I’ve been using Amarok as my music collection manager for a while now, and it works well for that purpose, but I’m getting increasingly frustrated at trying to use it to sync to my iPod.
The problem is that it often doesn’t seem to recognize when the same device is attached again, and fails to sync back any updated ratings, play counts, or last.fm updates. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t, and it’s frustrating to spend two weeks using my iPod and then hook it back up only to have it completely throw out all the updates made through it over those weeks. A huge chunk of my library is still unrated, and I’d much rather rate them on-the-fly as I’m listening to them than to have to sit down and go through the whole list one-by-one.
Amarok just seems to have a poor model of MP3 players as persistent devices, treating them more as just arbitrary filesystems to copy songs to. Playlist syncing is confusing as well, with it being unclear what the functional difference is between ‘Transfer Playlist’ and ‘Sync Playlist’, playlists queued for syncing disappearing for unknown reasons between sessions, podcasts requiring more manual management than expected, the inability to limit playlists by device size…
I’m tempted to just revert back to doing proper iTunes syncing, but then that puts the management software on a different machine than the actual library, scanning of files is less automatic, there’d be a ton of metadata lost or needing to be manually transferred… Ugh.