Having succumbed to an ipod, even though I have huge reservations about the installed DRM, I have begun to look for applications that will help me do the kind of things I feel that I ought to be able to do. Like back up my ipod, for example.
Today I found Yamipod, which does that and more. Apparently. I have not tested it yet.
The documentation is here, if you want to see what it does and does not do, and how it does and does not do it, before you download. It is open source, so money is not necessarily involved. I do not say this because “information wants to be free” but because I am grateful to the people who made it, whether or not it turns out to be something I use in the long term.