Is there a way to accomplish this but instead of a disc, use a thumb drive. I hate wasting disc when I'm just moving music to my work computer. Are there any programs that make a thumb drive have the properties of a disc burner?
If all you want to do is transfer the native files of the songs in a playlist, all you have to do is literally drag and drop the playlist contents to the thumb drive (if you're a Windows user, simply have Explorer open side-by-side with iTunes and drag 'n drop). This won't copy the playlist definition (if it's a smart playlist) nor will it organize the native files by artist/album on the thumb drive, but you probably don't want that anyway.
Thanks, I'll try that. I mostly want to transfer ratings, although I can just transfer tunes with specific ratings. I believe the comments will transfer with the files, and I have ratings with those also.
Huh...are you saying that when you burn a CD, you get iTunes metadata to transfer over when importing to another computer? I'd like to know more! (Step-by-step if possible.)
(FWIW, there are many PC programs for "burning" "audio CDs" onto flash drives. Being a Mac guy I'm not familiar with the latest/greatest, but paid audio apps like Nero offer this ability; p'bly lots more that aren't so pricey. There's also free/cheap software to "burn" ISOs onto flash drives. Seems like there was a good thread on that topic here about a year ago, but I can't find it now....)
I'm not sure what data transfers when burning. I have smart playlists of songs that were newly rated. I want to move these songs to my work computer. I only move 4 & 5 star songs, so I could burn the 4 star list, then the 5 star. I know I can move these with CD's, I just have 30 or 40 GB's to move and that's a lot of wasted CD's and time.
I used to save the playlist as a .pdf and then change all the ratings by hand, but saving as a pdf doesn't show the ratings anymore. I have also saved the playlist as a excel file, but it's just more time consuming. Since all I'm concerned about is the ratings, I also put them in comments, and those seem to move with the music files.
If you burn a data CD (i.e. not convert back to a regular audio CD) then most of the tag information that you see in iTunes is saved and can be read by another iTunes library. But some things are not actually part of the tag (e.g. playcounts, last played date, ratings) so there's no way to transfer that information via CD.
Comments are part of the tag, so they do transfer with the files (as will things like embedded artwork, lyrics, grouping, etc.) If all you care about is ratings, then you can do as you proposed by transferring just your 4-star songs, then later do your 5-star songs (or embed the rating into the tag like you've done, at least temporarily).
If you're transferring 30-40 GBs worth of files, rather than making several trips with a thumb drive you may want to use an external hard drive (or iPod in "disk mode").
Another option would be Home Sharing so long as both computers are on the same network. You could then transfer playlists themselves though anything not embedded, such as default ratings, won't carry over. However, you could create a series of smart playlists based on your ratings (one for 5-star songs, another for 4-star songs, one for 3-star songs, and so on), transfer those over via Home Sharing, and then rate the songs right after they are transferred to the new system. I agree that 30-40GB of content is way too much to transfer over with a thumb drive. Even with an 8GB thumb drive, that would take at least 5 trips back and forth not to mention the slow times it would take to actually write ~7.7GB (since an 8GB thumb drive actually doesn't hold 8GB) of data since many thumb drives uses extremely slow Flash/NAND chips.