Hi Jiri, thanks for the input.
For me the whole point of MM is that it is programmable to the n-th degree, and can synch all sorts of weird devices. if I want to synch an iPod, or use MTP mode, I have plenty of options already.
Different synch formats by 'type' would have been OK, if the =types= were user programmable .. but they are not. We're in danger of heading back to the Mp3 genre definitions .. i.e. if it isn't pre-specified, you can't have it. 8<. (I LIKE "symphonic Celtic rock"). Yes, it is simpler, but afaik MM isn't for simple people. 8>.
The 'by playlist' option already had a few snags (e.g. songs can be in more than one playlist, in which case how/where they get synched onto the device is a bit of a crapshoot .. if they're already synched as part of the 'favourites' playlist, they don't get synched again as part of the 'beatles' playlist, or vice versa) but it was still more flexible that what we have now.
Also, as mentioned, it (the 'by playlist' facility) has not been cleanly removed from MM4 .. it is still pretending to be there (but broken), and the documentation didn't mention it at all, as far as I can see.