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How to.... best preserve track and album ratings?


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I'm looking for the best workflow to transfer my music files into an emby library by preserving (must have) track rating and (nice to have) album rating.

I have about 28k tracks. Approximately 75% ALAC / m4a; about 20% AAC and another 5% mp3. I have about some hundred audiobooks / audio drama - most of them ALAC / m4b.

About 60% of my music tracks are rated (=> 17 k tracks); about 30% of my music albums are rated. I want to preserve this ratings and want to transfer the ratings into emby. But how?

The iTunes app (MacOS) doesn't write ratings (track / album) into metadata of the files. The ratings are stored in an XML file. (As far as I understand).


First Approach:

  1. Within iTunes write rating into Metadata field Comment (iTunes MP4: @cmt) or Genre (iTunes MP4: @gen)
  2. Within MacOS app "Switch" change ALAC to FLAC (necessary step as iTunes MP4 can't store rating metadata (right?)
    1. which probably works without quality loss for ALAC. For AAC / mp3 this is not very attractive...
  3. Within MusicBrainzPicard (MacOS) use Script to set Metadata field (ID3v2: POPM) to my track rating (extract from field Comment or Genre)
    1. There is no Metadata field for album rating - I guess this information will stay in Comment / Genre (... and be lost ...)
  4. Transfer audio files (FLAC with Metadata) into emby; read Metadata from file; Track ratings show up (right?)


Second Approach:

There might be a way to directly use the iTunes XML file to get the track ratings "into" emby (but then they are in emby ... not in my files ....)

My Questions

  1. Do you know a procedure to extract track ratings directly from iTunes XML into emby? 
  2. Do you think my procedure (first approach) will work? especially
    1. do you agree that it's necessary to change from ALAC to FLAC?
    2. Do you have a suggestion for my AAC and mp3 files?
  3. In addition: as FLAC-files support ID3v2 Metadata: Does the transfer from ALAC to FLAC solve the problem with multiple values for Album artists / artists (=> classical music), and can emby handle the Metadatafield Performer? (ID3v24: TMCL:instrument) or (ID3v23: IPLS:instrument)?

Thanks for helping!


Edited by henning65
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  • 2 weeks later...

hi @henning65 we don't currently support importing track ratings, although it's certainly possible for the future. It's a little trickier given that Emby Server is designed to be a multi-user system. Thanks for the feedback.

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