"OK, I've successfully restored my Pod's firmware from 1.2.1 to 1.2,
in the process eliminating my "deal-breaker" bug of smart playlists
that have NO content on them being listed on the Pod itself. So,
here's the process I successfully went through.
As we know, iTunes now controls the process of getting and applying
an update. Those updates involve 2 files each and they reside in:
~/Library/iTunes/iPod Software Updates/
The files I have are for both the 1.2 and the 1.2.1 updates:
Obviously, if you do NOT have the "previous" update file, you are
prevented in being able to restore to that rev. This WILL create a
potential sticky situation; I do NOT see that I'd be infringing
anything if I sent the set of 2 files to someone, but as Apple does
NOT provide access to "older" revs (which they bloody well should)
they COULD try and drop their well heeled legal department on my
butt. Which is amusing in that the ONLY reason is to overcome some
serious bugs THEY allowed in shipping software (and the fact that
they HAVE provided ways to "return" to a previous software rev for
QuickTime, so they are not unaware of the issue with later versions
of their software having "deal-breaker" bugs forcing users to regress
to regain functionality).
Anyway, I removed the 1.2.1 files from that folder, went to System
Prefs/Network/Builtin Ethernet and changed it to off. I then logged
out and back in, while holding down the shift key so no log-in items
would be run (several of them need an Internet connection). Launched
iTunes, plugged my Pod in, clicked on "Restore." I got a dialog
advising me that I was about to restore an older version when a newer
one was available (plus some mention about not being able to actually
download that newer version). I affirmed that I did want to install
that "older" version and it happily went about the restore (followed
by the lengthy process of transferring ALL my songs).
My Pod now has 1.2 on it AND smart playlists that have NO content are
NOT listed on my Pod. Mission Actually Accomplished!
BTW, this is a 5.5G 80G Pod. I was somewhat saved by the fact that I
had only transferred under 20Gs of songs, I have not yet added
another 45G that I DO have. And to reiterate, the KEY is in having
that "previous software rev" set of files (BTW, that set of 2 files
is about 6.1 MBs).
It's really a shame they seem to have such issues with recent iPod
software AND compound the issue by making it almost impossible to
back out of it. When iTunes DOES have a network connection, the ONLY
restore it will do is the latest version, AND they do NOT provide
access to those "previous" versions. In point of fact, the ONLY
reason I HAD the 1.2 update was that I had done a restore right after
I got my Pod to see if it would fix another bug I found (that bug
still exists in 1.2.1 (and is not a deal-breaker) but it DID have to
d/l 1.2 because it was not installed on my machine). I trust that's
everything anyone might want to know!
Another 5.5Gen iPod user last week said he hadn't noticed any smart playlist problems but was going to check if any were blank and report back but hasn't so far.
Here's another note about 1.2.1 firmware that I hadn't heard before: