iTunes lost 1000s of star ratings for songs I tried to merge onto a device with an Apple Music catalog

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michaeled

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For many years I have been using iTunes with several iPods, iPhones, and iPads to manage and distribute my music collection. I recently joined Apple Music. Things went fine at first with Apple Music matching and uploading all of my existing songs to the cloud, and in synching an iPhone and an iPad when I replaced their content with my new Apple Music catalog. But when I tried to synch an iPod Touch to merge rather than replace my song catalog (I did this in order to transfer some desirable playlists from iTunes to the iPod Touch), many of my songs' star ratings were lost in iTunes.

It took me forever to rate these songs as I ripped and acquired them over many years. Is there an easy way to recover those lost star ratings? (I stupidly did not make a backup as I figured I still have most of the star rating info on two iPod Classics, but I now realize it would take weeks to manually transfer the ratings.)

Here is some further detail on my situation that may be important:

I have iTunes 12.9.4.102 installed on a PC running Windows 7.

My music consists of about 35,000 songs mostly ripped from CDs I own, with maybe a few thousand songs purchased as mp3s.

I recently joined Apple Music and allowed it to match and upload my music collection. That went well and all my song star ratings were maintained.

My devices, all of which are running the latest IOS available, include a variety of iPod Classics (4th-7th generation), one iPod Touch 5th generation, an iPhone 6+, an iPhone XS, and an iPad Pro.

The song star ratings iTunes lost appear to be for songs in iTunes playlists that I tried to synch to the iPod Touch--for the most part but not exclusively my best songs, rated 5 stars. The synch did not work properly, as only a small fraction of my 5-star songs transferred to the iPod Touch.

I have tried unsuccessfully for several days to find a resolution online. I'd be grateful for any assistance anyone can provide.
 

cjmnews

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Once you are on Apple Music, the concept of syncing with your local database no longer applies.

The assumption is, you convert to Apple Music, and then use Apple Music on all your devices. I am surprised you could sync at all. One of the biggest complaints is the lack of sync capability for older devices, and the loss of local playlists.
There is a way to do both, but it doesn't work like normal where you can sync new tracks, or updates to playlists, without erasing everything and starting over again. Not a great solution: https://www.macworld.co.uk/how-to/iphone/sync-with-itunes-use-apple-music-at-same-time-3630990/

There is no easy way to recover those ratings. It is a highly manual process. Just bite the bullet and work on it a little at a time eventually it will be done.
 

michaeled

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Apr 18, 2019
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Thanks so much for your reply.

You are correct about the limitations on exporting local playlists that are imposed by Apple Music. You have also found the very link I followed to attempt a two-stage sync process to sneak those local playlists from iTunes onto my devices. It obviously did not work for me!

Moral one: don’t believe everything you read on the internet. Moral two: ALWAYS make a backup first.

I guess I will get to work manually replacing my old star ratings.
 
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