I recently needed to copy all songs from an iPod to iTunes on a computer running Windows XP. I also wanted to keep the ratings.
After some trial-and-ctrl-alt-del, I ended up with SharePod. It will copy the songs to your computer as well as create an XML file containing the ratings. iTunes can then read the XML file to import the songs including ratings.
SharePod has an annoying bug, though: file paths in the XML file are URL-encoded from Latin-1 rather than the UTF-8 encoding iTunes expects. This means iTunes will fail to import songs containing non-ASCII characters, i.e. a lot of Swedish songs.
The SharePod site says that
If iTunes says it ‘couldn’t find all the files’, check your music for non-standard characters, like accented characters (Á, ö, etc) as these will often cause problems for iTunes to import.
I think “non-standard characters” is a rather inaccurate turn of phrase. Anyway, I solved this problem (which is really a SharePod bug, not an iTunes issue) with a small Ruby script.
Download the script and use it like
ruby sharepod_fixer.rb SharePod_iTunes_Import.xml. It will create a file
SharePod_iTunes_Import_fixed.xml that should work fine for those “non-standard characters”.
I should mention I ran this script under OS X and then moved the output file to the Windows computer. Running the script should work as well under Windows, but I haven’t actually tried it.
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