It seems that by virtue of their set up smart playlists are robust when restoring a duff iPod - Yes they are fragile little fellows. (Had the disk and magnifying glass some six weeks after receiving a 3G 20GB). The wisdom from Apple was RESTORE. Having 10GB of splendid audio, I backed up my collection and cleared my mac for a fresh onslaught. One week later BAM! I had to restore and reload the ipod. This is where the smart play lists come in. Maybe I don't know what the heck I'm doing, but my playlists are all empty having reloaded the 12 CDs worth back onto my groaning Ti. It seems the only lists that maintain integrity are the smart lists.
I figure maybe i could use comments to create robust smart lists to replace my individual playlists. After all, it's bound to happen again (then need to restore), well at least until the battery fails. Can someone explain?