Can any heuristics or generalizations be made regarding the ability of devices to update management software with play counts (and ideally ratings)?
This seems to be problematic outside the Apple ecosystem. At least it has been for me.
I'm flexible on both the device and management software side of things. Right now I use J. River with an old iPod nano, but J. River no longer supports iPods, and honestly I'd rather have a player with better sound quality anyway. My old iRiver really put this iPod to shame, but unfortunately couldn't or wouldn't update the play counts to J. River.
Anyway... can any generalizations be made about android devices? Or perhaps it depends on the filesystem mode (USB vs. MTP)?
One things for sure... it seems like there would be a market for an exceptional android app + desktop management app combo that could work seemlessly on android devices. J. River already has an android app (Gizmo), but it's streaming only. They don't seem interested in expanding it to play files on the device and update their excellent management software.