Copying ratings and play counts from iPod to computer

Q: My computer crashed and, fortunately, I had all my music files backed up. After rebooting my computer and reinstalling iTunes, I added all my music files back into it. My Ipod has retained all my ratings and playlists, but I am afraid if I click sync, they will be wiped forever.

Is there a way to transfer these ratings and playlists back over to the computer side of things? I hope so….it took countless hours going through 45GB of music…

– Scott

A: There are some iPod recovery applications available that can be used to transfer only information such as ratings and play counts from your iPod back to your computer, but you may find that you have more luck simply leaving your backups aside for now and using your iPod as the source to rebuild your iTunes library. Most of the third-party iPod applications work much better when you’re doing a full recovery with them, and not merely trying to transfer only song information.

The biggest problem with transferring only the information is matching it up to the existing tracks, whereas if you simply do the entire recovery from the iPod, then obviously the application will know which tracks belong to which rating and play count information.

See our iPod 201 article, Copying Content from your iPod to your Computer for more information on some of the options available. The chart on page 3 of this article summarizes which applications can be used to recover which information from your iPod.