I was never going to buy myself an iPod. It's not that I don't like them. I do, I think they are a true masterpiece of design. It's really a matter of my odd principles. I hate anything that forces you to follow a particular path. Even the most ardent Apple fans will tell you that they are renowned for "The Apple Way or the Highway". That is not a bad thing if you are happy with that, but I like to do things my way. So with the iPod family you are forced down the iTunes route which is a horrible piece of software. So when some very good friends of mine (waves) so generously bought me a new iPod Nano, I was both delighted and slightly glum. The Nano is gorgeous in every aspect. Anybody that tries to tell you that it's just another MP3/MP4 player is an idiot. Don't listen to them. But I'd have to install iTunes. Argh!
However a little research tells me that there are quite a few alternatives out there for different platforms. I chose SharePod.This software is just so simple and yet does everything you want it to, perfectly. I wish I had written it. It doesn't even need installing. A stand alone executable can fully manage any of the iPod family (including iPhone and iTouch). Playlists, copying to and from, backing up. It will even run from the iPod itself.
If you own an iPod, throw off the shackles of iTunes and go an check it out. You won't be disappointed.