I disabled automatic updates in iTunes because a) I don't care to have iTunes merrily hogging my bandwidth just because there might be a new version, x.y.z.a.b+1, that allows me to get recommendations on one more thing I don't use on my iPod, and b) see a).
Of course, what that means is that when there is an update for the iPod, you can't sync any more, and you have to wipe your iPod and restore it to download the update, because it would be too easy to let you simply turn automatic updates back on. (And to prove a) and b), the iPod update is taking 10 minutes to download.)
Let there be no doubt: if the market positions were reversed so that Microsoft was struggling to keep the foothold Windows had eked out and Apple could make a profit simply by releasing a new OS, Apple would jerk people around exactly like Microsoft does, and anything i-related is proof of this. I don't have a jailbroken iPod, I want to control how it is updated so that it doesn't command my computer when it's synched (as iTunes tends to do ... funny how it reacts like programs did in the days of total system control). I do not need to restore 10 GB of music just because some jackass doesn't know how to distribute OS updates.
Update: As a bonus, now I'm in an endless restore cycle. Awesome. Naturally the support article that talks about restoring your iPod doesn't say boo about what to do when it doesn't work. Another one that talks about how to troubleshoot the restore process is the same blah-blah-blah as Microsoft's stuff: it's your fault, not ours, check all your own stuff first, can't be our fault. w.
Update: Hey, it was their fault. They gave me a restore file that wouldn't work. How would I know that? Well, I wouldn't. Why did it happen? Who knows? But that's okay, now my iPod is back exactly the way it was two days ago. Sorry about the track history for the three hours in the car in the mountains, and those saved games in Slay and AcidSolitaire. (Thank goodness I didn't have a saved game in Civ Rev.)
I guess I should be synching it more often. Oh right, I couldn't, because you can't do that if you've disabled automatic updates, but it won't tell you that. Ha. Very nice.
P.S. 10 GB of music back on the iPod. Wake me up when it's done. No, not literally. I have to catch up on my sleep.