I read your article. I wish you'd have done my comment the same courtesy. You address none of my points. You haven't tried another cable. You haven't had the issue confirmed by support. You haven't tried with protected vs. unprotected content. You haven't found other users with the same problem... You can makes excuses for why you haven't done these things. They may even be good and reasonable excuses. But until you rule out the obvious and likely, your explanation of "my cable doesn't work because Apple doesn't like us" sounds like something of a conspiracy theory.
Also, for what it's worth, I'm comfortable labeling any new iPod/iPhone user who's most recent Apple hardware hails from over a decade ago as "new to the brand".
I did speak with Apple support. The rep told me that Apple does not support any non-Apple cables. I asked her if she meant "made for ipod or iphone" cables purchased at a legit retail store. She confirmed that they do not support any non-Apple cables after the 3.0 update.
No you didn't. Had you read the article, you wouldn't write what you did.
As for your points:
Another identical cable: I don't have two cables
Another iPod: worked other 1.x
Protected/uprotected: they were unprotected podcasts
Users with the same problem: didn't look for them. Assume my cable is "weird"
The cable ceased to work on the nigth the device was updated. Worked the night before. It would be incredibly weird if the cable broke by itself while hooked up to the TV the same time the iPod was updated, wouldn't it?
And while I didn't mention any hardware that is not part of my rather extensive collection of interesting Computers (not limited to Apples, of course), there is a rather new Macbook at home and a couple Macs at the office. Why would you suppose my newest Mac is a museum item?