I’ve put in a couple days of use of my new iPod Nano, and it’s working out well so far.
My main worry was about its ‘pocketfeel’ (hey, if food critics can have ‘mouthfeel’…) so that I can fiddle with it without having to take it out and look at it, and it does have a few quirks there: the shake-to-shuffle feature requires a *really* vigorous shake, which would be kind of embarrassing to perform in public and can’t be done within the confines of a pocket, but using the dial to advance to the next song isn’t a big deal. The ‘hold’ switch is a bit tricky — I can run a finger along the top to turn it off, but have to get the edge of a fingernail and find the switch to turn it back on. And I have to watch out when adjusting the volume. If it’s lying too horizontally, it switches into Cover Flow mode and you can’t adjust the volume there, so I have to make sure it’s tilted a bit upwards before changing the volume. They’re only minor problems, though.
I also managed to get it working with Amarok by installing iTunes on my XP machine and reformatting it with a Windows filesystem. And, as I hoped, it does indeed sync back updated ratings, play counts and times, and updates last.fm. The only quirk is that unmounting it still leaves the iPod saying “you must eject first…” on its screen, but it seems like unplugging it at that point doesn’t cause any harm.
Update: And it turns out I can sync it to both Amarok for music and iTunes for automatic podcast management, if I disable automatic syncing in iTunes and I make sure to sync to Amarok first or the rating and play count updates will be lost.
Update update: Ugh, okay, podcasts have some problems when I do it that way, with multiple copies of them showing up each time I switch between clients. I’ll have to try doing the podcasts from within Amarok as well.