Performing effective preference-based data retrieval requires detailed and preferentially meaningful structurized information about the current user as well as the items under consideration. A common problem is that representations of items often only consist of mere technical attributes, which do not resemble human perception. This is particularly true for integral items such as movies or songs. It is often claimed that meaningful item features could be extracted from collaborative rating data, which is becoming available through social networking services. However, there is only anecdotal evidence supporting this claim; but if it is true, the extracted information could very valuable for preference-based data retrieval. In this paper, we propose a methodology to systematically check this common claim. We performed a preliminary investigation on a large collection of movie ratings and present initial evidence.