Scenario: I’m looking at the SonicStage “My Library” column, noting that it contains 770 songs, and that the actual folder from which I do the imports contains, um, 589 songs. Something is a trifle askew somewhere. No problem; I’ll clear the Library, dump the folder, copy all the files over from the Walkman, and everything will be nice and sync-y once more.
Or not. Actually, SonicStage refused to import even one track from the Walkman. I cranked open an Explorer window and headed for the dreaded OMGAUDIO folder, and somewhere under Sony’s crufty directory structure was a crapload of .oma files, which turn out to be unprotected ATRAC3 files. (Protected ATRAC3 files, which I’d have had I bought anything from Sony’s now-defunct online music store, apparently have the .omg extension, which if nothing else qualifies as keen editorial comment.) And SonicStage won’t import them from the player.
So: no backup, technically. I’m reasonably certain I have all these tracks stored elsewhere; for that matter, I think I’ve copied all of them to the iTunes install on the work box, which means they’re only a flash-drive session away, assuming I use the larger (8 GB) drive. (The Walkman holds only 4 GB.) Still, a company that goes to this much trouble to complicate my existence is going to get as few of my dollars as I can possibly manage.