ipod-to-itunes metadata syncing: help a girl out.
October 7, 2007 9:44 AM   Subscribe

I rate my music on my ipod as I listen through it, and I'm trying to get several thousand ratings from the ipod back into itunes. It doesn't seem like itunes can do this for me. (That's stupid!) I found this script, which also has failed to work for me. Need help using the script, or itunes, or finding another alternative.

The Synch script actually didn't work for me for weeks - i kept getting an error message after it ran for over an hour, and the operation wouldn't complete. But just this morning it completed, to my delight, so I closed and re-opened itunes, and then nothing - the ratings did NOT transfer into my library. SO I turn to you. Help a sister integrate portable metadata into her master archive! Am I using the script wrong? Is there really a way iTunes can gather my ratings from my ipod (without being entirely synced)? Is there another way?
posted by lockse to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
iTunes should do this for you, no? It does for me.

In iTunes, what do you have set for your iPod options? Are "Sync only checked songs and music" and "Manually manage music and videos" unchecked?
posted by hydrophonic at 10:08 AM on October 7, 2007

I haven't been using autosync because my itunes library is substantially larger than my ipod. Now i realized that I haven't really used the checks... is there a way to check and uncheck songs en masse?
posted by lockse at 10:27 AM on October 7, 2007

I haven't been using autosync because my itunes library is substantially larger than my ipod.

You can limit autosync to specific playlists.
posted by scottreynen at 10:28 AM on October 7, 2007

You can limit autosync to specific playlists.

Yes, this is how I manage to squeeze a 40GB library onto a 20GB iPod. My "iPod Worthy" smart playlist is pretty simple: exclude songs that are 1 or 2 stars, limit to 15GB, selected by highest rating, match only checked items. So a 3 star or higher rating will guarantee a spot on the iPod, while unrated songs get randomly selected from. Add to this my other playlists like Added Today and whatnot, plus podcasts, and my iPod is topped off nicely.

Here's some smart playlist tips that you might find useful: 1 2 3.
posted by good in a vacuum at 11:39 AM on October 7, 2007 [6 favorites]

is there a way to check and uncheck songs en masse?

On a PC, right-click to choose "Check Selection" or "Uncheck Selection."

You can use the search to narrow down the songs displayed, and then Ctrl+A to select everything.
posted by hydrophonic at 11:48 AM on October 7, 2007

See, on the iPod settings screen in iTunes, when I uncheck "Manually Manage Music," I get the prompt that asks if I am sure, because "All existing content on the iPod will be replaced with content from your iTunes library." That's exactly what I don't want to happen! It seems like autosync in iTunes will sync from my library to my ipod, therefore wiping over all the ratings.

So how do i make that not happen?
posted by lockse at 12:05 PM on October 7, 2007

It actually syncs some of the data back into iTunes too, like the ratings, play count, and last played timestamp.
posted by rhapsodie at 12:34 PM on October 7, 2007

Okay. So, denizens of askmetafilter, I am ready to try this. I will take off "Manually Manage" and select to sync only checked songs. I hope i do not lose my ratings because I put a lot of fractions of seconds of thought into those.
posted by lockse at 12:42 PM on October 7, 2007

iTunes should automatically use the most recent rating for each song, whether you rated it on your iPod or from within iTunes. The only thing you probably need to worry about when it tells you that "All existing content on the iPod will be replaced with content from your iTunes library" is songs that are on your iPod that are not on your computer in your iTunes library. So if a friend gave you a song from his/her computer that you do not have on your computer, you might lose it from your iPod when you sync. But your ratings and other metadata should be fine.

Hope it worked out for you!
posted by good in a vacuum at 1:22 PM on October 7, 2007

Hrm, well - I actually finally realized that I could use Senuti to do the important stuff - isolate my rated tracks, copy over the data (without making duplicates) into my itunes library.

But! Then when I went in and changed my iPod's settings to manually manage, and set the playlist (that included everything on my ipod) to sync, it did exactly what i feared - overwrote the ipod with the itunes playlist.

I lost some playlists, but fortunately i took the extra precaution before listening to you kind-hearted but wrong people.

I think the thing that went wrong is that my itunes library has been moved from its original computer (which originally put it onto the iPod) onto an external hard drive, so it registers them all as new songs.

I still don't know for sure if, here on out, i'm going to keep having this problem. I don't understand the particulars of when an ipod is safe to sync without losing data.
posted by lockse at 3:08 PM on October 7, 2007

You have to be really careful with switching between manual and automatic. In my experience (45 gb collection, 8 gb ipod) itunes and ipod only play nice with respect to ratings if a) it's set up to automatically transfer, b) it's the ipod's "home" computer, and c) itunes is treated as the "master." For example, if I've rated a song as four stars in itunes, then I listen to it on my ipod and downgrade it to a three star, it will remain a four star in itunes even after I re-sync. Highly stupid.
posted by raxast at 5:52 PM on October 7, 2007

In my experience, changing back from a manual update to auto-sync wipes the iPod completely, including ratings. It updates fine both ways subsequently, but not the first time. There are lots of variable at play here, though, so YMMV.
posted by dg at 7:38 PM on October 7, 2007

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