Shareware developer Buzz Andersen recently updated his utility
PodWorks, which allows you to defy the limitations Apple built into the iPod by permitting copying of music from the MP3 player to your Mac.
Version 2.8 adds star rating and composer columns, preferences for “active duplicate prevention” during transfers to iTunes and for playback continuation with the next song in the list after the current one finishes, a New Folder button in the copy destination panel, and several bug fixes. In addition, it features improved search performance and aesthetic fixes, along with an updated help file.
You can use PodWorks to copy songs from your iPod to the Finder or to iTunes, where it can filter the song list to show music that’s on the player but not in the iTunes library. It reads information directly from the iPod’s internal database, allowing it to display your music library’s metadata much faster. It can also display and sort by metadata not available through ID3, including Date Added and Play Count.
PodWorks also runs directly on your iPod and can be used even when connected to a previously unknown computer. It allows you to preview songs on your player before copying them, and it can sort MP3 files into directories and change their names according to their preferences.
The shareware fee is US$8. You can try before you buy, but an unregistered version of PodWorks has a 30-day time limit, will copy no more than 250 songs, one at a time, and disables drag-and-drop copying of playlists.