I have an iPod touch that I synched with my Windows computer (iTunes 9.0 I think) until my harddrive failed and I lost my entire library. I rebuilt the library (songs) from a year old backup (and various other source for songs) but my playlists and ratings are of course a year old. My iPod itself has most of the playlists and ratings I care most about (favorite songs and albums, rated 4 and 5, for example).
I have a catch 22 situation where I feel nervous that I haven't backed up my iPod in around 4 months (when my drive failed) so I'd like to back it up as soon as possible... but if I back it up I have to clear all the songs and playlists and copy them back, which I can't really do since I need to rebuild my playlists on my computer first (using the data only available on my iPod!)
The question: is there a better way to READ the information off my iPod than doing it manually, song by song and album by album and playlist by playlist (XML, text dump, database, spreadsheet, anything).
In other words, mostly I want the information (metadata like ratings and playlists, not songs) copied off the iPod so I can more quickly get my iTunes library ratings and playlists re-built (manually) so I can finally wipe the music and back up my apps, etc. Then I'd like to copy the music back immediately.
The part I'd like to avoid is manually navigating everything on my iPod to read through all the playlists and ratings (50 GB, 6,000+ songs) as I re-enter all of that data by hand. I've done a few dozen albums and it's pretty time consuming having to tap around on the iPod. Reading from a spreadsheet (for example, or XML which I could write a script to get into spreadsheet form) would probably help tremendously, plus then I'd have a backup of that information somewhere besides just my iPod.