desktop, your steps 5-9 would have failed. This is due to the intracacies of filepaths and the library file. I'll spare you the four paragraphs of explanation; suffice to say that if users store music files on the boot drive, the only way to guarentee a successful transfer for every user is to follow the steps I listed. (IOW, your procedure worked for you because you were accidentally in compliance with the "correct" steps; in a sense, you got lucky. In another sense, you were smart to simply use the iTunes defaults for music storage, which is designed to make transfers easy.)

* If your music files are normally stored on an external drive -- maybe to save space on the boot drive, or to make them more portable, or for whatever reason -- the steps change a bit: Step 1 must be skipped, and in Step 3 you must be certain that the external drive has the same drive letter on the new computer that it had on the old computer (this is due, again, to the intracacies of filepaths).

* The red section in your step 3 is right on the money -- get the old computer's iTunes as competely up to date as possible before transferring. iTunes can't/doesn't know how to "merge" different libraries together, so getting the old install as up-to-date as possible does the most good.

Again, great job on working this out; give yourself full marks! We'll only deduct a half-point for posting this to a thread that's 5+ years old (and thus unlikely to help the original posters ;-) Have no fear about starting a new thread; it's the preferred thing. If it helps, there's a "Quick Links + Your Profile" link near the top of this page; click it to reveal a menu. Now that you've got iLounge cookies in your browser the "New Posts" and "Today's Posts" items will deliver "fresh" threads to you.
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Old 07-02-2011, 06:50 PM
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Manual way to transfer playlists and ratings from ipod to itunes

Here's a manual way to get some of your meta-data from your IPOD to Itunes:

Backing up playlists
Follow these steps:

Open iTunes.
Select one of your playlists from the Source list.
From the File menu, choose Export Song List. A Save dialog appears.
From the Format pop-up menu, choose XML.
From the Where pop-up menu, choose Desktop.
Click Save.
Repeat steps 2 through 6 for each of the playlists that you have created in iTunes.

From the File menu, choose Import.
Navigate to and select one of the exported playlist files on your Desktop.
Click Choose.
Repeat steps 1 through 3 for each of the playlist files that you have exported to the Desktop.

To get ratings, use the smart playlists while your IPOD is plugged into your computer. Create a smart playlist with the rating you want (e.g. only 4-stars). Then create a manual playlist for that rating category (maybe call it Manual 4-stars).

Then use the instructions above to export from your ipod to your itunes. Once in the newly created playlist in itunes, you'll notice the ratings didn't transfer over. Just highlight all, right click, choose ratings, highlight 4-stars and now all of your songs should be properly rated.

Hope it helps.
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Old 08-02-2011, 05:01 PM
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thank you thank you to u992491 and S2_Mac! Your posts were really helpful, and I really appreciate it. I'm OCD when it comes to all of the things associated with the ITL, and using this method is way better than one of those iPod to PC programs. Thanks again for pointing this out. I made an account just go give y'all props lol.
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Old 12-20-2011, 10:28 PM
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To no avail

So i've consolidated my itunes library and sent it to my new computer. I opened itunes, added the files, closed itunes, and then replaced the .itl file with a copy of the one from my old computer. When I open itunes it is a carbon copy of itunes from my older computer, containing the playlists, play counts etc, but as soon as I try to play a track, or update the album artwork as it was wiped out with the .itl transfer, none of the songs will play as they are not in their original location.

I have a nice new computer yet this issue is really starting to p*ss me off. Anyone have an idea wtf is going on here?
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Old 12-21-2011, 09:39 AM

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Your issue is completely different than this thread.

When you Consolidated your library, what location did you use?
When you copied the Consolidated library to the new computer, did you put them in the same location as they were in the old computer?

The location has to be the same. So if you Consolidated to C:\Music you need to put the songs on the new computer in C:\Music.

There is one exception to the exact location rule, that is if you are transferring from XP to Vista or Win7. In XP the default iTunes directory is located in C:\Documents and Settings\<login>\My Documents\My Music\iTunes where in Vista and Win7 it is located in C:\Users\<login>\Music\iTunes and you can copy the iTunes directory from this XP location to the Win7 location (if the <login> name is the same) and iTunes will work.

Have you backed up your iTunes Library this week? If not, you are risking losing your music and playlists....
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Old 12-21-2011, 01:04 PM

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When transferring a library to not only a new computer, but from XP to Vista/ Win 7, here's the method I used and works like a charm:

1- On the old computer, Consolidate the library to an external drive (or network location).

2- Copy the .itl file from the old computer to the location where you consolidated the media files.

3- On the new computer, hold the Shift key as you launch iTunes. At the prompt, select "Choose Library" and navigate to where the .itl file was copied. Note that the external drive or network location does not need to be the same drive letter as seen by the XP box.

4- After confirming that iTunes looks "right" on the new computer, Consolidate the library from the external drive or network location to the desired location on the new computer. When complete, close iTunes.

5- Copy the .itl file from the external drive or network location to the default iTunes location on the new computer. Replace the existing (empty) .itl file from the new computer's iTunes installation.

6- Again hold the Shift key as you launch iTunes, and navigate to where you put the .itl file on the new computer. iTunes (music only) should now be completely transferred to the new computer. To transfer apps you have to do those manually, or simply re-download from iTunes.
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Old 12-21-2011, 07:37 PM
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I opened itunes, added the files, closed itunes, and then replaced the .itl file with a copy of the one from my old computer.

The problem may lie in the bold-ed part of the quote above. Current versions of iTunes for Windows have default prefs set to not automatically copy files into the designated iTunes Media folder when they are added to the library. (At least, that 's what I noticed two nights ago when I transferred an iTunes install from an XP machine to a new Win7 machine for a friend.) This means that when you added those files to the new machine's iTunes -- unless you set Prefs->Advanced to "Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library" and didn't mention it here -- the files were merely linked to the new iTunes from their original locations (either the external drive you used for the transfer, or the old computer they've always lived on if you networked the two computers together for transferring the files) and now iTunes can't find those paths.

To my mind, the easiest way to fix things is this: First, make sure you still have the Consolidated "iTunes" folder on the old machine; this one "iTunes" folder should hold all your music and other content files, along with the "iTunes Library.itl" file and the other support files. Second, quit iTunes on the new machine; now replace the "iTunes" folder on the new machine with the "iTunes" folder from the old machine. (Do not add music files to iTunes before doing this; that's most likely how you got into this predicament ;-) There is no Third -- everything should be good now.*

* "Everything should be good now" -- I'm assuming that your Consolidation was done according to Step 1 in my post, above, from this past January: that you Consolidated everything into the "iTunes" folder on the XP machine. If that's the case, then the probs you're having now are because you made Steps 2 and 3 too hard (there's nothing in those steps about adding music to iTunes; simply copying over the old machine's "iTunes" folder is enough).

OTOH, if you did not Consolidate your music files into the "iTunes" folder, then you should post again with the particulars of what you did do....
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Topic: Transfer ratings/play count from iPod to iTunes

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