Guess which option above is the important one.
Yup, “Manage music manually” lets you change the iPod from an autosyncer to a manual “drag and drop” loader, as you desire.
Oh, and this isn’t new. That’s my *original* 5GB iPod, still in heavy use, still running its original battery.
But those cheapass flashdrive-type players which simply show up as another drive on the computer, do. Samsung's Yepp player also has software that can autosync, along with the option of seeing it as another drive, and performing file modifications on Explorer, simultaneously. The changes reflect automatically on the Yepp software.
As for the manual music management option, it was while doing this switch that the songs disappeared. You can try it with your iPod as well: Make a backup of all your songs. Keep the iPod on autosync mode. Fill the iPod with some songs through iTunes. Get out of iTunes, delete the songs from the directory in which it resides, re-open iTunes. Connect the iPod. Enable manual file management. Poof, all songs disappear with no warning whatsoever.
When I put files back into the iPod after this stage, and deleted some of them through iTunes, it gave that warning window again. So I'm quite sure I hadn't checked that warning-disable feature.
Granted this is not a really critical issue, but I was only trying to bring about an illustration.