I just got a new desktop machine and was faced with this problem: How to transfer the ratings when I move my music collection from the old machine to the new? I have over two years of metadata stored up on which songs I like, and I'd hate to lose it.
Here are a couple of ways, thanks to pointers from a dev and tester on the windows media team:
#1: Use this (unsupported) tool to back up and restore your ratings.
#2: Run the Windows Media Player 10 beta and turn on Tools | Options | Library | Maintain my star ratings as global ratings in the media files.
Both of these options add the ratings to the actual MP3 files.
I initially had some problems getting either of these to work for me, but I eventually succeeded. I'm not sure if my experiences were universal or not, so give them a try.
This is a common scenario - when you are reformatting every six months, all those carefully built up libraries are hard to lose....
I invariably forget when backing up my machine, and lose my play counts, etc., but can't you just back up
C:\Documents and Settings\YOURNAME\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Media Player
There is the full library here....
Matthew: I tried that first, but the database file didn't transfer over cleanly, I got some errors. Also, on the two machines the actual MP3s are in different locations, so I suspect that would also prevent that from working since it has to have some sort of reference to the file.